Not everyday things, but revolutionary things / generational changes. Technology has brought us those, wars and depressions bring them to the fore, pandemics certainly do, and sometimes the decisions of politicians and courts can create sea-change too.
Case in point, after more than 30 years of mass school shootings, this week, the U.S. government tabled a new law to tighten, ever so slightly, the gun laws. One day earlier, however, the U.S. supreme court quashed a New York state law that will now allow anyone to carry a weapon outside their home – concealed or not – and this constitutes progress?
According to a lot of well-informed reporting, gun lovers and regulation haters in Canada are pushing for similar changes.
But that wasn’t the big news this week.
Fifty years ago, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v Wade set the stage for abortion to be legal in the U.S. and has been widely supported since then. Losers then were the pro-life movement and the religious/Republican right …
Well, they are as wrong now as they were then, but they have triumphed in the end, not by marching or convincing legislators, but by a slow and incremental shift in the supreme court, lobbying for the appointment of people who saw things their way. And people lied. Donald Trump said he wasn’t going to overturn Roe v Wade. So did his three appointees, who were thoroughly vetted, but they lied.
And now, until the right political stars align again, their country is going down a different path, possibly for a very long time. If ever there was a time for men and women to say, “there oughta be a law,” their job is to get out and vote, and to get out the vote, before elections in 2022 and 2024 can lead to righting a horrible wrong by showing the world that Americans have the collective will to make change happen …
Meanwhile, these forces are at work in Canada too; though a different country, so near geographically yet far apart in legal systems; too near to these issues being trouble here too.
Reproductive rights are human rights, and we cannot be equal if our rights aren’t equal - full stop!