Human beings, being pattern-seekers, like to mush things together no matter how well or poorly they fit. Today, those things happen to be abortion and guns. It turns out to be a bit of a stretch.
The reason abortion is in the news is not only because it always is. The trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia has enraged political conservatives both for its horrifying content and for the perceived lack of media coverage of them. This latter argument is silly for a lot of reasons, many of which are wonderfully explicated by our own Dashiell Bennett. But it is primarily silly because outlets have been covering the story for a long time, from Gosnell's initial arrest in January 2011 to the start of the trial last month. Apparently, though, it was the 24th day of the trial that was the one everyone was supposed to focus on heavily. Lesson learned.
Gosnell's alleged crimes really are horrible: Working with an untrained staff including high school students, he performed abortions in a poor section of Philadelphia, often mishandling or ignoring the need for anesthetics. Seven of the eight counts of murder with which he's charged center on babies that had been delivered and then killed, in at least one occasion when Gosnell cut its spinal cord with scissors. It was inevitable that he should become a focus of the abortion debate. Today's the day it happened, walking through a weird back door of media critique — and right into the middle of the on-going debate over increased gun safety measures.