It’s Easier to Buy Guns Than Birth Control — And These 4 Other Things

The resistance among a certain set of politicians — and a shrinking minority of voters — for any kind of common-sense gun safety measures in the United States has become a grim running joke. But even so, the incredible ease with which anything from concealed handguns to military assault rifles can be legally purchased stands in stark contrast when compared to far more restricted types of purchases.

Politifact breaks down gun purchasing as follows:

  • Licensed gun sellers may require background checks.
  • Many gun sellers are not licensed, so background checks may fall by the wayside.
  • Private sellers are even less restricted.

The upshot is that it’s very possible in the majority of states to simply buy a gun without a background check or presenting ID, and some politicians seem to like it that way.

But considering what’s necessary to buy the following items, it seems that guns could use a few more restrictions in the name of public safety.

Birth Control

Honestly, we should be giving out contraceptives out like candy. Anyone who wants birth control, including teenagers, should be able to access it. And doctors agree.

But for Republican politicians looking to score cheap points, a “moral victory” of risking women’s sexual health is more worthwhile than protecting the safety of innocent civilians from preventable gun violence. Thus, we’re a long way from having the same ready access to much-needed birth control as there is for weapons of war.


It’s common for adoption agencies and animal shelters to require a potential adopter to present ID and provide references for a background check, in addition to various other requirements. All the red tape helps to ensure that each animal is placed with a responsible caregiver.

This is a good thing. But an irresponsible cat owner is less dangerous than an irresponsible — or mass-murdering — gun owner.


In the vast majority of states, alcohol is restricted to those 21 years of age or older – but buying guns is legal for an 18-year-old, and using guns with parental permission is legal for those much younger.

So you can legally buy a gun to rob a liquor store three years sooner than you can enter that liquor store to buy a lager. (To be clear, it’s illegal to rob a liquor store.)


Through a combination of strategic funding cuts and legal restrictions — including legislation that prevents doctors from informing their patients about this sometimes life-saving procedure – an abortion can be one of the hardest services to access in many parts of the U.S.

And if Republicans have their way, it will only get harder. This is the extreme counter-example to the often completely unrestricted access to firearms that the same Republicans promote and defend.


Yep, after the Oklahoma City Bombing, restrictions on the purchase of fertilizer, which can be used to make bombs, were implemented. For instance, one requirement makes sellers submit purchaser names for comparison against a terrorist database.

Farmers must provide identification and be approved by a federal agency in case they have violent intentions. Meanwhile, individuals on the terror watch list can easily purchase guns.

There’s a reason NRA-funded politicians just cite the Second Amendment and change the subject. It’s not possible to morally or logically defend this kind of legal and political position.

In honor of the first anniversary of the Parkland shooting, Care2 will spend the month of February fighting for gun safety in the United States. Will you join us?


Photo credit: Getty Images


heather g
heather g2 months ago

Thanks, Joel, thought-provoking comparisons.

Vincent T
Vincent T2 months ago

Thank you

Lesa DiIorio
Lesa DiIorio2 months ago

thank you Joel...

Karen H
Karen H2 months ago

My misrepresentative, Marco Rubio has said, "I will always accept the help of anyone who agrees with my agenda." His agenda is to allow guns, deny abortion, ignore the fact that children are being slaughtered in school... Basically, he's saying, "Yes, people buy into my agenda. I don't ask who, or why, I just tell them to leave the money on the dresser." I've told him many times that I'll vote for a goat before I'll vote for him.

Irene S
Irene S2 months ago

Crazy! One could think this is meant to be the American way of birth control.

Sherry K
Sherry Kohn2 months ago


Danuta W
Danuta Watola2 months ago

thank you for posting

Anne M
Anne Moran2 months ago

Not much difference between guns and abortions,, they both kill...

pam w
pam w2 months ago

We MUST rein in the NRA! It's a subversive, inhumane organization with tons of money to pour into GOP pockets.

Chrissie R
Chrissie R2 months ago

Somewhat of an overstatement.