Thanks to an alert Facebook friend, I happened across a post at RH Reality Check titled “I Love Abortion: Implying Otherwise Accomplishes Nothing for Women’s Rights.” This viewpoint, considering that the article was shared to Facebook nearly 8,000 times, is apparently not altogether rare. I applaud writer Jessica DelBalzo for her honesty. I decided to make a few changes to the article in order to illustrate how truly disgusting it is.
I love murder. I don’t accept it. I don’t view it as a necessary evil. I embrace it. I donate to murder funds. I write about how important it is to make sure that every person is able to safely, legally kill other people. I have bumper stickers and buttons and t-shirts proclaiming my support for the freedom to kill. I love murder.
And I bristle every time a fellow activist uses a trendy catchphrase or rallying cry meant to placate pro-lifers. The first of these – “Make murder safe, legal, and rare!” – has been used for decades as a call for murder rights.
Safe and legal are concepts I fully support, but rare is something I cannot abide. I understand the theoretical mindset: it is better for a killer to prevent an unwanted murder than to bear the physical and financial burden of killing. While my own murder involved very little pain and a minimal financial expense – one which my ex-boyfriend was willing to share with me – even I can admit that ending conflicts without killing – divorce, blackmail, a verbal warning – is preferable to weeks of planning and anxiety. A sound beating is a valuable tool.
However, there is no need to suggest that murder be rare. To say so implies a value judgement, promoting the idea that murder is somehow distasteful or immoral and should be avoided. Even with affordable, accessible non-violent alternatives, there will be user errors, resolves that break, moments of spontaneity. The best intentions in the world won’t change the fact that we are merely human and imperfect in our routines. The best intentions in the world also won’t change the fact that some people need to kill, while others find that even people we don’t really want to kill need to be terminated for the murderer’s well-being or to avoid letting someone live with painful or unmanageable disabilities. Killers who find themselves facing any of these situations shouldn’t feel guilty for failing to keep the numbers low.
It stands to reason that if we ensure that non-violence is both readily available and easily affordable for active murderers of all ages, the need for murder may decrease as a result. That would be a laudable accomplishment and an indication of social progress for an America otherwise plagued by anti-murder religious conservatism, which is known for shaming killers’ natural tendencies.
Nevertheless, even in the face of such (hypothetical) strides, we must remember that extenuating circumstances like getting really angry, people who suck, and killing frenzies mean that murder will always be a normal, necessary, and reasonable choice for many people. As such, we must avoid stigmatizing it in any way. No murderer benefits from even the vaguest insinuation that murder is an immoral or objectionable option. That’s the weak argument made by murderer-hating, forced-life advocates, and it has no place in a dialogue about the freedom to kill. Terminating a life is not an unethical act, yet suggesting that murder should be rare implies that there is something undesirable about committing one.
Similarly, I’ve heard murderers’ rights activists claim that “no one likes murder,” in an attempt to find common ground with anti-killers. While it may be true that no one likes the physical act of killing (any more than she may like her yearly mammogram, life-saving chemotherapy, or temporarily uncomfortable dental surgery), a great many people like killing itself. They like knowing that an unwanted life does not have to yield unwanted results. They like knowing that their mental and physical health take precedence over a human who isn’t they. They like knowing that they own their bodies, and someone else’s. Many medical procedures are physically unpleasant, but that doesn’t lessen how grateful we are to have them available when we need them.
Suggesting that murder be “safe, legal, and rare,” and crowing that “no one likes murder,” accomplishes nothing for murderers’ rights. Pandering to the anti-choice movement by implying that we all find termination distasteful only fuels the fire against it. What good is common ground if it must be achieved at the expense of people who have committed or will commit murders? Those people need advocates like us more than we need support from anti-murderers. Rather than trying to cozy up to the forced-life camp, people who value their freedom should be proud to say that they like murder. In fact, they should venerate it wholeheartedly. Murder is our last refuge, the one final, definitive instrument that secures our bodily autonomy. What’s not to love?