In the wake of Sunday’s horrific attack in Las Vegas, people are calling—once again—for the United States to finally adopt reasonable gun control measures. On social media, one of the most powerful quotes going around highlights the disparity between how a man purchasing a firearm is treated versus a woman seeking an abortion.
There are a few versions going around, but here’s the gist:
“I want any young men who buy a gun to be treated like young women who seek an abortion. Think about it: a mandatory 48-hours waiting period, written permission from a parent or a judge, a note from a doctor proving that he understands what he is about to do, time spent watching a video on individual and mass murders, traveling hundreds of miles at his own expense to the nearest gun shop, and walking through protestors holding photos of loved ones killed by guns, protestor who call him a murderer. After all, it makes more sense to do this for young men seeking guns than for young women seeking an abortion. No young woman needing reproductive freedom has ever murdered a roomful of strangers.”
You’ve probably seen some iteration of this on your Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook feeds in the past couple days. In the most popular version, a portion of the text has been made into a shareable image, with the quote attributed to Gloria Steinem.
However, as The Cut first pointed out, Steinem didn’t actually say this. The confusion, though, is understandable—she did include the quote in a 2015 Facebook post listing the top ten things she wanted for Christmas. (There are also a few good Trump zingers in there, if you’re interested.)
So who is responsible for the quote? We still aren’t sure, to be honest, although HuffPost attributed the quote in 2015 to a Facebook user named Brian Murtagh. His original post has since been deleted.
The general idea, though, seems to stem from a 2013 article by William Hamby on Examiner.com called “What if gun laws were like abortion laws?” (The article is no longer available online, as Examiner.com closed last year.) So at least partial credit is due to Hamby here.
And whoever’s responsible for the rest, thanks. You’ve made a fan of Gloria Steinem, and that’s extremely cool.