In a recent email blast, Johnston asked his fellow Ohioans to help support his personhood cause by buying some assault weapons from his personal collection. “I’m selling some of my favorite things — some powerful rifles and ammo,” the Personhood Ohio director wrote.
“I’m a firm believer that the Second Amendment protects the future of freedom, but not as much as justice for the preborn,” Johnston’s email continued. “The shedding of innocent blood will bring God’s wrath on the land — and then you can wave freedom goodbye. So protecting Ohio’s children is more important than securing your right to keep and bear arms.”
Johnston put three of his own firearms, as well as 2,550 rounds of ammo, up for auction on his Facebook page. The Ohio-based blog Plunderbund reports that Johnston’s guns all use the same kind of ammunition as an AK 47. Two of them include high capacity magazines and one has a drum that holds 100 rounds. In the past, Johnston has attempted to raise money by offering to enter people into a raffle to win $5,000 if they signed onto a personhood petition.
The personhood movement is struggling in states other than Ohio, too. Personhood advocates’ push to endow zygotes with the rights of U.S. citizens hasn’t won support from other Republicans or other anti-abortion groups. The Supreme Court has confirmed that personhood is “clearly unconstitutional,” and it’s failed to take hold in conservative states like Oklahoma and Mississippi. The one notable exception is North Dakota, where the state legislature passed a personhood amendment that will be on the ballot in 2014.
Johnston construes it as “justice for the preborn,” but legal abortion services is a constitutional right just like gun ownership — although a woman’s ability to exercise that right currently varies widely depending on the state where she lives. Across the country, there are more waiting periods to get an abortion than there are to get a gun. And even outside of waiting period requirements, the other types of anti-abortion restrictions that have been enacted on the state level have ensured that it’s much harder to get an abortion than it is to purchase a firearm.