More than three fourths of domestic homicide victims are stalked before they are killed. Yet both stalking and domestic abuse are only misdemeanors in Louisiana. Recently the NRA and other pro-gun groups came at Louisiana lawmakers who were considering stronger regulations against domestic violence with both barrels blazing.
The bill under consideration would add “dating partner” as a qualifier for domestic abuse battery charges which currently only name household members such as spouses, family members or co-habitants. Ray Rice, the former Baltimore Ravens running back caught on video battering his fiancé in an elevator, would likely not be covered under current Louisiana domestic battery laws said Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans, the bill’s sponsor. The bill would also enhance penalties for violations of protective orders.
But the bill would violate “gun rights” said gun lobbyists descending upon Baton Rouge. “We don’t need to rush to take away people’s rights just because they made a mistake,” Bradley Gulotta, from Guns Across America told lawmakers. “Not everyone who got in an argument–had a push, had a shove–is gong to come back and do more bodily harm or be a danger to other people.” Let’s give the pushers and shovers the benefit of the doubt …and their firearms? Beside, what if the person had only had “one date” whined gun lobbyists–no fair!
The NRA’s Tara Mitchell agreed that strengthening laws would take away “citizens civil rights.” The proposed 10-year prohibition on gun owning for convicted batterers violates “a constitutional right” and is “just not something we can support” she told lawmakers.
NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker was not present at the hearings but echoed the pro-domestic batterer rhetoric in an email to the Times-Picayune. The bill “is so overly broad that it could make a felon out of a girlfriend who pulls a cell phone from her boyfriend’s hand against his will.” Or a man who pummels and drags his girlfriend in an elevator?
Both Mitchell and Bakers said the answer to domestic violence was enforcing existing laws–which, of course, deem stalking and domestic battery misdemeanors.
The gun lobby’ work to restore “gun rights” of convicted felons, suspected batterers under orders of protection and people who have been hospitalized with mental illness is well publicized. Why should violent or disturbed people have guns? Because if you take away their “gun rights” pretty soon we will all be disarmed and living under violent fascist dictatorships like the oppressed peoples in EU countries, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
“When you begin taking away the rights of people that you don’t like, that’s the slippery slope,” said NRA lobbyist Marion P. Hammer when the Sun Sentinel reported that valid concealed weapon licenses were issued to 1,400 probable felons including a man who shot his girlfriend as she cooked breakfast, a pizza deliveryman wanted for fatally shooting a 15-year-old over a stolen order of chicken wings and six registered sex offenders. People “you don’t like?”
Domestic violence allegations have touched the top echelons of the NRA. The wife of the NRA’s own New York City field representative Richard D’Alauro, Maribeth testified on Capitol Hill that she endured years of bullying and abuse from the NRA honcho. D’Alauro possessed 39 guns when charged with assault, harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. Nice.
The truth is the gun lobby is okay with US domestic violence deaths–estimated at 1,000 a year, mostly women–to preserve the “gun rights” of its constituency also known as its revenue stream.
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