Posts Tagged ‘domestic batterers’

Shot By Your Own Gun? Gun Advocates Don’t Want to Talk About It

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

It has been more than two years since the Rev. Kenneth Walker was killed in Phoenix with a .357-caliber gun owned by his fellow priest Rev. Joseph Terra. Weeks later, New Jersey resident Stephen McMahon was killed with his own gun after an altercation outside his home. The same week minister Donald Frazier was killed with his own weapon during a botched robbery attempt at his home on the Fourth of July in suburban Houston. During a struggle, the intruder grabbed Frazier’s gun and shot him with it said authorities. Neighbors said they thought the gunshots were fireworks.

 

It is anathema to gun advocates but heavily armed “good guys” are often killed by “bad guys” anyway, sometimes with their own guns. In January of 2013, Frank Petro, longtime owner of Frank’s Gun & Taxidermy Shop was killed at his gun dealership in Conemaugh, PA. with his own gun. The next day, Keith Ratliff, business manager of the popular YouTube gun show FPSRussia was shot and killed in Carnesville, GA while surrounded with his guns. Ratliff’s show, which featured his friend Kyle Myers showing off the fire power of weapons and triggering explosions while faking a Russian accent, was viewed by millions. The next month “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, arguably the nation’s best shot, was shot and killed on a gun range—not exactly a gun-free zone.

 

When asked how gun experts and enthusiasts could be victims of the “bad guys” they are armed against, gun advocates always cite the element of “surprise” as if that weren’t the definition of gun crime. Do they think criminals will yell “draw” from a block away like the old West?

 

When it comes to armed people killed with their own guns, pro-gunners especially don’t want to talk about women. That is because telling women to “arm themselves too” is the way the gun lobby justifies its aggressive promotion of domestic abuser “gun rights.” Both Michigan and Louisiana have weighed “gun rights” against the rights of women to not be killed by intimate partners and SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas actually broke his decades long silence to weigh in on the issue. “Give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right,” he said, suggesting domestic abusers shouldn’t lose their ability to carry guns.

 

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Yet death at the hands of an armed, irate intimate partner is a leading cause of women’s deaths in the U.S. A year ago, Amanda Cloaninger and her friend Lindy Dobbins in St. Augustine, FLA were shot and killed by her husband hours after he received probation for violating an order of protection. Two days later, Blessing Okereke was shot and killed by her husband in the Bank of America tower in Dallas. The following day, Nuria N. Kudlach was fatally shot at her home in State College, PA– her husband was charged—and hours later Sonja Wells Raine was fatally shot on her job in Pascagoula, MS by her husband. Also shot by enraged husbands during the same week last summer but not killed were Francisca Jew at a donut shop in Devine, TX and an unidentified Arlington, WA woman.

 

Pro-gun lawmakers rely on the public’s short memory to avoid passing new guns laws. After 18 police officers were shot this summer by legal gun owners who passed their background checks despite clear red flags they went on vacation, hoping we will forget. After the Orlando massacre—the worst in U.S. history—they refused to even ban terrorist suspects from buying guns. Like domestic abusers, terrorist suspects apparently have “gun rights.”

Domestic Abuse Should Not Curtail Gun “Rights”–Justice Clarence Thomas

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

 

Recently Justice Clarence Thomas broke decades of silence to observe that the right to own a gun is constitutional and should not be infringed upon by a mere misdemeanor for domestic violence. His thinking–and states like Michigan and Louisiana which defend the “gun rights” of domestic abusers–is why beliefs about gun regulation often separate men from women.

 

Millions of women have current or ex partners who are violent and possessive. They drink too much, are emotionally unpredictable and prone to rages. When women try to leave them, they threaten, stalk and even shoot and kill the women. One source estimates a woman is shot by a husband or partner once a month in the US. In August five women were shot in five days.

 

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It is no coincidence that violent “exes” are so alike. There is a definite “domestic batterer” personality. The dark behavior begins with possessiveness and extreme suspicion and graduates into violence including violence against their partners’ pets. Many domestic batterers say “you’re never leaving me alive” and, despite orders of protection, their chilling prediction often comes through. No wonder the Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius trial brought so many flashbacks to abused women.

 

Pistorius claims he loved Reeva Steenkamp the girlfriend he fatally shot, but emails presented in his trial did not profess love. They criticized her for chewing gum and flirting with someone else at a party. Pistorius “loved” Reeva Steenkamp but did not check to see if she was in her bed (or in another safe place) before firing four shots into the bathroom to kill an “intruder” and killing her. Neighbors report hearing female screams before the shooting which Pistorius’ defense said was him. Right.

 

Pistorius, reported to be a gun lover by witnesses, also has a lot of contradictions about the murder itself. He claims to have heard the intruder but the prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, says a loud air treatment system nearby would have baffled the noise. He claims he was “afraid” of the intruder but ran toward the intruder rather than out of the house when an exit was close by.

 

Pistorius also denies firing a pistol in a restaurant in 2013, months before shooting his girlfriend and has no idea how it happened. “The athlete said he could not explain how the gun went off,” reports CNN. He was also reported to shoot out of his car when on the highway.

 

Like many gun lovers in the US, Pistorius mentions instances where he “defended” himself against criminals and stopped crimes while admitting that he never reported the incidents to law enforcement officials. Like so many US “carriers” he is such a believer in “good guys” defending themselves with guns that he lets “bad guys” get away–to strike again. Thanks Oscar. One gun lover told us with a straight face he did not want his gun rights and privacy “infringed” by reporting a criminal to police. He actually hates law enforcers and the tyrannical government more than the bad guys who will go on to hurt someone else.

 

Obviously not all gun lovers are domestic batterers or bullies. But many domestic batterers and bullies are gun lovers as reams of police records reveal. Even a top NRA official in New York had his stash of 39 guns removed when he was charged with assorted domestic related crimes. Women are three times as likely to be shot and killed by gun-wielding intimate partners than they are strangers–which is why the issue of “gun rights” for domestic abusers divides most men and women.

 

Violent Domestic Abusers Have Gun Rights Too–NRA

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

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!
 
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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.
 

Join our action to tell corporate America to get off the “sidelines” and take a stand against gun violence including the “can’t miss” sniper rifle sold to civilians. When corporations want sane gun laws, we will have sane gun laws. Follow us at @GunVictimsAct
 
 

IT'S THE GUNS, STUPID radio show–episode 9

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Here are clips from our June 12 IT’S THE GUNS, STUPID radio show

(EMAIL USERS: CLICK “READ MORE” TO VIEW THE VIDEOS)

Dr. Joan Burbick is author of the acclaimed book, Gun Show Nation, and Professor Emeritus of English at Washington State University. She consulted with PBS on a special documentary on gun culture last year.

The Fantasy Behind Guns (w/ Dr. Joan Burbick)

The Racist Roots of the Gun Movement (w/ Dr. Joan Burbick)

Dr. Marjorie Fujara is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Rush Medical College and a strong advocate for greater gun safety. She teaches residents and medical students about gun violence as a public health problem.

Why Guns Are A Medical Issue (w/ Dr. Marjorie Fujara)

A Doctor Explains the Impact of Gun Violence (w/ Dr. Marjorie Fujara)

What Does Hallmark Have to Do With Gun Violence? NGVAC CEO Elliot Fineman

Full show

Don't Reveal My Identity Say Proud Safe Gun Owners

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Martha Rosenberg

Senior Editor
National Gun Victims Action Council

Gun owners have gone ballistic, pun intended, over the Journal News publishing the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in two New York counties in December. Reaction has been so violent, it is apparent that the only thing gun extremists love more than the Second Amendment is an anonymous Second Amendment in which ownership is hidden and documents are sealed.

But there are several contradictions. First of all, these proud but anonymous people are asking for protection from the same jack booted government thugs whom they fear will grab their guns and against whom some are actually stockpiled. Why don’t they make up their mind? Is the government a friend or enemy or does it just depend?

Secondly, these are the same people who declare no one would put a sign in front of their home saying NO GUN and they are now fearing the opposite.  Do criminals target homes because they believe the home has no firearms or because they believe the home does? Or, again, does it just depend?

Third, these are the same people who dispute that more firearms mean more gun crimes and more armed criminals. They now admit the opposite and say criminals will steal their firearms when they are not at home if they know they have them. It doesn’t sound like the firearms keep them or society safe at all–unless the government they hate protects their identity.

Finally, the proud and loud gun owners always say they are the “good guys” protecting the world against the “bad guys.” But Journal News employees have received death threats, threats against their children and packets of white powder in the mail.  Doesn’t sound like the good guys are good guys at all. Plus they are armed.

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative reporter and editorial cartoonist whose commentary has appeared in the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, Atlantic Journal-Constitution, New Orleans Times-Picayune and other top US dailies.  Rosenberg began reporting about the gun industry in 2005 when shootings at the Red Lake Indian Reservation, a Wisconsin church service and a Wisconsin hunting area left 22 dead–and two of the shooters had passed background checks. She has appeared on CSPAN, the Ed Schulz show and numerous public radio shows.

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