A New NRA Program On Domestic Abuse Actually Increases The Chances Of Being Abused.

In their endless and uncompromising quest to make sure that all Americans understand the risks of gun ownership (read: there are no risks,) the NRA has just announced a partnership with the gun blog Bearing Arms, to help celebrate Domestic Violence Awareness Month which takes place every October and even rates a Presidential Proclamation issued by the guy who has finally been granted American citizenship by Donald Trump.

domestic            THE NRA has been tirelessly promoting gun sales to women ever since they discovered that most of the guns that were scooped up since the Kenyan entered the White House were bought by the same old, white men.  And the problem with the white-man market is that as a percentage of people living in the United States, it’s not getting any larger, which means that at a certain point gun sales will begin to lag. In fact, the most recent survey on how many Americans actually own guns revealed that less than one-quarter of U.S. adults are gun owners, which means that Gun-nut Nation’s ‘chicken in every pot’ dream of a gun in every home just isn’t coming true.

Of course the new collaboration between the NRA and Bearing Arms isn’t what people think about when the issue of domestic violence is raised.  For most of us, advocating against domestic violence means making treatment options for abused persons more available, streamlining the process for seeking legal protection against abuse, and toughening sanctions against abusers who are charged and convicted of engaging in a domestic assault.

Last year and the year before that and the year before that, women constituted 20% of all homicide victims of whom roughly half were murdered with guns. Most killings where a gun was used grow out of domestic disputes, and many result in the injuring or killing of other family members as well.  Some states make it relatively easy to disarm people involved in domestics, other states make it more difficult, and still other states have disarming laws and procedures that are so complex and so vague that usually nothing is done at all.

But if there is one consistent area when it comes to domestic abuse and guns, it has been the NRA’s opposition to disarming people involved in such affairs.  On occasion, the NRA has quietly supported legislation that disarms persons accused or convicted of domestic abuse, but generally speaking, until a guy is actually convicted of beating up his wife or girlfriend, and even in some instances after being convicted, he can still hold onto his guns or petition the Court to get them returned.  In some states, the same Judge who issues an Order of Protection has no legal basis for issuing an order that would remove guns from the possession of the person who was told to stay away from his wife.  Which means that if the guy decides to violate the Order, he can show up on her doorstep with a gun.

The NRA and Bearing Arms calls this an effort to strengthen one’s ‘personal protection plan,’ and it involves getting shooting ranges to offer training discounts to individuals who are holding an ‘active’ order of protection, which means, of course, that abuse victims also have to own a gun.  The new NRA-Bearing Arms program is a cynical attempt to pretend that the best response to domestic violence is for an abused spouse or girlfriend to respond with violence as well.

 I am not arguing that anyone facing the threat of physical abuse should necessarily rule out any effective response, even if that response increases risk.  But if a victim of domestic abuse decides to arm themselves, they should be aware that there is no credible study which shows that access to a gun is either effective or safe; to the contrary, the odds they will hurt themselves or some other unintended person is a more probable outcome if they have access to a gun. And that’s not something that Gun-nut Nation will ever understand.

 

To reach an advocate at the National Domestic Violence Hotline call: 1-800-799-SAFE

Website for information and to access chat services: www.thehotline.org and www.loveisrespect.org (the latter is for youth)

Youth can text Loveisrespect services by texting “love is” to 22522

 

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8 thoughts on “A New NRA Program On Domestic Abuse Actually Increases The Chances Of Being Abused.

  1. Complex subject and nice essay, Mike. Legislation creating gun violence restraining orders, if that is what they are called when a judge can seize one’s collection, have been passed in several states. But without a universal gun registration program, its not clear to me that they would be fully enforceable without a search warrant to go along with the restraining order. Also, some due process procedures, means of challenging the order, and a start and an end to an order is important. Legislatures and courts can work those out but I’ve read enough Albuquerque Journal stories about family violence erupting into lethal gunfire that I am on board. Simply adding more guns to the mix, aka, Maslow’s Handgun, doesn’t solve the problem. It just gives the impression that the only way to reduce domestic violence is to threaten even more lethal violence.

    But we can’t ensure that everyone who needs it will get violence counseling. Or, that people will make good choices. There are three people in jail held without bond in Albuquerque right now because a single mom hooked up with a lunatic and both were doing meth. They, and another “friend” drugged, raped, murdered, and dismembered the woman’s ten year old daughter. According to police reports, they did it for shits and grins, not dope money.

    As a friend of a friend, who teaches English at a small college, likes to say, “the basic problem is that a lot of people are stupid”. Its impossible to protect all people from their bad choices, but I guess we have to at least make some effort to try. I would start with better education and immediate access to family intervention services (we used some of those when I was a kid in a strife-torn home–fortunately, no one ever contemplated gunfire as a solution). Therein likes the other part of the problem. The war between those who want to expand government to protect us from our failures and those who want to minimize the role of government in our lives and use a more Darwinian approach. Sigh.

  2. As always the NRA takes little if no responsibility for it’s actions and if you haven’t lived through domestic violence like everything else you won’t understand the totality of it. I won’t share my entire story because I think I already have with you. My Mom left my Dad and had her lover move in when I was 12, sister was 10. I heard my first slap a week later. As always the abuse escalated, so many nights we didn’t sleep. Often we’d sit at the top of the stairs I with a knife waiting for the right time to run down and jump on his back and stab him. She’d kick him out and bring him back, a revolving door. You get to the point where you gain this 6th sense as to when the next eruption was to happen. We left once and sister and I were in the back of the truck I pulled her down before the 1st bullet whizzed by.

    So here’s my point. I think having a gun to protect yourself is OK, but this is what happens in reality if you use the gun. Do you know how many women are in prison because they finally snapped and killed their abuser? The laws are such that you have to be in his/her grasp practically to claim self defense. Does this make sense? NO. You cannot shoot the abuser at the safest time and not go to prison. He could have just punched you and walked out of the room and you shoot him in the back. Not to mention that the justice system is full of misogyny. So when a woman really needs the help often it’s not there. I’ve read an article where some believe women/men who have murdered their abuser should be granted amnesty.

    Domestic abusers do not change and if they do it isn’t often. I suggest we let women compose new, real serious domestic abuse laws. I really would like to see a public list of domestic abusers same as sex offenders. And not to take guns from abusers is so awful, mean, shitty I can’t stand it. Also CSPOA, Oath Keepers need to be weeded out asap. Their love of the 2A can easily cost the life of the abused. Mom’s abuser, our abuser died a few years back, he kept beating women until he died of cancer. I relished it.

  3. Anna nails it.

    I too think that having a gun to protect yourself should be an individual decision, but one made with a lot of information at hand, not some idealistic notion of warding off a bad guy. For example, in the situation Anna describes, how is one supposed to retrieve the gun in close quarters while being assaulted? The distances in a home vs. the old police Tueller Drill comes to mind. And there is the problem of constantly living with the threat and needing to be armed. And as Anna points out, if a despondent person, tired of being used as a punching bag, shoots an abuser opportunistically rather than when being assaulted, she (usually it is a she, but I was once a jury foreman on a domestic violence case where the man was the punching bag) is indicted for homicide or at minimum, has to live with the trauma of that event.

    We need to fix these problems before they end up as crimes of violence. The effects of domestic violence long outlive the actual events, and are the gifts that keep on giving.

  4. Thanks for this article. It hits home for me. I have mentioned before about my aunt who was a victim of murder suicide along with her new boyfriend. She was a gun owner and from a gun family and knew how to shoot. It didn’t help her to defend herself! She was asleep with her new boyfriend and her ex boyfriend entered the house and killed both of them and them himself. This is reality. This is what happens in the real world. The NRA is not in the real world. They only promote gun ownership to help the gun industry. That is their only objective, not saving lives.

    • There seems to be this super bullet someplace, in a magazine/clip. There are so many variables no person could say if I, or if I could… and yet they dream of the magic bullet. I remember this riding many courses, if only if Port and I could bang that fence together. I just think Libraries are kick ass and this is where we settle.

  5. Reblogged this on Mister Journalism: "Reading, Sharing, Discussing, Learning" and commented:
    THE NRA has been tirelessly promoting gun sales to women ever since they discovered that most of the guns that were scooped up since the Kenyan entered the White House were bought by the same old, white men. And the problem with the white-man market is that as a percentage of people living in the United States, it’s not getting any larger, which means that at a certain point gun sales will begin to lag. In fact, the most recent survey on how many Americans actually own guns revealed that less than one-quarter of U.S. adults are gun owners, which means that Gun-nut Nation’s ‘chicken in every pot’ dream of a gun in every home just isn’t coming true.

    Of course the new collaboration between the NRA and Bearing Arms isn’t what people think about when the issue of domestic violence is raised. For most of us, advocating against domestic violence means making treatment options for abused persons more available, streamlining the process for seeking legal protection against abuse, and toughening sanctions against abusers who are charged and convicted of engaging in a domestic assault.

    Last year and the year before that and the year before that, women constituted 20% of all homicide victims of whom roughly half were murdered with guns. Most killings where a gun was used grow out of domestic disputes, and many result in the injuring or killing of other family members as well. Some states make it relatively easy to disarm people involved in domestics, other states make it more difficult, and still other states have disarming laws and procedures that are so complex and so vague that usually nothing is done at all.

    But if there is one consistent area when it comes to domestic abuse and guns…

    • NIJ says 68% of murders were committed with guns overall so “roughly half (of women) were murdered with guns” is not surprising. The issue, as you suggest, is interdicting in domestic dysfunction before violence spins outa control.

      That said, women are as entitled to own guns for self defense as men and its their choice, not ours. But I would suggest making such a decision based on facts, not advertising hype.

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