AP Photo/Brennan Linsley
Oregon legislators had some ridiculous anti-gun bills up for consideration this year. Luckily, most of the worst died an ignoble death.
Unfortunately, those bills may be gone, but they’re far from forgotten. It seems anti-gun lawmakers have vowed to engage in a little political necromancy and raise at least one of those bills from the dead.
A multifaceted gun control bill pushed by Oregon Democrats may be dead this session, but advocates and opponents alike are confident it will return.
Senate Bill 978 was a casualty of the deal that got Senate Republicans to end their four-day walkout and return to the Capitol, allowing Democrats to pass a multibillion-dollar education revenue bill on May 13.
The move to include SB 978 in the trade disappointed gun control advocates inside and outside the Capitol, particularly since it dovetailed with the Moms Demand Action lobbying day two days later.
“We certainly had hopes that this would be a big year for sweeping gun control and gun regulation here in Oregon,” said Hilary Uhlig, state campaigns lead for Moms Demand Action in Oregon. “If it was too hard to stomach as a package, we are used to incremental change and we will keep working until we can stem the tide of gun death.”
The fact of the matter is that there’s nothing in that bill that will help “stem the tide of gun deaths.” What’s more, I’m becoming more and more convinced that they know it. I mean, how else can you look at a mass shooting or some other senseless tragedy, use it to justify a bill, then introduce bills that do nothing about the real problem?
SB 978 was a bill that was to fix a supposed oversight in how a previous measure was to be enforced. That measure lumped people who were never convicted of domestic violence into the same category as spousal abusers, meaning they would be unable to obtain firearms forever more. This, despite the lack of a felony conviction nor a conviction on a domestic violence charge.
Proponents call it the “boyfriend loophole,” but all it takes is someone claiming not just that they were assaulted, but they were dating the alleged attacker and their ability to own firearms ends. Nevermind that it can be very difficult to determine if that’s an accurate assessment or not. At least with marriages or those who cohabitate, we have records that support the assertion. Oregon’s measure didn’t do any of that.
The only saving grace was that there wasn’t a mechanism to take these poor schlubs’ guns.
The bill in question sought to change that.
The world has no use for spousal abusers. None whatsoever. I understand getting furious with your partner, but not trying to hurt them. I’m not about to defend that evil behavior in the least.
But what I will defend is the right of people who haven’t been charged with domestic violence being treated like those who have. Either change the domestic violence laws to include these men–including some mechanism for due process in establishing that a relationship did exist–or step off and give it up.
It’s that simple.