AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane
If there’s one website that’s guaranteed to make me roll my eyes to the point they fall out of my head, it’s the feminist website, Jezebel. While I believe everyone should be treated equally regardless of things like sex, race, or who they prefer to sleep with, the folks at Jezebel typically spout off about crap that should make anyone roll their eyes.
Take, for example, how they phrase the National Rifle Association’s opposition to a provision in the new Violence Against Women Act.
As public pressure continues to mount in favor of stricter gun control laws, and while Republicans are becoming increasingly vulnerable to such calls, the National Rifle Association is ramping up its own pressure campaigns. The powerful gun lobby is currently helping Republicans in Congress advocate against the Violence Against Women Act because of provisions that help prevent stalkers and abusers from owning guns.
The National Journal reports that Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee and other members of the House have asked the NRA to “issue a key-vote alert against Democrats’ VAWA legislation” prior to the vote next week. The idea is that this would also pressure Republicans from voting on the measure because it could result in losing points on their NRA rating, a powerful tool in the NRA’s arsenal come election time.
When reached for comment about VAWA and the NRA’s history of opposing red-flag provisions, the NRA’s media liaison Catherine Mortensen told Jezebel that “permanently losing a fundamental civil right for a misdemeanor conviction is virtually unheard of outside the Second Amendment context, so this bill is a clear attempt to treat the Second Amendment as a second-class right.” She called the bill “a smokescreen for its real goal—banning firearms ownership.”
Now, Mortensen is correct. There are no other rights we’re willing to take away from people over a misdemeanor conviction. Ever. The idea of denying someone the right to vote over a simple assault charge, for example, isn’t even discussed.
But what Jezebel isn’t saying, is that federal law already blocks abusive spouses from being able to buy guns. That’s already on the books.
The issue is that the new bill would also include people who are convicted of crimes that aren’t felonies and aren’t considered domestic violence under the law.
Jezebel makes a big deal over stalkers in their post, invoking the name of the Capital Gazette killer and his stalking history, but what they’re forgetting is that anti-stalking laws in many states fall under the same charges as some non-stalking crimes. These aren’t felonies either, nor do they represent a legitimate danger for anyone.
This web would mean non-stalkers may well lose their right to keep and bear arms under this bill due to the nature of how things may be phrased.
The biggest problem isn’t that the NRA opposes women being safe. They don’t. No, the real problem is that outlets like Jezebel want gun rights denied to people who have no felony convictions, perhaps in part so they can then use it to justify denying those rights to the next group who have no felony convictions. This is the epitome of the slippery slope.
Look, if Jezebel thinks these crimes are so serious that they deserve a lifetime ban from one’s constitutional rights, then fine. Lobby to make them felonies. Make the case, convince lawmakers to make these crimes felonies, and then the NRA won’t have a say either way.
“Oh, they’re not that serious,” someone might say.
To that, I simply reply, “Exactly.”