AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
The term “domestic violence” shouldn’t be a problem. Combatting it is a bipartisan issue. Disagreement usually revolves around what to do about it, not whether it’s a problem or not.
For some time now, it’s been illegal for individuals convicted of domestic violence to own firearms. That’s true even of those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses. More importantly, there’s been no effort to repeal those measures.
However, there have been moves to expand the list of those impacted.
In Oregon, though, the state seems to be focused on increasing enforcement of the law as written.
The Oregon House moved Tuesday to close a loophole that allowed domestic abusers to illegally hold on to their firearms.
Lawmakers voted 43-15 in favor of stronger enforcement mechanisms for a 2015 bill that prevents those with domestic violence or stalking convictions from carrying firearms.
House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, who sponsored the measure, said that although the 2015 bill banned domestic abusers from owning guns, that law didn’t lay out exactly how courts would take away those firearms. Some domestic abusers were able to hold on to their weapons by avoiding court hearings.
Williamson’s proposal would mandate domestic abusers submit a notice to the court that they have dispossessed themselves of their weapons, otherwise they’ll be charged with contempt.
The Democrat from Portland said that extra enforcement mechanisms are necessary because “firearms and domestic violence are a deadly combination.”
At least 32 people died in domestic violence related incidents in 2017, according to Oregon Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. Of those, 19 were killed by firearms. Nationally, women are five times more likely to be killed when their abuser has access to a gun, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Now, here’s where I usually break down my opinions of the bill and tell you why it’s a horrible bill, a useless bill, or a great one. Whatever applies.
And that puts me in a predicament I don’t really like.
You see, I have no use for domestic abusers. None at all. In fact, my wife will sometimes tell the story of how I darted across the street in front of our home in the dark of night, dodging cars, to chase off a man who was beating up his girlfriend (no, I had no idea what I would do if he hadn’t run away).
I have no use for men who beat on women.
I won’t defend them.
But I do defend the Second Amendment, and my concern isn’t for domestic abusers. It’s for two groups of people. One is those who are falsely accused. We all know that happens, and there’s bound to be disagreement on how prevalent it is. They’re treated like criminals of among the worst kinds, and they did nothing wrong.
Plus, they get stripped of their Second Amendment rights because of it.
The other group is whoever falls into the anti-gunners’ crosshairs next.
You see, the problem here is the proverbial slippery slope. While Oregon is telling people who federal law already says can’t have guns to turn them in, there’s bound to be a group later who will be lumped into that same category.
Couple that with all you’re demanding is that they say they got rid of their guns, and there’s nothing to celebrate here. For either side, if you think about it.