When the Violence Against Women act expired, many figured it would soon be renewed. After all, there weren’t exactly a lot of controversial parts to the law. Most people backed it to some degree. Those that didn’t were, often, people who were people who violated laws covered in the act.
However, House Democrats decided that the law as it stood wasn’t good enough. They wanted to add a bunch of provisions that would create real problems for gun owners.
The measure has stalled, but that doesn’t stop many from trying to push for it.
It’s been almost three decades since the Violence Against Women Act was enacted in 1994. Originally signed by then-President Bill Clinton, with heavy support from 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (who, at the time, was a senator for Delaware), the legislation has provided billions of dollars toward investigating and prosecuting violent crimes against women. It also led to the creation of the Office on Violence Against Women, a component of the Department of Justice that strengthens services for survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The law created a national hotline for victims of domestic violence. It funded shelters and crisis centers and supported law enforcement training in communities across the country to properly investigate violent acts against women and support survivors.
To say the least, the VAWA changed the way Americans understand and fundamentally view violence against women. Between 1994 (when the law was created) and 2010, intimate partner violence dropped by more than 60 percent, according to the Department of Justice. Multiple experts say the VAWA played a huge role in that decline.
Since it was signed into law, the VAWA has been renewed every five years, each time introducing new provisions to better protect women from violence. The 2019 update of the VAWA, for example, included a proposal to close what’s called the “boyfriend loophole.” Right now, federal law prevents domestic abusers from having guns, but only if the abuser is married to (or was married to), lives with, or has a child with the victim. This means there’s nothing stopping abusive dating partners from accessing guns, even if they have a criminal record of domestic violence. Considering that homicides committed by dating partners have been increasing for three decades; the fact that women are nearly as likely to be killed by dating partners as by spouses; and the fact that the mere presence of a gun in domestic violence situations can increase a woman’s homicide risk by as much as 500 percent, it’s never been more important to close the “boyfriend loophole.”
The problem, of course, is that it’s really difficult to establish whether someone is currently someone else’s “boyfriend.” Especially when they don’t live together. At that point, you get into a he said/she said kind of mess that proponents of the law have failed to really address in all their screeching.
Of course, if Democrats were serious about renewing all the good the Violence Against Women Act has supposedly done, then why don’t they just drop the controversial position and pass it as is, then try to cram in the “boyfriend loophole” provisions afterward, particularly when they control Congress? Oh, it’s because they don’t actually care about violence against women.
However, there’s an alternative to much of this, particular laws that bar non-felons from owning firearms. After all, that’s really what the issue with the so-called “boyfriend loophole” is, right?
The answer is to raise this laws to the level of a felony.
At that point, they’re violent felons and even Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett–someone who argued in her dissent that not all felons should be barred from owning guns–would agree that they should be prevented from owning firearms.
Frankly, this should be non-controversial, at least among the left. After all, if they’re prepared to violate someone’s lifetime of civil liberties over these charges, surely they don’t mind potentially sending someone to prison for a year because of it. Right?
If not, then the overall claims are absolute male bovine excrement.
Should they believe that the offense isn’t sufficient for felony-like penalties, then they simply don’t think the crimes are particularly significant and it’s nothing more than a power grab to disarm a larger portion of the American public.
I think we all know which it really is.