I’m not a big fan of perpetually punishing people. Especially after they get out of prison. As it is, I believe our system’s desire to keep punishing folks even after their sentence is complete contributes to our recidivist problem in this country. How can people get on the straight and narrow when every boot is kicking them off of it due to past mistakes?
In Michigan, they’re looking to do just that with people termed as domestic abusers.
Domestic violence survivors and responsible gun owners spoke out Thursday supporting two bills being debated in the legislature that would protect survivors of domestic violence from their armed abusers.
Currently people with domestic violence convictions can legally possess or own guns three years after finishing their sentence. House Bills 4945 and 4946 would extend that to eight years.
Every year, about 70 women and children are killed by their abusers, according to Everytown For Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control.
“I have sat at that hotel room door waiting for the monster who is coming, and the last thing we need are monsters who can kill at a distance,” Jonathan Gold, President for Giffords Gun Owners for Safety in Michigan, said.
I have no doubt that’s terrifying. However, since Mr. Gold touts his extensive gun training and NRA instructor certification in his Giffords bio, I’m just curious why he was waiting in a hotel room for a monster while unarmed.
It would be less terrifying for me if I had a gun that I could use to defend myself.
But this isn’t about Gold. It’s about domestic abusers, and no one wants to defend these guys. However, the law, as it stands, doesn’t just give them their gun rights back. They have to wait three years before that happens, and that would be three years of no further domestic violence convictions.
If someone gets their crap in order, learns to stop being that kind of monster, should we continue to punish them indefinitely for the sins of the past? I’m not a big fan of that for any crime, so this isn’t going to be any different.
The above article goes on to quote survivors of domestic violence from Michigan, but none of those quotes are from people who endured anything three years after their abuser got out of prison. I think that’s important, because if people aren’t seeing an issue, why should the law change?
Yes, domestic abusers are bad people, but do they inherently remain so? If they don’t, should their punishment be extended indefinitely simply because some people would feel better?
If these people feel that strongly, why aren’t they pushing to just make all domestic abuse crimes felonies? That would resolve the issue quite well, especially if these people are really so vile and irredeemable that they should be denied their rights in perpetuity.
The fact that such a thing isn’t on the table is all the evidence I need to know this is about shifting things so we’re comfortable denying gun rights to people over increasingly smaller stuff. Yes, domestic violence is bad, but so are a lot of other things that we don’t even make illegal.
Michigan is making the wrong move here, not because domestic abusers are good people but because it won’t stop with domestic abusers.