The Violence Against Women Act was introduced by Bill Clinton in 1994. Since then, it has helped fight violence against women and given protection to female victims of violence. This law expired in February and voting for legislation will be this week; however, the N.R.A is attempting to block the reauthorization.
Currently, the abuser is denied access to a weapon if he or she lives with the victim, was married to the victim or had children with the victim. The new changes would broaden this to persons who could be charged with domestic abuse such as current partners or stalkers. The N.R.A believes this is too broad and unjust.
What is unjust is that women make up 85 percent of domestic violence victims. What is unjust is that out of all female homicide victims, one-third of them were killed, by male partners. What is unjust is that the risk of homicide skyrockets 500 percent when a gun is involved with domestic violence.
This provision would close the loophole that allows non-domestic partners to gain access to a gun even if they have a history of violence. It is more than permissible to stop any form of abuser from access to a firearm even if it runs the risk of being “too broad.” It is not taking away the guns of persons who have not committed a crime. The law is merely closing a gap that is frankly dangerous to female victims.
The N.R.A’s dislike of the provision has no leg to stand on. They blatantly ignore the risk that guns pose to females in IPV situations to protect gun owners who do not deserve protection. A history of violence or stalking immediately increases the risk of further violence. Violence that would be made worse by a gun.
Not all guns must be protected. Especially not ones in the hands of abusers. The N.R.A needs to realize that they, and the gun owners they are fighting for, are not the victims here; it is the thousands of women who have died at the hands of an abuser and the future females who deserve more protection than they are getting now.