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How to protect stalkers and other lowlifes
June 25, 2014 - John Stack
Senator Amy Klobuchbar (D- Minnesota) has proposed legislation to restrict convicted stalkers from owning guns (S.1290). Her bill would also expand who falls under restrictions for domestic abuse to be prohibited from owning guns. Federal law already prohibits those convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse of purchasing firearms. She is trying to expand the definition of those covered by ‘domestic violence’. Currently, many laws ONLY cover a spouse who has been convicted of domestic abuse. Her bill would add ‘intimate partners’ to the list. Sounds like a good common sense bill. Don’t we want to keep guns from the bad people? Isn’t this what both gun rights activists and gun control advocates both want? It would seem so, unless of course, you are the NRA.
The NRA and their leader, Wayne LaPierre continues to be ignorant of common decency. There seems to be no one that they would really want to bar from having a gun. The NRA even wants convicted violent felons to be able to be free of charges if they use a gun claiming ‘stand your ground’ self-defense (Georgia bill SB-60) . So, a violent felon, barred from life from owning a gun, won’t get in trouble for using a gun in a situation that he quite possibly could have fostered himself (see Zimmerman, A). but back to the regular story.
The NRA so wants to minimize domestic violence, that they took the incredible leap of saying this bill would”turn disputes between family members into lifetime firearm prohibitions”. Trying to evoke some type of support from the LGBT community, he equates a shoving match between two equally sized gay men could be a way this bill could be misused. Now, the bill doesn’t say anything about complaints, or issues or misunderstandings. It has to do with people convicted of a VIOLENT offense. To take the NRAs position, if you are in a domestic relationship, a committed ten year relationship with children, but not a marriage certificate, and you beat up your girlfriend and leave her physically and emotionally scarred, and spend 5 years in prison, the gun prohibition should not apply to him. If they had married, the bill is OK to be applied to them.
The NRA also attempts to pooh-pooh the injuries a stalker inflicts upon their victim. They claim ‘stalking’ is “too broad a term” to indicate any danger to women. The NRA also argues that constitutional scholars also believe this could be an infringement on first Amendment rights. But, to even claim so would be very unscrupulous (or as the NRA says ‘normal scope of business). The stalking laws are already there. This bill would cover those that have been convicted of stalking. So, at best the NRA can fight against stalking laws (nothing is below them, so that’s not exactly just theoretical) as at some point being unconstitutional. But if the stalking law is unconstitutional, that person wouldn’t be covered under this law to begin with. Not to mention that it is incredibly hard to get a stalking conviction. Stalking is not showing up at a neighborhood bar you know your ex frequents because you miss them. Stalking is quite explicit. In fact, to be convicted of stalking, federal law says (in part’ – “with the intent to harass and would be reasonably expected to cause (even if it doesn’t succeed in causing) substantial emotional distress to another person. Ask John Lennon if he thinks stalkers are dangerous. Or Sandra Bullock. How about the seminal case of Tatiana Tarasoff and Prosenjit Poddar? This is the case which the USSC ruled that mental health professionals have a duty to forego confidentiality and warn individuals who are threatened by their patients. (This is a stalker case where the woman was shot by a pellet gun then stabbed to death because of unrequited love).
The NRA has their place in protecting lawful gun owners’ rights. But when their obsession to gun rights is as much based upon ignorance and fear, they do lawful gun owners a disservice and cause shame and loss of integrity of the organization itself.
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