NRA To Louisiana: Lady Beaters Are People Too, Should Have All The Guns

The National Rifle Association is doing what it does best, making sure that as many people have guns as possible, regardless of insignificant little details like the possibility that they might not be ideal Armed Citizens. Like, for instance, people found guilty of domestic violence. In Louisiana, where it's already illegal for people convicted of domestic violence against a member of their household to own firearms, the NRA helped gut a bill that would have kept firearms out of the hands of those who committed violence against people they dated but don't live with.

State Rep. Helena Moreno (D) hoped to close this loophole with legislation that expanded the state’s definition of domestic abuse battery to include violence against a “household member, family member or dating partner.” Thus, a man who beats his girlfriend would not be able to remain armed simply because the two of them live apart.

But that was a bit too much for the NRA, which stirred up enough opposition to the changes that the "dating partner" language was dropped from the bill. After all, why should A True Patriot not have the right to prevent tyranny just because he (or she, it happens sometimes, as Men's Rights Activists happily remind us) beats up a romantic partner? The Founders of this great country didn't say anything about beating up on dates, so why should modern laws?

Now, you may recall that there was a brief moment last spring when the NRA seemed open to states -- including Louisiana -- placing some restrictions on firearms ownership for people in domestic violence cases. It seemed weird at the time, and we attributed it to the group maybe having, if not a conscience, at least a momentary awareness that the group wasn't helped a lot by headlines like "NRA Supports Gun Rights For Spouse Abusers."

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But apparently that was just a passing fad, or at the very least, the group sees a huge difference between abusers who live with their victims and those who only visit and maybe get to leave a toothbrush for sleep-overs. The latter victims presumably have the option of arming themselves and standing their ground, which makes the shootout a lot more sporting.

The revised bill also got rid of some other language the NRA had a problem with, such as removing strangulation from the category of "severe bodily injury" that would prohibit someone from having a gun. This should be of great help to abusive partners, who can keep a handy checklist: If you punch your domestic partner, you might lose your gun, but if you choke her (or him, yeah yeah), it's no big. Presumably, you could even keep your gun if you drag her down the stairs by her neck. The revised bill also dropped provisions creating a felony level crime of stalking, and stripped out a ban on firearms for those convicted of stalking, presumably because even stalkers need to be able to protect themselves from other bad guys. Those 3 AM stakeouts behind your ex's apartment can force you to park in some pretty sketchy back alleys, after all.

Among other objections to the "dating partner" provisions, some witnesses worried that it would invite abuse, since it could encourage women, who are natural liars anyway, to falsely accuse men of domestic abuse, just to disarm them. Another fretted that the restriction could apply to people even if they had only been on a single date, when everyone knows that in every relationship, you get one free punch.

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Now that the bill has been watered down to the NRA's satisfaction, it is expected to pass the full House. It does at least add "family members" to the category of victims protected by the domestic violence statute, and increases some penalties for violation of protective orders. Mostly, though, it ensures that people who beat up their dates can keep their guns, which ought to make ISIS think twice before attacking any LSU frat houses.

[ / ThinkProgress]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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