An armed ottoman is a polite ottoman

[contextly_sidebar id="Di6BbxfK18LX5eu0T8qikEvQxBvjalhp"]The Virginia Legislature just can't seem to decide how it feels, exactly, about the issue of domestic violence and guns. In 2014, it voted to not allow guns for anyone convicted of domestic abuse, stalking or sexual battery, which left a lot of abusive guys and their very principled protectors in the NRA feeling vulnerable. Then in 2015 a Senate committee voted back and forth on the issue a couple times (with attendant accusation of procedural jiggery and pokery), with the ultimate outcome that while people convicted of misdemeanor abuse can still buy guns, there is at least a prohibition on anyone purchasing a gun while there's a protective order in effect against them. But ha-ha, they can still keep any guns they already have! So in what appears to be an annual ritual, the Virginia Lege is taking another shot, as it were, at figuring out how to keep abuse victims safe in our increasingly armed, increasingly polite society. This time around, some Republicans figure, why not encourage abuse victims to get a gun to at least even up the odds?

The proposal is one of several measures being introduced with the aim of preventing violence against women and to "empower women in crisis." Not all of them are completely insane, even, though were are of course contractually obliged to look at the crazy shit first. That would be a bill by House of Delegates member C. Todd Gilbert, which would

allow anyone legally able to own a gun to gain automatic rights to carry a concealed handgun by taking out a protective order. Women in crisis, Gilbert said, should be able to protect themselves without having to "wait in line" to get a concealed-carry permit.

It's sort of an express lane for a concealed carry permit, for anyone who really, really thinks they need to shoot someone right away, but doesn't want to have to go through the bother of taking the pro forma required in-person or online "training" course. Taking a lesson in legislative drama from James Inhofe and his impressive snowball trick, Gilbert proved conclusively that a protective order by itself is worthless anyway:

To illustrate his argument, Gilbert held up a piece of paper representing a protective order.

"It does not stop bullets. It does not stop knives," Gilbert said.

The point would have been made so much more clearly if he'd slashed the paper to shreds with a butcher knife -- we assume that would be allowed on the floor of the House of Delegates, given that it was OK for lunatic former Del. Joe Morrissey to wave around an AK-47 a couple years back.

Remember him?

[contextly_sidebar id="E24gvKvxrvosHJCZjU8rZyvx99tdI26E"]If the bill passes, a protective order would serve as a "de facto" concealed carry permit for 45 days; beyond that, the holder would still have to apply for a standard permit, so there's your well-regulated militia right there. Gilbert also introduced a second bill that would pay private businesses to provide gun courses for abuse victims. He stopped short of actually proposing that the state buy guns for victims, presumably to prevent dependency on big government. Gotta save some crazy for 2017, after all. How about financial incentives for domestic violence shelters to establish gun-lending programs? It's unclear what the bills' chances are, although if Gov. Terry McAuliffe refuses to sign them, the legislature can always threaten again to take away his security detail to teach him a lesson.

Among the non-insane proposals were a measure that would make it a felony "to stalk someone in violation of a protective order. Under current law, a felony violation requires bodily harm or entry into a home." Jesus, stalking while under a protective order is legal? Another would lower the legal threshold to be charged with stalking, and a third would make it a felony to violate a protective order while armed with a gun. Yes, one of those guns you're currently allowed to keep while there's a protective order against you, just as long as you don't try to buy a new one. So hey, there's a loophole closed, maybe.

Guess the bumper sticker is true: Virginia is for disgruntled, vengeful ex-lovers.

[Richmond Times-Dispatch]

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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