NRA Demands Convicted Stalkers And Abusive Boyfriends Be Allowed To Own Guns

NRA VP Wayne LaPierre caricature.

Caricature of Wayne La Pierre by Donkey Hotey cc 2012. Background with shell casings cc 2009 US Marines via Wikimedia Commons.

The night is dark, every breeze stirs the summer bushes and startles her. Is he there? Or is she imagining things? If only the street light were closer to her car. She tells herself that she only needs to make it 12 more steps to her car. And then she is there. Her hand trembles so badly that she drops her keys. But finally she is inside her car, locks the doors and leans back letting out a slow sigh of relief.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” comes a familiar voice from the backseat. She can feel the cold muzzle of his gun pressed hard against the back of her neck. It is a guy she dated just twice. The one who beat her so badly that she went to the hospital the last time. The man who said if he couldn’t have her no one could. The stalker who has been terrorizing her for the past six months.

Who is this woman? She’s you. Or she’s someone you know. Your sister. Your cousin. Your daughter. Even your mother. She can be anyone. And she’s probably going to die from a gunshot because her stalker was able to buy a gun despite having a history of domestic violence.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) introduced legislation to protect this woman and thousands of women just like her.

American women, who are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other high-income countries. 

Bill S.1290 closes up some huge gaps in the existing federal law. Klobuchar would make sure the law included “dating partners” and prevent convicted misdemeanor stalkers for obtaining weapons. Although Federal law protects woman (and men) from people convicted of “violence and stalking,” it exempts convicted stalkers and “individuals in a current of former dating relationship who never lived together or had a child together” to buy guns.

Klobuchar understands the dynamics of stalking.

As a former prosecutor, I know how domestic violence and stalking can take lives and tear apart families. This is a commonsense bill that would protect victims and keep our families safe, and I will continue to work to move this legislation forward.

But the National Rifle Association (NRA) opposes her bill, allegedly because the restrictions might work against, “partners of the same sex.”

They’re kidding, right? Since when has the NRA cared about gay people?

Believe it. The gun lobby sent Congress an e-mail regarding that the law,

including expansive and vaguely defined “dating relationships” and individuals “similarly situated to a spouse.”

If that isn’t enough to convince people the NRA is pro-gay, the email continues,

Under S. 1290, for example, two men of equal size, strength, and economic status joined by a civil union or merely engaged (or formerly engaged) in an intimate “social relationship,” could be subject to this prohibition for conviction of simple “assault” arising from a single shoving match.

The email wonders if the law really needs to be under federal restrictions, because stalking behaviors “do not necessarily include violent or even threatening behavior.”

That would be funny if it were not so dumb. By definition stalking threatens a person’s sense of security. Clearly the NRA people have never been stalked. That’s too bad, because they cannot related to the person being terrorized. Perhaps it would be a good idea to set up a “month of stalking,” especially for them so that they can relate.

The Center for American Progress (CAP) reports that some states have already been wise enough to close the gaps in the existing law and limit “domestic abusers’ gun access.” But only 10 states will prevent dating abusers from buying guns if the couple doesn’t live together or have children together.

According to Hayley Zachary, executive director of Americans for Responsible Solutions,

Protecting women from gun violence means ensuring we have laws that keep guns out of the hands of stalkers and domestic abusers. By opposing this commonsense bill, [NRA chief] Wayne LaPierre and the NRA leadership has once again shown it is out of step with the vast majority of Americans and responsible gun owners.

CAP analysis suggests all convicted,

abusers, stalkers, and people subject to related restraining orders from possessing guns…(and policies) ensure that abusers surrender any firearms they own once they become prohibited.

Stalking isn’t a game of slap and tickle. The NRA make to sense. What difference does it make to the stalked woman or man whether they live separately or have no children?

Stalking is stalking. Shot dead is shot dead.