NRA Believes Stalkers’ Have the Right to Bear Arms

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Wayne LaPierre (Credit: Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

The National Rifle Association has now taken up the fight against federal legislation banning those convicted of domestic violence against dating partners and stalking from purchasing guns, according to Laura Bassett’s article on June 25, NRA Fights For Convicted Stalkers’ Gun Rights. The federal law already prevents persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from purchasing firearms. However, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) proposes the addition of convicted stalkers to the group and is in favor of expanding the definition of convicted domestic violence against “intimate partners” to include dating partners, according to legislation S. 1290 which she introduced. Bassett reports that two different senators’ aides confirmed that the NRA sent letters to lawmakers strongly opposing the measure even describing it as “a bill to turn disputes between family members and social acquaintances into lifetime firearm prohibitions.” The letter from the nation’s largest gun lobby also states that the measure “manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as ‘domestic violence’ and ‘stalking’ simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearm prohibitions.” Klobuchar in an email to HuffPost stated, “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.”

Legislation has been gaining momentum in the states that would prevent all convicted domestic abusers from purchasing guns and even the NRA has relaxed its stance on such bills over the past year due to the fact one of its own top officials was convicted of domestic violence and prohibited from owning a firearm. However, the federal push for domestic violence gun bans has raised some red flags for the gun rights groupies e.g. Klobuchar, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) have all introduced measures to expand and strengthen gun restriction for people who are convicted of domestic abuse or stalking or who have emergency temporary restraining orders issued. According to a report released last week by the Center for American Progress, stalkers and physically abusive dating partners are just as deadly as violent spouses. In addition, domestic abusers with access to guns are seven times more likely to kill their partners than those without access.

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), a congresswoman who survived a gunshot to the head in 2011, met last week with House and Senate leadership, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, numerous other lawmakers and policy experts to discuss what Congress can do to protect women from gun violence committed at the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers, Basset reports. Giffords’ gun violence prevention PAC, Americans for Responsible Solution, found that women in gun friendly Texas favor a law requiring stalkers to turn in their firearms. Halyley Zachary, executive director of the PAC, told HuffPost:  “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. Now, the question for NRA-backed candidates around the country is: do they share the NRA’s position?”

Caught in the Crossfire: Unintentional Shooting Deaths Since Newtown

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

According to a study released on June 25,2014  by Everytown for Gun Safety, at least 100 children have died due to unintentional gunfire in the year following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. John Feinblatt, the president of the group who conducted the study, explains to HuffPost, “Too often we just say it is an accident or inevitable. But what this data shows is it’s preventable.” In Sam Stein’s article for HuffPost, 100 Children Died In Unintentional Shootings In Year After Newtown, that the report entitled Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths examines in great detail the frequency, causes and victims of these shootings. According to Everytown, 73 percent of the shootings counted were done by minors who are defined as 14 or younger. While 57 percent of the cases showed that the victims were shot by someone else usually an older peer, 35 percent involved the victim shooting him or herself and usually involved younger victims. Further data shows that the these shootings occurred in familiar placed to the victims with 84 percent being killed in their home, a friend’s home or a family car and ,in 76 percent of the cases, the gun belonged to a parent or family member. The shooting found in the study occurred in 35 states with most happening in small towns and rural areas.  Stein explains that the finding from Everytown come from extensive review of news stories and subscription service in the 12 months after the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook. Any shooting found to contain any ambiguity as to whether it was accidental or not or could not be confirmed as accidental by law enforcement officials was left out resulting in a possible under-counting of the final results published in HuffPost.

The group, Everytown, itself has had its fair share of controversy due to the methodology used to count the school shootings which are kept in a separate database since Newtown, according to Stein. Erika Soto Lamb, a spokeswoman for the group, insists that the criteria used to calculate the findings were fair and arguments against it were driven by pro-gun supporters. The numbers calculated in the report are higher than what the Center for Disease Control projects which is an average of 62 children per year ages 14 and under. Stein figures that the 100 children killed per year works out to 2 children killed per week. The issue for Everytown with respect to gun control comes in the form of poor education about how to properly store firearms and the dangers. The group supports the idea of imposing criminal liability for irresponsible gun storage in the form of well tailored child safety laws as the report even cites Florida’s Child Access Prevention law. Feinblatt sums it up by saying,”There is no question when you look around the country you see a real patchwork of laws having to deal with child access, and yet we have research that is compelling that laws that impose criminal sanctions are effective. We only have to look towards the drunk driving movement. … It decreased and deterred people from drunk driving, which obviously we have come to accept as dangerous. And we need to come to the same acceptance.”

Mandatory Gun Ownership Provisions Under Consideration In Communities Across The Country

Mandatory Gun Ownership Provisions Under Consideration In Communities Across The Country.

And this is a good idea because….

Communities nationwide, the latest in western Maine in a town of 140 people, are considering passing measures that would require gun ownership even though these ordinances are widely considered unenforceable. However, the town of Byron already has the support of all three members of the Board of Selectmen and the Head Selectman Anne Simmons-Edmunds believes that the residents will approve it at Monday’s town meeting. From Idaho to Georgia, communities have been considering the idea to require or recommend their residents to arm themselves ever since the Sandy Hook Shooting in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14 as well as caused fear among gun owners about possible restrictions on their Second Amendment rights. The ordinance up for a vote in Maine, according to Huff Post, asks “Shall the town of Byron vote to require all households to have firearms and ammunition to protect the citizens?” As Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills explains that the ordinance even if accept by the town will be null and void as it is pre-empted by a 2011 law that bars municipalities from adopting firearms regulations. Unfortunately, the same situation has already happened in southwestern Maine in Sabattus where a similar ordinance was not taken to a vote on the advice of the police chief. The idea though has caught on in Nelson, a city southwest of Atlanta and home to 1,300 people, where supporters of a gun ownership proposal say that because of light police patrols the city is unprotected for most the day. According to Huff Post, the proposal does have several exemptions for people who object to owning a weapon including convicted felons as Mayor Pro Tem Jonathon Bishop has stated. The rule has actually passed unanimously on its first read and awaits a final vote April 1. Some communities do not go as far as requiring gun ownership, but instead recommend the idea of owning a firearms as has been done in Spring City, Utah, Virgin, Utah, and Cherry Tree, Pa. In Greenleaf, Idaho, a town of 900 people the ordinance adopted ion 2006 encourages residents to keep a gun at home and seek training on how to use firearms. In Maine, Simmons-Edmunds in Byron has said that 90 percent of the households in the town already own a gun and that if passed the ordinance would not result in door to door checks the ordinance is more a statement that the town will not give up its guns.

Idaho Planned Community, The Citadel, Would Require Everyone to Bear Arms | AOL Real Estate

Idaho Planned Community, The Citadel, Would Require Everyone to Bear Arms | AOL Real Estate.

A city fortress has plans to break ground in Idaho as the first community to require its residents to bare arms. The city in Idaho will be called The Citadel where ages 13 and up would carry guns and the goal is to protect American liberty and to prepare for catastrophes of any kind. The plans are being made by groups of online organizers and gun companies. The community according to there website is making room for 3,500 to 7,000 that agree with their philosophy. The community will have no HOA fees, no recycling police, and no local ordinance enforcers. The III Arms gun company has purchased 20 acres in western Idaho and more than 200 people have signed up to live here. The community will also have its own gun manufacturing facility with guarded towers. The problem is that it may never break ground and one State Representative says it looks pretty far-fetched castle that would need a awful lot of capital to build. The Citadel organizers area allowing anyone to be a pat of the community but says some people may be incompatible with the lifestyle and ideology. To apply, you have to pay $208 application fee and sign a Patriot Agreement that will require all residents who meet the criteria to carry an AR-15 rifle, ammo, and other supplies. I wish them luck, but I think they are going to have more road blocks than just money.