NRA defends abusers and stalkers in fight against VAWA


Talk about misplaced priorities:

House Republicans broadly object to at least four new policies added to the bill to reauthorize VAWA — which expired back in February when Democrats objected to GOP efforts to include a short-term extension of the law in a spending deal. But the most controversial are new provisions to lower the criminal threshold to bar someone from buying a gun to include misdemeanor convictions of domestic abuse or stalking charges. Current law applies to felony convictions.

In order to understand why these changes need to be made, you need to understand how our legal system (usually) works. An extremely high percentage of those Domestic Violence "misdemeanors" started out as felonies, only to be plea bargained down. More than any other crime, Domestic Violence is a nightmare for prosecutors, and getting any conviction at all is considered a "win." So when you see that word (misdemeanor), don't assume it was just a casual push during an argument. The abuser most likely took a plea deal to avoid a jury hearing what really happened. I'm not just making that up, by the way:

Generally speaking, if a criminal case is prosecuted, most likely it will resolve through plea bargaining. In fact, 93% to 95% of all criminal cases in local and state courts, and 97% of federal prosecutions resolve through pleas (Bureau of Justice Statistics [BJS], 2008; Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, 2002, 2004; United States Courts, 20112). Alschuler (1979) has described plea bargaining as “the exchange of official concessions for a defendant’s act of self-conviction” (p. 3).

The nature of trading, which is one way to conceptualize plea bargaining, is such that prosecutors have more negotiable currency when multiple charges have been filed, for example, one or more counts of DV, vandalism, child endangerment, and so forth. The reason this is true is because some of the charges can be dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea to one or more others. In addition, sometimes a felony charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor in exchange for a plea of guilt. Accordingly then, there isn’t much negotiable currency when police deliver a crime report to prosecutors that only lists a single misdemeanor DV crime,3 because such a report doesn’t include any negotiable value such as an extra charge that can be dropped or a felony charge that can be reduced.4

The present work responds to a fundamental problem in criminal justice: unacceptably low rates of prosecution for DV cases. If, for a moment, one assumes that all or nearly all of the individuals accused of DV, by police, are actually guilty, then the scope of the problem is seen as staggering: Even in an era of mandatory response, and mandatory arrest, many DV batterers are still getting away with their crime. Regarding the possibility that all or nearly all individuals accused by police of DV crime are actually guilty, we know that for general crime categories, the incidence of false accusations ranges from 0.5% to 3% (Zalman, 2011; Zalman, Smith, & Kiger, 2008). Therefore, it seems reasonable to assume most or nearly all of those individuals who are accused of DV crime by FRPOs in a written report to prosecutors are actually guilty, and they are getting away with their crime(s).8

So, many domestic abusers aren't even brought to court, and the ones that are usually end up with a misdemeanor if they are convicted at all. And considering how Domestic Violence almost always escalates, allowing those convicted of misdemeanors to own firearms is criminally negligent.

And Republicans who find themselves in "thrall" of the NRA are endangering the lives of their female constituents, not to mention their children. Back to the OP:

The National Rifle Association is calling for a "no" vote, and notified Capitol Hill offices this week that the NRA is "scoring" how lawmakers vote on the bill to measure future ratings and endorsements in elections. Congressional Republicans rarely run afoul of NRA positions on legislation.

NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said the group supports the underlying VAWA law, just not the new gun restrictions. "The gun control lobby and anti-gun politicians are intentionally politicizing the Violence Against Women Act as a smokescreen to push their gun control agenda," she told NPR. Gun rights activists say the new provisions are too low of a threshold to deny someone a constitutional right for the rest of their life.

Their Constitutional right ended when they threw their wife across the room, or gave her a backhand, or followed her around in person or online in order to intimidate her into submission. When you have absolutely no regard for the (human) rights of somebody else, I don't want to hear any crap about your rights.