Guns and Domestic Violence

In general and with some exceptions, I think this author is on to something. The one thing that would have stopped the Orlando shooting, maybe, is if he had been convicted of his domestic abuse. His wife might have come forward, or the FBI might have uncovered it during its two investigations of him. Either would have prohibited him from buying or possessing firearms under Federal law. He might have obtained guns illegally -- criminals usually skip legal gun sales entirely, and obtain guns from friends or family. But it's the only law-oriented suggestion I've seen that might have stopped him.

She's right that domestic violence is often (not always) tied to mass shootings, but even more, that it's often tied to later murder of the person being abused. She's also right that close family, the ones licensed by law to apply for restraining orders, often know well before anyone else that someone is likely to commit irrational violence. That adheres to my principle of thinking of citizens as performing that key militia function in the defense of the common good and lawful order. Just like the Rangers have peer reviews, sometimes citizens' militia members might need to say, "Not this guy, though -- he's going to kill somebody for no good reason." We can't make that a general power of citizens, because some would use it as a backdoor to disarming everyone. But it might make sense to do it in a way restricted to those most vulnerable to domestic violence, who are also therefore in the best place to know when someone is violent in this way.

There's room for something here that I think reasonable people could agree to doing, even if she hasn't got the specifics mapped out yet.


raven said...

The entire gun control argument is a scam and obfuscation, top to bottom, side to side. It is about deflecting discussion of Islamic terrorism ,Muslim immigration,and inner city gang crime, and criminalizing the traditional American gun owner.

No gun control law has ever stopped a determined bad guy from getting a gun, and no law ever will.

I overheard on the street (by design, the guy was on a phone and said "I'm talking real loud so everyone around me can hear it") some guy railing about how "they" were uninformed and did not deserve to exist, or words to that effect. Now I did not hear who "they" were, but given the location there was a 99.9% percent probability he was talking about anyone who had a conservative viewpoint. A textbook example of "othering." No doubt if asked he would have maintained he was a very tolerant person. I saw someone who would gladly endorse any action against me, including the boxcar and camp cliche. They don't want us disarmed to stop crime. They want us disarmed because they want to do bad things to us. Very bad things. It was worrisome things are far enough along so he felt comfortable expressing himself in a public venue.

Grim said...

That's probably all true.

However, in a way it's to one side. I don't think I'd give "them" any additional power to disarm me. I might give my wife power to do so, should she come to believe that I was a threat to her. I have control over whom I allow into those rare positions, and if they are my children, I have control over their upbringing as well.

I think the Federal government cannot be trusted to do this well. I do think that there is a plausible connection between domestic violence and mass shooting. I also think there's a problem with domestic violence. I like that this pushes the decision down to the lowest possible level -- members of one's family -- and still yet applies a due process procedure to make sure they are not acting against you unfairly.

Of the ideas I've seen, this one only strikes me as a plausible approach.

raven said...

If we want to stop domestic violence, teach the victims to resist. Knives work just as well as guns. Or cast iron fry pans. Trying to eliminate the tool is pointless. Any "connection" between domestic violence and mass shooting is in one direction only- whats the old saw? Correlation is not causation or something like that? Domestic abuse seems to be a standard "go to" charge anymore in divorce cases, as it gives the woman tremendous leverage. They burned up all the impact in pursuit of advantage. Just like the term racist. Overused and underdone.

Mass shooting's, rare as they are, fall into one of two categories- mentally screwed up loners on SSRI's, or jihadi's. If we are going to try to stop these bastards we need to look at directly relevant issues.

Grim said...

We wouldn't ask the Rangers to do away with peer reviews, though, just because they're capable of defending themselves against a deranged fellow. The reason to do peer reviews is that they're the guys who really know, having had to live and work alongside the fellow.

In this case, the due process provides a check on the peer review -- perhaps not an adequately strong one, the way she has formulated it, but something stronger than just "that dude's no good, we want rid of him." There are some methods for checking up on the validity of the complaint, and giving you an appeal.

That's appropriate, given that domestic cases are always emotional. People are often unfair, both men and women. Some women certainly would use this against a man they knew was no threat to them, just because it would hurt and humiliate him to be disarmed by the law.

On the other hand, domestic violence is a real issue -- a way bigger issue than 'mass shootings,' which are splashy but rare. If this helped to solve mass shootings but had a real impact on domestic violence, it would do more good than if it had a minor effect on domestic violence but helped to solve mass shootings.