Twenty-four attorneys generals from around the country signed onto a letter pressuring Congress to take away the Second Amendment rights of Americans by using the pandemic as a cover. Never let a good crisis go to waste is an all too common tactic to take away even more of our constitutional rights and they’re at it again.
As the country is beginning to open up and many argue that the worst of the virus is behind us, Congress is using the chance to include gun control legislation in the next Stimulus Bill. In a letter to Congressional Leaders they don’t hide their intentions. “As you work to build upon legislation like H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, given the new realities and dangers that at-risk persons face due to shelter in place and stay home orders, it is imperative that you include the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in any next piece of legislation to move through Congress.”
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was last reauthorized in 2013 and expired more than a year ago. VAWA does some good things, like expanding the ability of Native American victims of violence to prosecute those who would prey specifically upon them. It highlights the terrible problem of domestic violence, but then it provides as its solution a massive infringement of the rights of other Americans. It’s basically a massive expansion of gun control under the guise of helping domestic violence victims.
They call it closing the “Boyfriend Loophole”. It is an attempt to federalize something many states do already. It allows a person to be deprived of their Second Amendment right to bear arms when dating partners are involved in domestic violence or if they are charged with misdemeanor stalking—language that, according to an NRA spokeswoman, is “too broad and ripe for abuse.” This expands the scope of the Feds’ power to take away citizens’ rights to non-married individuals and significantly muddies the legal waters.
This is simply a step in the wrong direction and will do nothing to protect at-risk women. Unfortunately, I have seen firsthand what it’s like for a woman to be afraid of a former boyfriend. It’s not a great feeling, but the truth is that the knowledge that the state was taking away the person’s firearms meant little. Everyone knows, especially the person being stalked, that the government and the police won’t be there to protect them if that moment of terror comes.
Will these 24 attorneys general be there when the stalker shows up in the middle of the night with a firearm? No. Will members of Congress be there to say, “Hey, ex-boyfriend” you are not allowed to have that firearm because we wrote a law? Of course not!
You know what would help? If more Americans who are at risk, namely our younger women aged 18 to 20, were allowed to meet that armed stalker with a weapon of their own and return fire.
More laws like VAWA are useless and only give members of Congress and these state attorneys general a feeling of self-importance. If a person wants to do harm, they will do harm. They will obtain an illegal firearm or use a hammer. Many more people are killed each year with hammers than rifles.
If Congress or these attorneys general wanted to protect at-risk Americans, they could start by giving the rights back to the disenfranchised 18-20-year-old people who are currently denied. The fact that ADULT Americans 18-20 years old are currently deprived the right to protect themselves with a firearm in many states is a travesty. The fact that America’s military actually arms it’s 18-year-old soldiers, but then denies that same soldier the right to use a firearm to protect themselves at home is hypocritical at best, tyrannical at worst.
What do these attorneys general say to a 20-year-old woman afraid of a stalker boyfriend when she is deprived her right to protect herself? Crickets. Why don’t they worry about giving her those rights back before they cook up a new way to deprive even more people of their rights.
Adding VAWA, which is a massive expansion of gun control, into Stimulus Part 2 is just another example of sneaky politicians trying to take away Americans’ rights under the cover of COVID-19. These attorneys general and congressional politicians should be called out rather than get their way. If they get what they want, we will see more unconstitutional federalization of state resources. We will watch as the federal government reaches even more deeply into formerly state controlled matters and witness another incremental loss of constitutional rights.
Leave it to politicians to find a way to make things worse. It seems like all they know how to do is take away our rights under the illusion of providing safety.
Author: Steve Sherman