Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

August 10, 2013

Restraining orders don't go far enough

Consider the following scenario: A woman ends an abusive relationship with a boyfriend. She successfully applies for a permanent restraining order against him, and, as the law stands, a period of one to two weeks passes before that application gets a hearing. In the meantime, the woman receives only a temporary restraining order against her boyfriend, who is notified of her application and, with a proven history of violence, might seek revenge. In 33 states, that boyfriend is legally allowed to purchase a firearm before the restraining order on him becomes permanent.

All too often, we know how that story ends. In 2010, two-thirds of the women shot and killed in the United States were killed by an intimate partner, and the presence of guns in situations of domestic violence increases the risk of homicide for women by 500 percent.

Common sense says that people under temporary restraining orders shouldn’t be able to buy guns in the brief period before those restraining orders become permanent. Why does the law still allow such purchases in a significant majority of states?

Connecticut’s senators, Richard Blumenthal, D, and Chris Murphy, D, are working to close that perplexing loophole. The Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act, which they plan to introduce next month, would impose a consistent standard across the nation to ban the sale of firearms to those with temporary restraining orders. This would make it more difficult for abusers to get access to guns in the volatile period between the time their partners take action to protect themselves and the time that protection is officially granted. The New York Times reported in March that at least five women in Washington state have been shot and killed over the past decade by an intimate partner in that limbo period — and that’s just one state. This bill might have saved their lives, and it will save lives if it is passed.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Close the tax loophole that sends US corporations overseas Since we last overhauled our federal tax code, in 1986, countries around the world have lowered their tax rates, leaving the United States with the highest corporate tax rate in the developed word. At the same time, the system has become full of inef

    July 29, 2014

  • Israel and the U.S.: Whose survival instinct is stronger? There’s something darkly coincidental in the fact that the latest weapon to be deployed against the survival instinct of both Israel and the United States is an alleged “heartlessness” when it comes to children. The people of Israel are castigated in

    July 29, 2014

  • College cost isn't big problem for poor students To judge by this summer’s banner policy proposals, the most important question for higher-education reform right now is giving students easier access to loans. But evidence from Canada suggests those changes won’t address the greater need: Getting mo

    July 29, 2014

  • Ducks, geese a blessing I would like to respond to the “Geese and ducks causing problems in Veterans Park” article that was published in the Mt. Vernon Register-News on July 16, 2014. I must share that I do understand that at times there have been a great number of the Cana

    July 29, 2014

  • Money not always the answer I really have to stop and think sometimes. I challenge my thought processes when I write these columns. I am having a hard time with this one. It appears to me that every time a governmental agency or any of the entities that spend other people’s mon

    July 29, 2014

  • Teachers unions' destructive behavior You can always count on the national teachers unions to behave badly at their annual conventions, and they certainly didn’t let us down this month. In doing so, however, they let down many of their members, along with students who are working hard to

    July 26, 2014

  • Workers of the world, curb your ambitions A group of Democrats introduced legislation this week to protect low-paid shift workers from last-minute changes in their schedules. The idea fits into an intriguing category of economic activism: Not trying to lift low-paid workers out of poverty, n

    July 26, 2014

  • State of the reunion ‘Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 26, 2014

  • Fear indifference ‘Perhaps the Catholic church would volunteer to pony up some cash for the illegals’ care then? Hmm?”“Pope should stay out of it. Matter of civil laws, not church laws.”“Thinking that the pope should want the illegals to go to Argentina to get better

    July 25, 2014

  • A push for felon voting rights If advocates have their way, voting rights could be a new reality for the nation’s incarcerated.Full voting rights for felons is as hot a topic in Washington as voting rights in reverse pushed by voter-ID-tickled Republicans. But with new legislation

    July 25, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks