Gabrielle Giffords, a former U.S. Representative and amazing survivor of a failed assassination, just finished a 9-state cross country tour for Americans for Responsible Solutions, her gun-control advocacy group. Gabby, who famously recovered from a severe gunshot wound (to her HEAD) inflicted during a violent attack at a rally in Tucson in 2011 (six other people died that day – including a nine year old girl), and her group seek what they refer to as “common sense” gun reform to keep domestic violence survivors safe from their abusive partners. It turns out, all Americans for Responsible Solutions want are some responsible solutions to prevent abusive-sacks-of-candy-corn (I’m sorry, I HATE candy corn. That junk is the worst. When I see a bowl of candy corn, my first inclination is to roundhouse kick the bowl and it’s contents across the room and then suplex whoever thought it was acceptable to offer candy corn to actual people into oblivion) from getting guns and murdering the “one who got away.”
Gabby’s tour began in Maine and took her to New Hampshire, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Minnesota, Iowa, Oregon, and, finally, Washington State. In each state, she urged residents to contact their state and federal officials and press for them to pass legislation that will prohibit people convicted of stalking and domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms. Most people probably have nothing to worry about, on account of how normal, not-awful people don’t abuse or stalk people, but that didn’t stop Congress from voting against a very scaled back version of the bill (one that would require expanded background checks on individuals seeking to legally purchase a firearm) last year. It’s almost as if Congress believes the freedom to have and carry a gun is more important to protect than the freedom to exist safely in public. Or at home, as in most cases of intimate partner violence.
In Portland, Maine, Police Chief Mike Sauschuck suggested that by framing the discussion about gun reform as a domestic violence issue, proponents of the legislation would have more positive results in the political arena. “The only way to get this conversation started, to get your foot in the door … is with the domestic violence approach,” he said, and then added “because it’s that important and politicians are that scared of it. Because they should be.” Americans for Responsible Solutions points out that an aggressor with a gun is five times more likely to kill their partner than an aggressor without. It seems, to me, like the solution is obvious. Fewer habitual abusers who have access to guns means fewer women being murdered. Congress, if it’s not too much to ask, see if you can find the time to stop providing violent criminals with the tools they need to MURDER US.