Should Domestic Abusers Have A Right To Bear Arms?

Katie McDonough addresses that question and others:

What does a person have to do in this country to get a gun taken away? Or lose the right to a concealed carry permit? And, more specifically, what does a man [George Zimmerman] with a noted history of both domestic violence complaints and a willingness to use deadly force, who is currently in the news for what may still turn out to be another such incident, have to do? Turns out: quite a terrifying lot. Because, put mildly, the laws in Florida and elsewhere regulating gun ownership among domestic abusers and men suspected of domestic violence are, shall we say, permissive.

According to recent data, more than 60 percent of women killed by a firearm in 2010 were murdered by a current or former intimate partner.

The presence of a firearm during a domestic violence incident increases the likelihood of a homicide by an astounding 500 percent. In general, guns are very, very bad for women’s health. But in spite of all of the evidence identifying a strong and deadly correlation between gun deaths and violence against women, our policies to protect women (victims of intimate partner-related gun violence are, overwhelmingly, female) are full of holes.

For an example of this, look no further than Florida. In Zimmerman’s home state, as a result of federal law, it is illegal for a person subjected to a protective order to own or purchase firearms, and it is a crime for that person to refuse to surrender them to law enforcement. This is a good law that, when effectively enforced, can save women’s lives. … But because the law does not explicitly compel courts to authorize police to take the firearms away, many people who are subjected to domestic violence-related restraining orders are still able to keep and carry their guns, undeterred.