I don’t have a lot of use for domestic abusers, be they of any sex. The idea of hurting the person you purport to love is something that bothers me deeply.
In the United States, people convicted of domestic abuse cannot lawfully own firearms. Whether that’s a good thing or not is irrelevant. It is what it is and while I have issues with the rules as they’re written, it’s not exactly the hill I’m ready to die on just now.
But a recent report on a new measure makes an interesting admission.
Under state law, almost all alleged abusers are supposed to give up their weapons when they’re subject to a domestic violence protective order. Licensed peace officers in Texas are the only exception.
But that doesn’t always happen. Most counties in Texas don’t have a system in place to make sure those weapons are taken away and securely stored.
Mikisha Hooper is the coordinated community response manager for the Texas Council on Family Violence. She said the lack of a clear process creates confusion — and it can be fatal.
Hooper said it’s dangerous to leave guns in the hands of people who are a threat to their partners. She said that’s why Texas is seeing an increase in domestic violence homicides. She said firearms are the leading cause of death for intimate partner homicides in Texas, and they’re going up.
But even if an abuse victim has obtained a protective order — and the abuser is required to hand over his weapons — that often doesn’t happen.
“Who do you go to in your community?” Hooper said. “Who follows up with you to make sure you don’t have [a firearm]? Those kind of pieces to the puzzle aren’t put together in very many communities in Texas.”
Wait…you mean people who violate the law and beat their significant others don’t obey the laws requiring they turn over their guns?
I’m absolutely shocked.
Of course, the report is about a law that seeks to force the issue, but that’s not what I want to talk about today. No, I want to point out the admission that was made in this and how it applies to criminals in general–because domestic abusers are most definitely criminals.
You see, the bad guys aren’t ever going to willingly give up their guns. They’re not going to get a felony conviction and just call the cops up and say, “Hey, I’ve got a felony now, so will you please take all of my illegal guns away now? Thanks!”
It’s just not going to happen.
Alright, sure. There may be the odd outlier, but ask any law enforcement officer how often that scenario plays out and you’ll see few, if any, have ever seen it themselves.
That’s because it doesn’t happen.
Domestic abusers don’t turn over their guns willingly all that often because they don’t actually care about the law. They’re already breaking the law by beating their significant other, so what’s one more charge? If they plan on killing that significant other, do you really think they’re that worried about a weapons charge?
Through it all, though, the focus on guns with these people doesn’t solve the underlying issue. It doesn’t address the underlying pathology that leads someone down that road in the first place.
Meanwhile, we create laws that seek to disarm those with no regard for the law in the first place, then try to create more laws because those previous laws didn’t work.
It’s kind of insane.