What if victims of domestic violence didn’t have to worry that their abusers will come after them, guns a-blazin’, PEW PEW PEW, you’re dead? Sure, it would mean putting the lives of women — who die at the hands of their intimate partners every day, most often by being shot to death — above the absolute God-given unalienable right of abusers to be armed and dangerous, but that seems sorta worth it, doesn’t it?
Democrats in Connecticut think so. Last week, the state’s House of Representatives passed “An Act Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence,” mostly along party lines, in a 104-42 vote. How could 42 ostensibly human beings oppose protecting victims of domestic violence? Is this one of those Orwellian bills that does the opposite of what it says and will force decent, law-abiding nutmeggers to surrender to tyranny? Not exactly:
Under the bill, alleged domestic abusers who are the subject of a temporary restraining order would have 24 hours to sell their weapons to a federally licensed dealer, or turn them over to police. The legislation would require a hearing on a full restraining order within seven days. If that permanent order is not granted, or the temporary order is vacated, gun owners would get their firearms back.
So: You beat the ever-lovin’ crap out of your partner a whole bunch, and she (yes, it’s usually a she) gets a TRO to keep you the hell away from her, and for a whole week, you don’t get to have your guns. Just in case you are tempted to go shoot her to death, as your type is wont to do.
But then, unless a judge decides you are far too violent and dangerous a person and must permanently stay the hell away forever and ever, you get to have your guns back. Hooray for you! You probably only needed that one cooling-off week to straighten up and fly right and not want to beat the crap out of your partner ever again. Your freedom is restored, and your partner is still alive. Everyone wins.
This seems like a reasonable way to address the epidemic of women who are murdered by their partners, so you can see why some Republicans had a problem with it.
Rep. Rob Sampson, a Republican from Wolcott, called the measure “unconstitutional and flawed” and predicted it would not work.
“We are a legislature that works for a free people, people that should have the right to make their own decisions and determinations in life,” Sampson said. Republican opponents filed a number of amendments to derail the measure.
Apparently, that includes the right to decide to shoot your partner to death. Who is the legislature to impede on that kind of freedom, huh?
Fortunately, not all of Sampson’s Republican colleagues agreed with them. Maybe it was the heart-wrenching speech by Rep. Robyn Porter, who told her own story of escaping an abusive relationship, saying: “You can get your gun back but you cannot give a victim his or her life back. What’s more important? A person’s right to live or a person’s right to carry a gun?”
On Monday, the state Senate passed the bill, 23-13, and Gov. Dan Malloy — who has been pushing for this bill since the beginning — will sign it within the week. Nice work, Connecticut.
Here’s this week’s good, bad, and hideously ugly:
- In addition to offending everyone in the known universe by insisting that do-nothing lazy hack Sen. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Esq., has nothing to run on but her “woman card,” Donald Trump also managed to make things a tad awkward for Republican women:
The Huffington Post wondered how Republican women in the House and Senate felt about their party’s presidential front-runner talking like this about about a former secretary of state and U.S. senator. So we spent Wednesday asking them. It was like pulling teeth.
“Oh God, I’m not getting into that. I’m not getting into that,” said Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), walking away quickly.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), ducking into a Senate lunch, said she missed Trump’s speech. Asked what it means to have a women’s card to play, Collins said only, “I don’t know.”
None of the other female GOP senators returned HuffPost’s messages to their offices seeking comment. We’re looking at you, Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Joni Ernst (Iowa) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).
The Donald says he’ll be so great for women, it’ll make your head spin. He’s not even the nominee yet, and my my my, he sure has those lady heads spinning already, doesn’t he?
- Water is wet, the pay gap is real. Even for women who haven’t “chosen” to earn less money at lower-paying jobs because they’re happily mommy-tracking. Yes, just-out-of-college womenfolk, that means you too:
Pay disparities between men and women start earlier in their careers than frequently assumed and have significantly widened for young workers in the past year, according to a report from the Economic Policy Institute.
Paychecks for young female college graduates are about 79 percent as large as those of their male peers, the think tank found — a serious drop from 84 percent last year.
Well, at least it’s getting worse. Oh wait, that’s not a good thing.
- Turns out Chris Christie is still the governor of New Jersey, in addition to his new gig of standing awkwardly behind Donald Trump at press conferences. With all that multi-tasking, no wonder he hasn’t had time to read up on that whole wage gap situation. On Monday, he vetoed an equal pay law passed by both chambers of the legislature because prohibiting employers from paying men more than women for “substantially similar” work is unfair to employers and would make his state “very business unfriendly.”
While emphasizing his support for equal pay protections, the Republican governor criticized where the legislation “departs significantly from well-established law.”
In his message for a conditional veto, Christie said there is “no reason for our law to go beyond the Lilly Ledbetter Act,” the federal equal pay legislation.
See, working women of New Jersey, there’s no need for further legislation to ensure equal pay because it’s equal enough already. Hey, didn’t we just read a new study about just how equal it is and how much less equal it’s becoming, like, five minutes ago? Yeah, thought so.
- Mandatory paid leave is unfair to businesses too, and yet, a majority of Americans, including Republicans, support it. Look, NPR even has a fancy chart and everything:
But, as always, don’t hold your breath because despite the support, there isn’t much political pressure to actually make it happen. Also, sigh:
Another reason is that paid family and medical leave has been largely relegated to the category of “women’s issues,” because most of the conversation is about maternity leave.
Maybe if men start demanding paid family leave, it can become an Everyone Issue, and then we’ll get somewhere.
- Louisiana is trying to make it harder for women to obtain abortions. Yes, even harder than it already is. State Rep. Frank Hoffman, who sponsored HB 386, figures women need a good 72 hours — instead of the currently mandated 24 hours — to wait and think real hard about the ultrasound their doctor is required by state law to perform and and describe, as well as the in-person counseling, also required by state law, to explicitly discourage women from going forward with their abortions. Waiting periods don’t actually change many minds, but they do make abortions extra burdensome, and that’s the point, isn’t it?
- Apparently, it’s still not A-OK to say “vagina” in Michigan. You may recall Democratic state Rep. Lisa Brown, who in 2012 was banned from the House floor for the saying the naughtiest of naughty V-words — during a debate about abortion — because, according to her male colleague Rep. Mike Callton (R-Obviously), “It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.” Yes, if there’s one word you should never utter in the presence of ladies, it’s [stage whisper] vagina. Fast forward to last month, when substitute teacher Allison Wint says Harper Creek Middle School fired her for using the dreaded V-word in a discussion about Georgia O’Keefe’s art. The school maintains that Wint was fired for saying “vagina” — in front of the children! — but rather, because teachers aren’t allowed to talk about “reproductive health” without prior approval, plus some other unspecified reasons the school doesn’t want to get into. Insert all your eye rolls here.
- In Oklahoma, you can’t say you were raped just because you were forced to have sex while you were passed out, with a blood alcohol level of .34. Since you can’t say “no,” because you are unconscious, that must mean “yes.”
An Oklahoma court has stunned local prosecutors with a declaration that state law doesn’t criminalize oral sex with a victim who is completely unconscious. […]
“Forcible sodomy cannot occur where a victim is so intoxicated as to be completely unconscious at the time of the sexual act of oral copulation,” the decision read.
If only the 16-year-old girl had a better understanding of Oklahoma’s bizarre rape statutes, maybe she would have kept herself awake enough to verbally refuse to consent before being forcibly sodomized, and then she’d have a case.
- There’s a new wonderful ad running in North Carolina, about its heinous discriminatory anti-LGBT HB 2 law, and it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Watch it.
Join us next Wednesday for another round of reporting. Unless we’ve won the war by then.