Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Male vs. female domestic violence

Today I volunteered at my local Family Justice Center for women who need help with issues around domestic violence. It is always busy on Monday mornings. The week-end seems to bring out the worst as families spend more time together and perhaps alcohol is used and abused. One woman came in with her small children needing an Order for Protection. A second young woman came in looking very afraid. She was accompanied by a friend as is often the case. Another came in to use the computer in a safe setting. Yet another came in to get legal aid to help with custody issues and to find out where she could go for safe family visitations. Luckily in Duluth we have the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs which has a Family Visitation Center where families can go for safe family visits and safe exchanges of children between spouses or partners who have abused and been abused. The center is serving 100 families who have been affected by domestic abuse. Duluth is a small city. Multiply these numbers for larger cities and you can see that domestic abuse is a serious national concern.

Some who read this blog claim that violence perpetrated by women against men is higher than the opposite. This article refutes that notion. On the face of it the argument used about violence against men is a non sequitur. And for what purpose is it even made? If you read the article, linked above, you will find that the purpose is to deny the real problem, which is domestic violence against women. From the article: " Perhaps more to the point, females are more likely than males to sustain severe or injurious violence and to require medical treatment. "When you take the data out of context, in some cases, women come up as violent as men," says Meda Chesney-Lind, Ph.D., a criminologist, professor of women's studies at the University of Hawaii, and author, most recently, of "Fighting for Girls: New Perspectives on Gender and Violence." "But men will often use the excuse 'she hit me first' to justify decking her or throwing her against a wall. She slaps him, and that's used as a pretext to beat the crap out of her. She's the one who winds up in the hospital.""

Many domestic abuse deaths are caused by gunshot injuries.To solve this problem, one of the solutions is to make sure that domestic abusers are prohibited from buying or owning guns. There are those who object to including domestic abusers in the prohibited purchaser category of the National Instant Check System. Why? There is resistance to prohibiting anyone from owning guns because it must necessarily (to them) mean that will lead to ALL people being prohibited from buying and owning guns. This is nonsense, of course. Common sense needs to prevail concerning domestic violence. 

The Women's Network; International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) is an organization one of whose purpose it is to prevent domestic violence against women all over the world. A separate campaign, described here, is to educate about the particular problem of the use of guns in domestic abuse. The organization works to connect groups working on the issue of women and gun violence. Now this makes common sense. And from the Violence Policy Center: " More than five times as many women were murdered by an intimate acquaintance (605) than by a stranger (113) in the year 2000. Additionally, while firearm homicides involving male victims were mostly intra-gender, 95 percent of female firearm homicide victims were murdered by a male." More facts about gun violence against women can be found at the Brady Campaign website. Just one of the facts researched on the site about guns used in violence against women reveals that:" In 2008, 7,451 women were treated in emergency rooms for a gunshot wound.  Sixty-six percent of the injuries (4,892) were assault-related (NCIPC)." 

Domestic abuse and the concurrent violence related injuries is a big concern in our communities. It needs a concerted and coordinated effort to prevent women from suffering severe mental and physical abuse. Yes, there are cases of women who abuse men. However, since I serve on the Board of the Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP) and volunteer at the local Family Justice Center, I know that it is women who are most often the victims. The Power and Control Wheel clearly delineates that it is the need for power and control that leads to most domestic abuse. This power is mostly used by men against women. The cycle of violence is too often broken when the abused woman is killed by her abuser. The unexpected happened in my family when my sister became a victim in a case of domestic violence during a divisive divorce proceeding. I am thankful that there are organizations to serve the many women in need. These organizations may save the lives of some women who have nowhere else to go. I admire the professional staff and volunteers who work to make the world a safer place for women and children. 


  1. "There are those who object to including domestic abusers in the prohibited purchaser category of the National Instant Check System."

    The reason, as you well know, is that felony domestic violence is already included in the blanket ban on felons possessing firearms. What you want to perpetuate is the infringement of a persons civil rights based on misdemeanor behavior. As I explained to my wife a few days ago, if she was to throw a can of Campbells soup at me in the store and someone called the cops, she would be a prohibited person for life.

    Misdemeanor domestic assault can be as simple as pushing a person and making them fall down. Certainly rude behavior and possibly grounds for immediate ending of the relationship, but not grounds for a permanent ban on firearms possession.

  2. You are ever vigilant, Sean. Be careful with those soup cans.

  3. japete --

    I'm an attorney, and do pro bono work through local nonprofits dealing with both domestic violence victims and perpetrators. Believe me when I tell you that I am fully aware of the extraordinarily high risk that firearms represent in a DV situation. The reason I, personally, oppose laws like the Lautenberg Amendment, which seek to prohibit DV perpetrators from owning firearms, is because there's an enormous due process concern.

    If these laws confined themselves to disqualifying only individuals who'd been convicted of a DV offense, or who are subject to permanent DV restraining orders resulting from adversarial proceedings, that would be one thing. However, these laws are rarely that specific, and so encompass individuals who are subject even to temporary DV restraining orders -- which in many jurisdictions are issued on a largely pro forma basis, with limited judicial review, and sometimes without the opposing party being given notice and a hearing. Oftentimes DV TROs are issued on the basis of not much more than an allegation.

    The reason temporary DV restraining orders are issued this way is easy to understand. They're intended to be precautionary measures, keeping the parties away from one another until a court can sift through the he-said-she-said fact pattern that invariably accompanies any family law case. We want to be able to issue them quickly, and without a lot of fuss, in the interests of safety. The imposition is fairly small, too: the typical DV TRO simply admonishes the alleged perpetrator to stay away from the alleged victim, under penalty of contempt, pending a hearing.

    However, once you throw Lautenberg into the mix, the manner in which DV TROs are oftentimes issued creates a non-trivial risk of erroneous deprivation of a fundamental constitutional right. And that's unacceptable to me, even if a majority of the time we'd still be taking guns away from scumbag abusers: while most DV allegations are true, there are still enough false allegations and he-said-she-said muddles that real people end up getting hurt.

    If gun control proponents could bring themselves to acknowledge this concern, and advocate either from a modification of Lautenberg to exempt DV TROs, or for a modification of DV TRO issuance procedures to create better safeguards against erroneous deprivations of gun rights, I suspect it'd be a opportunity for common ground.

  4. I agree that abusers shouldn't have guns, but I also don't think they should be free to walk the streets either. If what they've done isn't enough to put them in jail, then I don't think there is enough evidence to strip a right away. I certainly don't think most women are making it up when they seek help, but it does happen on occasion, we need more than an accusation or restraining order.

  5. I'd agree with the points made by Brett here. I'd also add that much of my objection to the misdemeanor DV prohibition is that it's permanent. Granted, misdemeanors can generally be expunged, so there is a path to restoration of rights through expungement, but I'd have less of an issue with the Lautenberg Amendment if the prohibition were temporary, and was not applied in a retroactive manner as it was when the law was passed.

    I have no sympathy for a man who hits a woman hard enough to seriously injure or otherwise make her seek medical attention. That's someone who deserves to go to prison for a felony assault, and I don't mind them losing their 2A rights upon conviction. But misdemeanor assault can be as little as grabbing someone's arm to keep them from walking away from you. Doesn't have to be a spouse either, as the DV statutes have been read as prohibiting siblings who get into a scuffle, or parents dealing with their kids. I question whether even a temporary (1-2 year) prohibition is fair under those circumstances, but since most misdemeanor sentences allow for that kind of jail time, losing one fundamental right seems comparable. I'd probably settle for the prohibition lasting as long as the jail sentence could last under whatever state statute he/she was convicted under lasts. It would be a relatively trivial matter for the computers to compile sentencing data for all the states, and apply the appropriate calculations to figure out whether the disability has expired.

  6. The most serious levels of domestic violence should be felonies, and I won't defend those people's gun rights, as long as there is adequate due process, and a conviction.

    However, domestic violence is not all the same--there are situations that do not rise to felony level, but are too serious to be ignored. There is also a difference in the defense given for a misdemeanor. I do not believe that any constitutional right should be permanently removed for a misdemeanor--especially ex post facto.

    I've got an extended family member who discovered that she cannot own guns due to an incident with her older and much larger sister years before passage of the Lautenberg amendment. I don't know the details--but older sister is far more prone to conflict than the younger, very prone to using the court system, and estranged from most of her immediate family. Younger sister would have had the choice of pleading guilty and paying around $150 in fines, or hiring a lawyer at $500 or more, with the possibility of still paying the fines.

    When I told my ex that I wanted a divorce, she falsely accused me of abuse in order to bypass residency time requirements for divorce--this let her get the divorce started in her area rather than mine. Had Lautenberg been available to her, I'm fairly sure she would have filed a TRO just to trigger its provisions.

    I absolutely agree with Brett--TRO's should be fairly easy to get quickly, but should be minimally restrictive. TRO's affect the law abiding far more than criminals, especially if they go beyond a no contact order. In my divorce, I'd have welcomed a mutual no contact order, as long as it didn't add other restrictions.

  7. I'd tack on to what Brett said -- the consequences can be especially significant for certain individuals.

    Military personnel, police officers, and others who have to deal with weapons in their work can lose their jobs for a misdemeanor because of the Lautenberg amendment. While these individuals should be held to a higher standard, there are some due process concerns. We don't automatically discharge an unruly young marine or army soldier for assault (for example, the outcome of a bar fight downtown) or other misdemeanor type offenses, even if they include some type of violence. But if the MPs get called to visit home one night then it is curtains for their career, their GI bill benefits, and so on, with consequences even more serious than some felony offenses.

    You're basically imposing a felony-type sentence for misdemeanor behavior. The loss of GI bill benefits that can come along with a less than honorable discharge basically makes the "fine" for a misdemeanor worth tens of thousands or hundreds or thousands of dollars. Domestic violence is a serious crime, but I haven't seem many jurisdictions impose hundred-thousand-dollar fines for misdemeanor offenses.


    I haven't heard the argument that more men are abused by women than the other way around. It seems relatively absurd to me. I'm sure there are a few cases where this actually occurs but it doesn't seem common.


    Domestic abusers -- especially violent felons -- shouldn't necessarily have firearms, but abuse victims can sometimes be well served by arming themselves. What happens if their abuser -- often a larger, physically stronger male -- ignores the restraining order? You can't have a police officer with you all the time.

    It isn't the best solution for everyone but it clearly is a good option for some. Here's a few local stories about women that defended themselves:

  8. Is it true that some have said the female to male violence is greater. That's unbelievable. I can't imagine what world they live in.

    I've written about this quite a few times and eventually coined the phrase, "guns are bad news for women." The stats of women losing their lives in domestic shootings in high-gun states compared to low-gun states are frightening.

    Misdemeanor domestic abusers should lose their gun rights forever. One strike you're out, Sean.

  9. Interesting discussion here- more rational than some. I am concerned, like Mikeb is, that those with misdemeanor domestic abuse charges who could get their rights to own guns back would abuse again. It's too late once someone shoots another. Too often we hear of men who are repeat offenders and abuse women over and over. And then suddenly we read about a shooting in the newspaper. There have been 2 such incidents in my city within the last year. The women were reluctant to seek help in the first place. Perhaps if they had, they would be alive today. Both of the men involved had known problems and would likely, in one case for sure, had their rights to own guns taken away. As I have said before though, that doesn't mean these men can't still get guns from the illegal market or at gun shows or other places where background checks are not required. The Lautenberg amendment has undoubtedly saved the lives of some women. That's enough for me.

    To Sevesteen- I am concerned that your wife would have thought she could use the Lautenberg amendment against you. What would have given her reason to do so? In my town, the judges look carefully at what the legal advocates write in their Orders for Protection. They consider thoughtfully and hesitantly removing guns from abusers. Law enforcement also considers their options and knows that it is not an easy thing to do. They must find a place for these guns if it is temporary, which in some cases it is. But since my city is the home of the "Duluth Model" in dealing with domestic abuse, there is a coordinated community response involving all agencies. The first thing that happens is that L.E. arrests the offender immediately to get the woman out of danger. Then the system takes over. It seems like a fair system to me. Abusers are arrested. Women hopefully get help and many do now that we have our Family Justice Center, making it easier for them. And, by the way, we don't always write orders for protection. A lengthy process occurs of interviewing the women to determine their needs. Some women are turned away because they are making false claims or their stories do not warrent such. But at least, if they are in the system and have made contact, they can come back if things get worse.

  10. Domestic homicide is almost never simply a single incident. It is almost always the culmination of a long history of abuse. I remember reading one study that found that 90% of domestic homicide victims had had prior police calls to the address within the previous year, and that the average number of police calls being five.

    From my point of view, passing a law that forbids the abuser from possessing guns is really rather pointless, if you're going to leave the victim in the same household as the abuser. And I don't see restraining orders of being much use, either.

    The only thing that really works is getting the victim to leave, and that can be very hard to do. People are afraid of change, and they're afraid of being alone, and the victims are way too good at making excuses for the behavior of the abuser.

    And that's where the guns are important. The most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is in the first weeks and months after she leaves. For the abuser to hunt her down is far too common, and the results are far from pleasant.

    A victim of domestic violence who has fled her abuser desperately needs a gun, or needs to live with someone who has a gun. (Given the emotional state of most domestic violence victims, the latter is often the better choice.)

    Which means that you, if you take in a domestic violence victim, need a gun. If your old college roommate shows up at your door, looking for a place to stay after running from her ex, you need a gun.

    Your risks of being targeted for a life-threatening violent crime have just increased significantly.

    (And no, that she has a restraining order against him will not make you safer).

  11. Jdege, you are arguing from the perspective of empowerment and personal responsibility to a people who want ypu to be powerless and unable to take responsibility for yourself.

    That's what gun control really is, a demand that you cede all power to resist to the government in return for a promise of protection. Notice how the victims advocate types equate "empowerment" with big daddy government stepping in to protect you.

    They have accepted the premise that victimhood is morally powerful, they will never accept the idea that standing up for yourself is a moral act. They cannot understand that they are training the next generation of victims by pretending that being a victim is preferable to protecting yourself.

    Gun control is the belief that a woman raped and then strangled with her own pantyhose is somehow morally superior to the woman explaining to the cops how her attacker got all those bullet holes.

  12. Dear Sean,
    The only reason I published this comment is to show other reasonable readers of my blog what total nonsense comes from some of you folks. This is so ridiculous, it's laughable. And what's worse is that you believe it.

  13. We just had an example of this in MN. A woman was violently sexually assaulted in front of her children by a group of teenagers. The same group then proceeded to kidnap two teenage girls and rape them in a nearby garage - where they were captured by Police.

    The victim published a blog entry about how we're all supposed to join hands with these violent criminals and sing Kumbahyah together. This victim mentality does NOT make her somehow morally superior or benevolent - just an easier target in the future for crime.

    NOT sure about the rest - but if this were my wife and children, I would have no quarter for the criminals in this case.

  14. Yes, I read about this one. Awful stuff. I wonder where those teen-agers got their gun? This goes to show that not everyone chooses to have a gun. I know that's hard for you to understand. We don't know for sure if the woman could have defended herself with a gun. If this is the case I think you mean, she was out skiing with her chilldren in a park. One usually does not want to take a gun along while cross country skiing. In fact, if she had brought out a gun, who knows what might have happened? Perhaps she or someone else would now be dead. I know you would think the teen-agers deserved to die for what they did. That is debatable. I wouldn't be asking people to sing. Give me proof of that one. It sounds hyperbolic to me. And stop saying "victim mentality". Have you ever been a victim? How arrogant of you to assume you know what that's like and you feel so free to demean victims. This is ugliness and coldness. No one needs that and it certainly won't lead to anyone wanting to have a discussion with you.

  15. Joan - Very rarely would I say anyone deserves to die, and I don't know what my reaction would have been in this case. No one is able to see the future. I'm guessing it would have been different than hers though.

    That these "boys" obtained their weapon illegally I'm certain, it's not legal for anyone under 18 to possess a handgun anyways.

    As a matter of fact I HAVE been a victim of a violent crime in the past, that contributes to my current mentality as well....but why would you assume that? I'm a heartless firearm owner, right? Crime can happen anywhere - included a wooded park in the heart of a major metro area - chance favors the prepared.


    Feel free to read it yourself; you probably draw a warm and fuzzy conclusion.

    Compassion is for a kid who makes a mistake (spray paint tag a garage, break into a car, etc) , not for sexual predators who gang rape. These "boys" deserve to be locked up for a long time.

  16. Wow. Thanks for sharing this wonderful blog by the woman who was attacked. I don't find it to be anything like you said. It is a beautiful piece about her healing and wanting to get her life back. She was not asking anyone to sing Kumbaya ( that was cynical of you). She was telling people to get back to their lives and not to be afraid to be in the park because of what happened to her. And, from her blog ( which I suggest everyone should read): "
    I do want to correct one major inaccuracy in the news that I have read.
    None of us were raped, to the best of my knowledge. Yes, I was sexually
    assaulted but the girls did manage to fight off the boys and escape before anything happened. I really have a huge repulsion at the labeling of us as victims. I see us as strong and capable of taking charge of our safety."

    I think this is a great way to deal with her "victimhood". She is speaking out about the behavior of the boys. She is thankful they are in jail. She sounds like a woman with her head on straight. Good for her.

    And if you don't want to be lumped in with the heartless firearm owners, then stop demeaning victims.

  17. I'm almost afraid to ask, but what other misdeameanor convictions do you think should result in a permanent deprivation of a constitutional right, MikeB?

  18. I'm demeaning no one, I feel for this woman, her children, and the two girls who were kidnapped against their will (and the Police Report still details rape, I won't pick nits, it was horrible either way), and I'm glad they're healing. I'm saying the criminals in this case deserve to be punished, not broken down psychologically.

    ...and I'm not afraid to use that park.

  19. Broken down psychologically? like torture? or what did you mean by that?

  20. "not broken down psychologically"

    What I think he meant is that they should simply be locked up (punished), rather than trying to better understand the criminal's mindset.

  21. Nice try. I don't think that's what he meant. I want to hear it from him because he used the words.

  22. Alright my bad. Where did you get the idea he meant torture though? That's not at all in context with what Pat wrote. What did you mean by torture?

  23. What does "broken down psychologically" mean to you?

  24. In context with what was said in the previous post:

    "Compassion is for a kid who makes a mistake (spray paint tag a garage, break into a car, etc) , not for sexual predators who gang rape. These "boys" deserve to be locked up for a long time."

    I took 'broken down psychologically' to mean to define in more simple terms, to better understand. In this case, to better understand the 'boys' whom Pat was referring to. The phrase 'broken down' doesn't necessarily have a negative meaning.

  25. "But since my city is the home of the "Duluth Model" in dealing with domestic abuse, there is a coordinated community response involving all agencies."

    What is the "Duluth Model?"

  26. Do you read the entire contents of a comment, or just pick snippets? I don't advocate torture of common thugs.

    I indicated that the "boys" needed criminal punishment (ie. incarceration) -- not a psychological reading by their victim.

    At 13, 14, 15, and 16 -- I knew what was acceptable behavior in society. I knew that it wasn't morally or legally right to assault a female. These "boys" didn't make a mistake - they knew exactly what they were doing.

  27. The Duluth Model is used by law enforcement and other agencies to make sure that the men who abuse are not only arrested immediately but then sent to mandatory court-ordered sessions dealing with domestic abuse. It is now replicated all over the world. DAIP in Duluth holds training sessions both in Duluth and cities all over the country. They use what is called a "coordinated community response".

  28. Pat- what did you mean then by "broken down psychologically". I am still not sure what that statement is supposed to mean. If you didn't intend what I took from it, how else could you take that comment? And of course, I want those boys to be punished and kept locked up. There is something wrong when teen age boys engage in such reprehensible and violent behavior.

  29. To quote my comment EXACTLY:

    "I'm saying the criminals in this case deserve to be punished, not broken down psychologically."

    By "NOT broken down psychologically" I mean, we don't have to analyze their motives -- just punish the offenders.

    I think it was fairly clear...

  30. I would just like to point out that even in a world without guns, men are generally overwhelmingly stronger and more dangerous than women in a physical confrontation. A personal (non hypothetical) example:

    I'm a big guy. I stand 6 foot 4 inches tall, and I weigh 275 lbs. My wife is 5 foot 2 inches tall, and although I don't have an exact number she is less than half my weight. We wrestle playfully, and I am EXTREMELY careful to avoid harming her. Because of this, she got to thinking that she could stand up to me physically. I'm a boxing enthusiast, and my wife bugged me constantly to practice boxing with her, despite my repeatedly telling her that would be foolish. To demonstrate the power disparity, I had her stand in front of a mattress and hold the pad of my punching bag. I then put on a boxing glove and punched the bag as I would in a fight. She went backwards about 4 feet before falling prone -and unhurt- on the mattress.

    Do you think that, were I to decide in a fit of rage to kill my wife, I couldn't inflict permanent damage or death with a single punch? As a corollary, do you think that she could possibly defend herself against me, or a strange man my size, without a firearm?

    Domestic violence is a horrible tragedy. However, firearms do NOT cause it. Those proven to be felony level domestic abusers are already stripped of their right to keep and bear arms. I do not think that focusing on gun ownership of misdemeanor offenders will prevent any deaths, and that your time should be spent on other, more effective areas.

  31. Sean --

    The Duluth Model is a particular methodology for dealing with domestic violence. It's focused on a comprehensive response to DV, involving police, the courts, and the community as a whole. It draws on research indicating that DV victims frequently rationalize the abuse, and only leave abusive situations once those rationalizations cease to have traction (in other words, once they internalize that the abuser is the one with the problem, and isn't going to change). The objective is to provide victims with support beginning at an early stage, to help them overcome those rationalizations and get out of abusive relationships more quickly, while also getting abusers "into the system" in order to track problems and, hopefully, prevent them.

    It's been implemented in whole or in part in many, many jurisdictions. It's quite successful, especially because it doesn't necessarily require legislative changes to work. But it's also, in my experience, a double-edged sword: while it's great that police and the courts take DV so seriously now, it's resulted in some institutional bias toward taking allegations at face value rather than assessing them critically. The extent of that bias, obviously, varies between jurisdictions.

  32. Try reading the wikipedia entry on the Duluth Model and see if your description accurately characterizes the model

  33. Sean, I don't understand your problem with the Duluth Model. Brett is absolutely correct in his assessment of it. It works and has worked for 30 years. We just had our 30 year anniversary celebration. The women who started the program were honored. They are brave and wise women who had a vision and it turned into an amazing success story. You should be happy that there is such a program and that it is being used all over the world. It's too late now for you to voice your objections. Law enforcement, social service agencies and governmental agencies are well into using this model.

  34. When is it ever too late to point out the sexism of the Duluth Model? The Model specifically says that violence is always the fault of the man. That is sexist, and tells us a lot about why you cannot accept that women initiate violence within relationships at least as often as men. Men, being generally bigger and stronger, generally cause greater damage physically, but how many men never go to the ER or the cops out of fear or shame? When, as you say, this sexist model is used by police all over the world.

    It is for this reason that I tell everyone, men and women, that if somone hits you in a relationship, run, don't walk, away. Women stand a chance of being seriously hurt, and men will end up in jail no matter who did what to whom. It isn't fair, but neither is the rest of life.

  35. Joan,

    t's too late now for you to voice your objections. Law enforcement, social service agencies and governmental agencies are well into using this model.

    By your own logic, then it is too late to voice your objection to the current firearm laws and practices, right?

  36. Of course, what I am saying is that the Duluth Model is used world-wide and widely acclaimed. I don't think that Sean's objections to it are going to change that. It's not a law, it's a program. If he wanted to change it, perhaps he could get himself on the board. A law can be made or changed.

  37. Sean --

    I believe I pointed out that the Duluth Model is problematic in that it creates an institutional bias towards taking allegations of abuse at face value rather than assessing them critically. I didn't get into other criticisms of the Duluth Model because they're not really relevant to this conversation. I agree that some of the assumptions (all domestic violence is the product of patriarchy) upon which the model is based are problematic, but that's neither here nor there in the context of firearms. The reality is that even given its limitations, it's a better methodology for addressing domestic violence than what came before it.

  38. MikeB: “Is it true that some have said the female to male violence is greater. That's unbelievable. I can't imagine what world they live in.”

    Greater in quantity- yes, absolutely. Greater in level/intensity/damage- no, of course not. This was pointed out in the link from this post. But if we are talking about number of occurrences that technically qualify as misdemeanor domestic violence, I have no doubt that it is perpetuated more often by women (and for the most part, unreported). The main reason is because it is socially acceptable. Think about it- if a woman slaps a man in a bar, most people’s reaction is probably to laugh. When the Tiger Woods scandal broke a year ago, the general reaction was, “Wow! I wonder what he did.” However, and for good reason, male vs. female violence is more serious.

    A funny thing about Lautenberg is that a woman who owns guns and calls the police on her husband will effectively lose HER gun rights if she chooses to stay with him (or risk a felon conviction for herself and her husband). It is a weird quirk that disarms someone for being a victim and may mean another reason for women not to seek help (which I would hate to see). I think the most important thing in domestic violence situations is for the woman to seek help, whether it is from friends and family, or legal help, or programs like the one Japete is involved in. It is a tough situation, but perhaps by focusing on extra punishment for the abuser, it could be counter productive to her seeking help. There are a lot of emotions involved, and far too often women restrain from calling the police because they “love the guy” and don’t want to ruin his life. Not that they don’t deserve it, but I am more concerned with the victim’s welfare than punishing the abuser.

  39. "but that's neither here nor there in the context of firearms."

    No, this discussion is exactly the discussion we need to have. Let's see what our hostess had to say in the post that started this discussion,

    "Some who read this blog claim that violence perpetrated by women against men is higher than the opposite. This article refutes that notion. On the face of it the argument used about violence against men is a non sequitur. And for what purpose is it even made? If you read the article, linked above, you will find that the purpose is to deny the real problem, which is domestic violence against women."

    First she starts off with the straw man argument. No one ever said that the violence was worse, just that if there was violence, more than half the time women threw the first punch, kick, or object. Secondly, she tries to pretend that we are acting in bad faith when we point out that women are equally at fault OVERALL when it comes to domestic violence. In any particular situation, either person, or even both people, can be the problem. In some relationships the man is the abuser, some the woman, and in some, it goes both ways.

    In the particular case of my father's parents, my grandmother ALWAYS initiated the violence. Her own brother said so, confirming exactly what my father always saw. She would hit him, maybe once, maybe twice and he'd hit her back, knocking her down and ending the fight. It never got bad enough to end up with cops and hospital visits, but it was still domestic violence as we understand it today and it was still wrong. To deny that she was the aggressor, repeatedly, is to lie about the situation.

    Our hostess, with her dogged belief in the Duluth Model, which denies that women can be at fault, is perpetrating a fraud when she makes the claim that only men, or even primarily men, are the aggressors. Women can be just as nasty as men, and no one should be foolish enough to pretend otherwise. Sexism is sexism, and the Duluth Model is just the modern version of it.

    Domestic Violence is used to deny the rights of men. It is only fair to insist that we look at what actually is going on in any given situation rather than view that situation through the lens of a sexist Model. If the founding principles of the Duluth Model are that men are always wrong, that women never lie, and that the patriarchy is forever to blame, it’s no wonder that we never get useful answers to the questions we ask about domestic violence.

  40. Sean- you persist in believing the Duluth Model is sexist and saying that men are always wrong. You are missing some larger points here. Get off of this thread. It's going nowhere.

  41. Brett asked me, "what other misdeameanor convictions do you think should result in a permanent deprivation of a constitutional right."

    All misdemeanors with a gun. At the judge's discretion some paperwork crimes or other really minor deviations might be overlooked.

    All misdemeanor violence whether in the home or not.

    Of course, one negligent discharge of a weapon also results in loss of rights even if no misdemeanor is involved.

    I think that'll do it.