Ky. lawmakers should resist NRA's deadly illogic on domestic violence

February 12, 2014 

Nothing more vividly illustrates the insanity of our gun politics than a move to arm victims of domestic violence in Kentucky.

Senate Bill 106, which unanimously cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, would allow judges issuing emergency protective or domestic violence orders to also authorize a concealed carry permit for the person seeking protection.

Never mind that prison often awaits women in Kentucky who kill their abusers.

Or that the purpose of protective orders is to de-escalate violence, not create an arms race.

Or that owning a gun or living in a house where there is a gun greatly compounds the risk of dying from a gunshot.

Or that concealed carry permits would be issued without the required safety training.

Propelled by the National Rifle Association, this bill or something similar seems destined to wing its way through our gun-worshiping legislature this year.

And, if that's not crazy enough for you, the Senate Licensing, Occupations & Administrative Regulations Committee on Tuesday approved SB 60, ending the ban on carrying concealed guns in bars. Thankfully, House Speaker Greg Stumbo is voicing reservations about that one.

As for protecting domestic violence victims, the General Assembly has in recent years proved itself no friend of women seeking protection from an intimate partner's violence or threats.

The Republican-controlled Senate has blocked heterosexual dating partners from having access to protective orders for three straight sessions. (Same-sex partners already enjoy this protection.)

In 2010, the Democratic House went along with the Senate's weakening of domestic violence protections in order to make a show of supporting GPS monitoring in domestic violence cases, which has had no practical effect.

This year, protective orders for dating partners might not even make it out of the House because it has been booby-trapped with a Republican anti-abortion amendment.

If lawmakers genuinely cared about domestic violence victims, they would do more to ensure that protective orders are readily accessible, especially in rural Kentucky, and are promptly served and enforced. Research has shown that protective orders are effective in restoring security to battered women, while saving taxpayers money by averting injuries, crime and incarcerations.

There's no doubt that the NRA is pulling the strings on this one.

Supporters of the legislation will point out that no one would be forced to carry a gun. But the bill sends an insidious message, nonetheless. A civilized society guarantees battered women the law's protection. This bill says get a gun, it's every gal for herself.

The NRA, which has fought to keep guns in the hands of domestic batterers, wants us to believe that the answer to gun violence is more guns. But our legislature should be smart enough to resist that deadly illogic. The NRA and its elected puppets are putting civilization in reverse.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service