from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
A new fear floated above some of the gun exhibits: judges, lawyers and voters were giving women too much power, and the women were using that power to take guns away from their husbands, their boyfriends and their constituents. A gun-grabber lurked in the heart of the liberated woman.
No one at the law seminar lingered on why there was domestic violence in the United States, or how this violence affected men, women and children, or what steps could be taken to reduce or prevent such violence. For many of the lawyers present, it was strictly a legal issue about due process, federal statutes and legal precedents. What happened in the living room or bedroom, likely sites of what crime analysts called simple assault, was off the political and rhetorical radar screens. I also heard no discussion on how to protect women from men in their own homes. No, the subject was about individuals convicted of misdemeanors or slapped with restraining orders who had lost their right to own firearms. And the big issue was how to get them back. It was all about the guns.
I found out that the police were particularly vulnerable. There was mention of how the Minneapolis Police Department was practically disarmed because so many police had present or past restraining orders against them. No one talked about domestic violence, because violence in the home didn’t have the emotional punch of a violent predator breaking into your home.
In 1998, the National Institute for Justice reported that each year 1.5 million women were raped or physically assaulted by intimate partners. Many of these attacks occurred in the privacy of the home. Men were more likely to be attacked by strangers. In contrast, women were seven to 14 times “more likely to report that an intimate partner beat them up, choked or tried to drown them, threatened them with a gun, or actually used a gun on them.”