The legislation, co-authored in 1994 by then-Sen. Joe Biden and final reauthorized in 2013, was designed to guard girls from home violence, sexual assault and stalking via a large array of programs, from making a nationwide home violence hotline to funding shelters for girls to offering coaching on gender-based violence. The legislation, which has been re-authorized varied occasions to update and expand protections through the years, expired in 2019 after the GOP managed Senate on the time refused to think about the measure however Congress nonetheless appropriated temporary funding for the packages/grants beneath the purview of the VAWA. The want for this legislation to be reauthorized is much more acute at the moment given the alarming uptick in home violence circumstances throughout Covid-19-related closures.
Still, solely 29 House Republicans voted with Democrats to proceed this nationwide program to scale back violence in opposition to girls. I will not be so glib as to say that these 172 House Republicans do not care about girls, particularly since a few of these voting no included women like Rep. Liz Cheney.
So why would they vote in opposition to the laws, regardless of a 2019 study discovering that ladies within the United States are being killed by “intimate partners” (husbands, boyfriends, or exes) at a grotesque charge of practically 4 a day — up from the three that had been the day by day demise toll for many years earlier than. (Yes, 4 girls are killed day by day.)
One key motive is that they agree with the National Rifle Association’s opposition to a proposed provision within the legislation that may shut what is called the “boyfriend loophole.” Pursuant to a federal law enacted in 1996 — unrelated to the VAWA — these convicted of home violence in opposition to a present or former partner are prohibited from legally buying a firearm.
The new VAWA measure would lengthen that prohibition to “boyfriends” who’ve been convicted of stalking, assaulting a courting companion or who had a restraining order issued in opposition to them for his or her actions concerning their girlfriend or ex. Given that FBI knowledge signifies {that a} boyfriend is nearly as likely as a husband to kill an intimate companion, closing this loophole might save lives.
Some House Republicans mentioned they opposed the invoice as a result of it prolonged protections to transgender Americans who’ve been abused by intimate partners. Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko mentioned the legislation pushed “leftist gender ideology” by requiring shelters to accommodate males together with susceptible girls.
Who's teaching us to hateWho's teaching us to hate
While it is past phrases that these Republicans would flip their again on susceptible individuals in want, it was ending the “boyfriend loophole” that precipitated the best pushback. GOP Rep. Bob Good of Virginia stated that the proposed model of the VAWA “makes it clear that Democrats consider gun ownership a second-class right.” And Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia desires extra, not fewer weapons in our nation, stating, “If you want to protect women, make sure women are gun owners and know how to defend themselves. That’s the greatest defense for women.”

But assume for a second concerning the real-world state of affairs of the “boyfriend loophole.” If a person who has been convicted of stalking his girlfriend immediately desires to buy his first firearm, ought to that be allowed? This is particularly true contemplating knowledge that immediately hyperlinks firearms with lethal cases of home violence.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the presence of a gun in home violence conditions can increase the risk of homicide for women as a lot as 500%. (*172*) addition, abusers with firearms are five times extra prone to kill their victims given the simple entry to a lethal weapon. (*172*) reality, a 2019 study published within the American Journal of Preventive Medicine discovered girls killed by intimate companions usually tend to be murdered with a firearm than by all different means mixed.
Closing the “boyfriend loophole” wouldn’t solely save the lives of lady, but additionally of others, together with cops. That was the very point made in 2019 by Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo after a Houston police officer was shot and killed when responding to a home violence incident by a person who had beforehand been convicted of violence in opposition to his girlfriend. If the loophole had been closed when House Democrats first pushed to finish it, the boyfriend wouldn’t have legally been in a position to buy a gun.

While the Atlanta taking pictures rightly instructions the headlines, our nation has a day by day epidemic of violence in opposition to girls. Closing the boyfriend loophole shouldn’t have been partisan, however slightly a measure that Republicans and Democrats took in unison.

Instead, 172 Republicans selected making certain {that a} man — even one convicted of stalking or assault — should buy a gun over defending girls from gun violence. What extra will it take for these Republicans to place the security of ladies first?


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