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A Sliver of Hope for Gun Control: States Are Starting to Take Them Away From Abusers

February 1, 2018 in Blogs

By Amanda Marcotte, Salon

Despite the NRA’s power, legislators in many states are working to disarm men with domestic violence records.

A minor miracle happened on Tuesday in Annapolis, Maryland. About 200 activists with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense were rallying in the state capital to support the passage of a restriction on gun ownership, and they were met with resistance by counter-protesters from the NRA. At first, things were tense between the two groups, but, in a surprising twist for our hyper-partisan times, the NRA protesters, upon learning what the bill is about — taking guns away from people convicted of domestic abuse — decided to switch sides, throwing their support behind the bill instead.

It was a small sign of something that gun safety advocates have been saying for years: Changing  gun laws is not as impossible as many believe. When it comes to legislation aimed at making it harder for domestic abusers to get their hands on guns, in fact, activists and legislators are quietly securing political victories across the nation.

“Reporters are constantly asking me, 'Do you think Americans are numb?'” Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, told Salon. “That makes it appear that there’s no work being done.

“The domestic gun violence bills that disarm domestic abusers have passed in 25 states and the District of Columbia,” Watts added. We’re getting ready to do it in Maryland, maybe Pennsylvania.” In five years of existence, her organization has helped secure a remarkable series of victories. 

“I’ve been able to heal and overcome and survive by helping others and being a voice,” said Giovanna Rodriguez, a Rhode Island activist who helped pass a bill in September in her state that requires those under a protective order to surrender their firearms. She became an activist after escaping a marriage she describes as physically and emotionally abusive. 

“What was part of our daily lives was the gun that was the centerpiece on our table,” she described. “That’s where he put it as a constant reminder that if things were not done his way, when he wanted how he wanted, that would be the consequence.

“It got to the …read more


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