Last week, we brought you the sad saga of the three Minnesota congressmen who voted against the Violence Against Women Act.
The bill is an update of a law originally passed in 1994, providing for victim assistance and legal aid in cases of stalking and domestic violence. But it also bars those convicted of such crimes from buying guns. Research shows the incidence of murder vaults by 500 percent when guns are introduced to this equation.
The NRA came out hard against the measure, threatening to go after supporters at election time. That was a bridge too far for Minnesota Republicans Tom Emmer and Jim Hagedorn, and Democrat Collin Peterson, who all dutifully acquiesced.
A week later, their decision to place the needs of stalkers and wife beaters ahead of women's safety looks more damning, if that's possible.
New research by Northeastern University in Boston found that domestic murders have increased by 26 percent since 2010. Nationwide, that comes out to four dead women every day.
The spike coincides with the rush by men like Emmer, Hagedorn, and Peterson to create more lenient gun laws, while sabotaging even the most remedial safety restrictions. Their reasoning is born from the myth that more guns equals more safety, a notion repeatedly debunked. As Scientific American reports, “People who had access to firearms at home were nearly twice as likely to be murdered as people who did not.”
In 93 percent of the cases where women are slain by men, the killer is someone they know. And they won't be getting any help from Minnesota's legislature either. Though nearly 90 percent of the state's gun owners favor universal background checks, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) refuses to even allow a vote on the matter.
So the next time a women is killed by a stalker or an estranged husband, send your congratulations to Mssrs. Emmer, Hagedorn, Peterson, and Gazelka. It will be of their making.