WaPo to Domestic Violence Victims: You Can't, Shouldn't Arm Yourselves with Guns

The legislation is most likely DOA in the Maryland House of Delegates -- where a similar bill was shot down in an 86-51 vote -- but the Washington Post is so frightened by a state Senate committee vote approving a measure to make it easier for domestic abuse victims to buy a gun that it thought it important to preach about how "Arming abuse victims is the wrong way to curb domestic violence."

According to a March 24 Post editorial, abused women are just too emotionally unstable to exercise their Second Amendment rights and probably "have seen one Jodie Foster film too many" if they think a gun can even the odds against a violent abuser:

THE PROBLEM: Guns accounted for more than half of the deaths resulting from domestic violence in Maryland from June 2007 to July 2008. The solution, according to some lawmakers: more guns. The Maryland Senate may vote as early as today on an amendment that would make it easier for victims of domestic violence to obtain guns. In theory, empowering victims could discourage potential abusers. In practice, adding guns to an already combustible situation is likely to lead to more violence. The Senate should reject the amendment. 

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Maybe backers of the amendment have seen one Jodie Foster film too many, but, in the real world, victims don't usually resolve dangerous situations with gunfire. Strong legislation to keep guns away from abusers, not easy-to-obtain guns, is the best protection for victims. 

Not content to stop there, the Post dreams up a cockamamie scenario that defies logic:

There's another wrinkle: An abuser could misleadingly claim to be a victim of domestic violence and file for a protective order. This would rush a gun into the hands of someone capable of violence.

Yeah, that's the first thing a wife beater is going to do: run to the courthouse, risking the authorities smelling a rat and investigating his claim to find out that it is he who is the abuser. 

Maybe it's the Post that's been watching too many Lifetime movies.

The bottom line for the Washington Post is that it doesn't trust private citizens -- particularly women who are the lion's share of domestic violence victims -- to make their own informed decisions:

Victims' advocates and law enforcement officers have serious concerns about the amendment. They worry that an abuser could discover a firearm hidden by a victim or wrestle away a gun during a dispute. It takes considerable training, police officials note, to be able to effectively wield a gun in self-defense.

Yes, an abuser could discover the gun and could wrestle it away. But that's a risk many women who are abused are willing to take. Many women who are abused are not willing to take that risk. But don't abuse victims deserve the choice to exercise their right to self-defense? To the Post the answer is no, not if it involves the politically incorrect choice of a firearm.

Of course, it's not surprising that's the view of the editorial board, considering that Post reporting on gun rights issues is often biased.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters