President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act into law on Thursday.
“All women deserve the right to live free from fear,” the president told those in attendance. “That’s what today is about.”
In 2011, VAWA lapsed for the first time since 1994, when House Republicans balked at enhanced protections for undocumented immigrants, Native Americans and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Studies have shown that the law — written by then-senator Joe Biden — dramatically reduced domestic violence by as much as 67 percent (PDF).
The law previously had been expanded and renewed twice with broad bipartisan support.
“This is your day. This is the day of the advocates, the day of the survivors. This is your victory,” Obama said. “This victory shows that when the American people make their voices heard, Washington listens.”
The bipartisan Senate bill that included the expanded protections was not even put up for a vote in the House last year. A GOP “civil war” that led to Speaker Boehner breaking the Hastert Rule — which requires a majority of the House majority to support any bill that gets a vote — was required before the bill was finally passed 288-138 earlier in February.
House Republicans also voted on their own version of the law without the new provisions, which failed to win majority support.
The law is so popular that Republican congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) recently claimed he voted for the law even though he only supported the failed Republican version.
“One of the great legacies of this law is it didn’t just change the rules, it changed our culture. It empowered people to start speaking out,” Obama said.
Despite the continued effectiveness of the law — violence against women is down 64 percent just in the last decade – 1 in 5 women will be raped during their lifetime, the president noted.
“There are still too many women in this country who live in fear of violence,” Biden said in his introduction of President Obama.
Not only does the law improve the criminal justice system’s response to crimes against women, it authorizes about $659 million a year over five years to fund grants for transitional housing, legal assistance, law enforcement training and hotlines.
It also reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, adding stalking to the list of crimes that make immigrants eligible for protection, along with authorizing programs that help college campuses deal with sexual violence.
The president dedicated the victory to the victims of domestic violence.
By: Jason Sattler, The National Memo, March 7, 2013
The Daily Caller, that bastion of faux journalism created by faux journalist and former bow-tie wearer Tucker Carlson, is giving away one gun every week until election day. Just in case the vote doesn’t go as elected, I suppose, Daily Caller readers will be able to exercise Second Amendment remedies, courtesy of the man who recently hosted convicted criminal and fraudster Jack Abramoff, saying he has “a decency I’m willing to vouch for.”
Via The Daily Caller:
The Daily Caller will be giving away one gun per week until Election Day – November 6, 2012.
The FMK9C1 is an American-made high capacity 9mm designed by Jim Pontillo and manufactured in
California. Each gun is engraved with the Bill of Rights and comes in one of three colors.
To enter this week’s contest, simply sign up below to receive updates from The Daily Caller. Our DC
Morning emails are an informative and amusing way to keep up with the latest news.
To enter the giveaway you must complete the form below agreeing to all terms and conditions associated with the contest.
I assume the “one of three colors” consist of red, white, and blue.
For those readers not intimately familiar with Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, last month a Daily Caller writer penned a piece lamenting how his bike was stolen, and — although he has absolutely no proof whatsoever — the thief must have been a black person.
Joe.My.God. notes that Tucker Carlson is a “proud gay-basher.”
In a very extensive report, Media Matters profiles the gun manufacturer. An excerpt:
The gun’s manufacturer, Jim Pontillo, has attacked American progressives for supposedly seeking to promote communism in America and claimed that “people calling for secession” are not “fanatics who hate America” but are instead acting “in the Founding tradition.”
This ad is currently running on the website’s NRA-sponsored “Guns and Gear” page: http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/callerguns.jpg
Who knows, maybe the Susan G. Komen Foundation can go in on the deal and add a pink gun to the ”one of three colors”?
30,000 Americans are killed by guns each year. Tucker Carlson’s disgusting readership drive may backfire.
By: David badash, The New Civil Rights Movement, May 24, 2012
The debate over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin seems to be devolving into an argument about the right to wear hoodies, but it really does not appear to be a promising development.
Congress, which never draws any serious conclusions from terrible tragedies involving gunplay, did have time on Wednesday to fight about whether Representative Bobby Rush of Chicago violated the House dress code when he took off his suit jacket, revealing a gray sweater he was wearing underneath, and pulled the hood up over his head.
You may remember that Geraldo Rivera took measure of the Martin case and determined that the moral was: young men, throw out your hoodies. Even Rivera’s son said he was embarrassed. But, hey, we’re talking about it. Mission accomplished.
“Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum,” Congressman Rush said, before he was hustled off for violating the rule against wearing hats on the House floor.
This is pretty much par for the course. Whenever there is a terrible shooting incident somewhere in America, our politicians talk about everything except whether the tragedy could have been avoided if the gunman had not been allowed to carry a firearm.
You would think that this would be a great time to address the question of handgun proliferation, but it has hardly come up in Washington at all. This is because most politicians are terrified of the National Rifle Association. Also, the small band of gun control advocates are busy with slightly less sweeping issues, such as their ongoing but still utterly futile effort to make it illegal to sell a weapon to anyone on the terror watch list.
The only serious debate Congress is likely to have this year on the subject of guns involves whether to allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry their handguns into other states.
Say you were from — oh, maybe Florida, where George Zimmerman was carrying a legal, loaded pistol while he was driving around his gated community, looking for suspicious characters. In Florida, even non-Floridians can get a concealed carry permit. You can get the application online. From the Department of Agriculture. (“Fresh from Florida.”)
Under a bill sponsored by Senator Mark Begich, Democrat of Alaska, you could take your Florida permit and your Florida loaded handgun and travel anyplace in the country, including the states where the police investigate every permit application, and say yes to relatively few. “If this law existed today, George Zimmerman could carry a loaded hidden handgun in Times Square. Today,” said Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
And that would be the moderate version.
Senators John Thune of South Dakota and David Vitter of Louisiana have a competing bill that would relieve residents of states like Vermont and Arizona — which don’t require concealed weapons permits at all — from the cumbersome process of actually putting in some paperwork before they tote their handguns to, say, California or New Jersey. Under this one, Jared Loughner, who shot Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a judge, a small child and four other innocent Arizonans, could have brought his loaded handgun to Times Square.
There is a serious trend toward states letting their residents carry concealed weapons with no more background check than you need to carry a concealed nutcracker. All of this is based on the gun rights lobby’s argument that the more armed law-abiding people we have on our streets, the safer everybody will be. Under this line of thinking, George Zimmerman’s gated community was safer because Zimmerman was driving around with his legal gun. You can bet that future Trayvon Martins who go to the store to buy Skittles after dark will seriously consider increasing their own safety by packing heat. The next confrontation along these lines may well involve a pair of legally armed individuals, legally responding to perceived, albeit nonexistent, threats by sending a bullet through somebody’s living room window and hitting a senior citizen watching the evening weather report.
The Violence Policy Center has a list of 11 police officers and 391 private citizens who have been killed over the last five years by people carrying concealed weapons for which they had a permit. That includes a man in Florida who killed four women, including his estranged wife, in a restaurant in 2010 and another Floridian who opened fire at Thanksgiving, killing four relatives.
You would think all of this would cause states to stop and rethink. But no. And, personally, I’m worn down from arguing. Florida, follow your own star. Arizona, arm your kindergarteners. Just stop trying to impose your values on places where the thinking is dramatically different.
Really, just leave us alone. If you don’t like our rules, don’t come here. Is that too much to ask?
By: Gail Collins, Op Ed Columnist, The New York Times, March 28, 2012