Governor Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) stepped in it at a debate this week when she said she wouldn’t support making it easier for police to disarm domestic violence offenders, but this is official policy for the gun lobby and the NRA. Haley was asked, Tuesday night, “Should the state make it easier for police to keep firearms out of the hands of convicted domestic violence offenders?”
Her answer was roundabout, but pretty clearly a “no”:
Transcription via Wonkette:
You know I’ve always believed in the Second Amendment, and I believe in it because I’m a certified weapons permit holder myself. And I know the classes, and I know the time, and I know the education that you need in order to be able to carry. We want to make sure that we put it in the hands of responsible people, which is why we passed legislation that said that anyone that had been ordered by the courts to be declared with a mentally ill disease, that they could not carry.
But for everybody else, we want them to have the ability to protect their home, protect their children, protect their business.
So, mentally ill, no guns for you. For everybody else, tool up all you want. After getting heat over her answer, Haley’s campaign walked it back:
On Wednesday, Rob Godfrey, Haley’s deputy campaign manager, clarified the governor’s position, saying in an email: “Yes, the governor would absolutely support a South Carolina law that mirrors federal law and allows us to enforce the ban on those convicted of criminal domestic violence from possessing any kind of firearm.”
But while groups like Moms Demand Action push for laws that further restrict domestic abusers’ access to firearms, the National Rifle Association consistently fights for the rights of domestic abusers. Like their record with kids and guns, the NRA has to do a little dance by publicly decrying domestic violence, but then do everything it can to oppose restrictions on gun ownership by offenders. For example, they consistently oppose laws that expand the definition or scope of domestic violence, or force anyone under a protective order to surrender their guns. On the latter count, their reasoning is particularly rich, given their constant refrain about “law-abiding gun owners”:
The bill would require an individual who is subject to a protective order to appear before a court and reveal all the firearms that he or she owns or possesses. It would also require people in this situation to turn the guns over either to a law enforcement agency or to a third party. People in this situation would have no immunity from prosecution for the laws they might be forced to admit violating.
That’s right, the NRA specifically argues in favor of a domestic abuser’s right to retain illegal guns. The group also supported a law that would restore gun rights to convicted domestic violence offenders. When the NRA published, then scrubbed, its Enemies List, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence was right up there.
There is one use that the NRA has for the issue of domestic violence, though. Our old NRA hipster pal Billy Johnson has thoughts about domestic violence that you can view in their entirety here, but here are the bullet points:
“I care a lot about the children…”
“It’s time we stop talking about AR-15s…”
“The implications are clear…”
“I don’t have a silver bullet to solve domestic violence, but what I do know is we can no longer avoid this issue…”
The entire point of this monologue about domestic violence and child abuse is to avoid the issue of guns, while accusing other people of avoiding the issue of domestic violence and child abuse, all while fighting to protect the gun rights of domestic abusers. It is staggeringly scummy. It’s also standard operating procedure for the gun lobby.