The Supreme Court, freed from the chauvinistic conservatism of Justice Scalia, has issued a string of incredibly important rulings that protect the rights and well-being of American women while dealing a resounding blow to the pernicious agendas of two of America’s most destructive lobbies. Following on the heels of this morning’s striking down of a draconian anti-abortion law is a ruling which upheld a law that would deny convicted “reckless” domestic abusers their right to bear arms.
It’s a huge win for American women, who suffer horrific abuse and harm at the hands of American men. Three American women are killed by their partners every day, and 4.7 million women will be abused by their partners every year. A woman is beaten every nine seconds in the United States. Owning a firearm increases a woman’s chance of being murdered by her partner by five times. She is 70% more likely to be murdered by him in the month after she ends the relationship. Simply living in a state with high gun ownership dramatically increases a woman’s chance of being murdered by someone she knows.
So it is clear that it behooves us to keep firearms out of the hands of the callous brutes who feel that it is acceptable to abuse their partners. The epidemic of physical, sexual and emotional abuse is a global phenomenon, but is particularly potent in the United States, where a patriarchal justice system and a culture of toxic hypermasculinity encourage and excuse these kinds of horrific crimes. The sense of entitlement that too many men are instilled with from birth – and the violence with which they react when they are denied what they feel they are owed – should give us all pause.
The idea that this ruling had to be passed at all is a clear sign that the gun reform debate in our nation has gone off the rails; in what world anyone could justify giving weapons to men who have already been convicted of being a danger to others is beyond me, but we still have NRA shills complaining and moaning about the infringements of the rights of barbarous swine. Little regard is given to the rights of women to not be killed by their abusive partners, but then again, in most states run by conservatives, women’s rights are given little to no regard at all.
I’d like to leave you with these moving words from this excellent piece on Medium by writer Laura Louise, who describes the plight of the American woman and the horrors committed in our nation with chilling detail.
On Monday [June 6th, 2016] night, 24 year-old Michelle Marks was shot in the head in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Point blank. Boom, done, dead. Her ex-boyfriend has been taken into custody and is expected to be charged with her murder.
Shocked by this story? Because I’m not. Horrified, yes. Of course I’m horrified. I am bewildered by the lack of moral center and obvious contempt for women found within this perpetrator. I am devastated by the mutilation and destruction of the female body and the reckless disregard for human life. And I’m angered by the ease in which this act was committed, publicly, and the barely audible outcry in the days following. But surprised? No.
Why? Because just last week Margarette Madi, pregnant with her third child, was killed by her husband because he thought she was a voodoo priestess trying to murder him.
Because on a Tuesday in early February Caroline E. Nosal was killed by her co-worker, Christopher O’Kroley, because she didn’t want to date him, and because she had reported him to management for harassment. During his confession, O’Kroley said it was “easy” to kill Nosal because she had “ruined his life”.
Because just two weeks before that, Janese Talton-Jackson was killed by Charles McKinney, because she had rejected him when he came onto her at a bar. That’s it. That’s literally the only reason he followed her out of the bar, into the car park, and shot her in the chest. Because she said no.
Because a pregnant woman in Chelsea was beaten and thrown to the ground because she didn’t say thank you to the man who opened a door for her.
Because a woman in Texas rejected a man’s romantic advances, so he abducted her and tortured her in his own home for two weeks.
Because Detroit mother of three, Mary “Unique” Spears, was shot and killed at a relative’s funeral after she rejected the advances of a stranger attending the same event.
Because 16 year-old Maren Sanchez was killed in a Connecticut high school by Chris Plaskon after she refused to go to Prom with him.
Because Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 14 others after writing a rambling manifesto detailing how he’s a sad, sniveling excuse of a human being who cracked the sads because no girl would sleep with him.
Because Adrian Bayley followed Jill Meagher home and abducted her meters from her front door, later dumping her abused body in a shallow grave — because he ran into her on the street and because he felt like it.
Because Greg Anderson killed Rosie Batty’s son after she took out a restraining order against him, because if Greg couldn’t have his son, then neither could Rosie.
Because — come on — even Serial podcast darling Adnan Syed is in jail for (allegedly) killing his ex-girlfriend, because he was either heartbroken or angered by Hae Min Lee dumping him.
Because searching “man kills ex-girlfriend” in Google News — just news, not even a general Google search — brings up over one million results.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.