Imagine being the type of person who uses a police officer’s death to push a political agenda. Even worse, what if you were the officer’s boss? This is what Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo did when he gave a press conference to discuss the death of one of his police officers. Instead of only honoring the fallen law enforcement official — who was murdered by a domestic abuse suspect — he used the opportunity to lash out at the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo blasts NRA & Corrupt senators after officer's death in fiery speech.After receiving millions in donations Republicans refuse to pass the Violence Against Women Act at the request of the NRA…@senatemajldr @SenTedCruz “Whose side are you on?l” pic.twitter.com/qfixYS5Cqt
— Terrence Daniels (Captain Planet) (@Terrence_STR) December 10, 2019
The police chief targeted Republican members of Congress, claiming that their support for the NRA indicates they do not care about gun deaths:
“I don’t want to hear about how much they care about lives and the sanctity of lives yet, we all know in law enforcement that one of the biggest reasons that the Senate and Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and others are not getting into a room and having a conference committee with the House and getting the Violence Against Women’s Act (passed) is because the NRA doesn’t like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends that abuse their girlfriends.”
He continued, “And who killed our sergeant? A boyfriend abusing his girlfriend. So you’re either here for women and children and our daughters and our sisters and our aunts, or you’re here for the NRA. So I don’t want to see their little smug faces talking about how much they care about law enforcement when I’m burying a sergeant because they don’t want to piss off the NRA.”
But, as with many other gun-control activists, the Acevedo is lying about Republicans’ opposition to the most recent reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was originally passed in 1994, was designed to protect female victims of domestic violence. The legislation emphasized community efforts to address the problems of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and other crimes against women. While the act was passed in the ‘90s, it must be reauthorized, and this is the issue at hand.
The legislation was up for reauthorization earlier this year, but GOP lawmakers voted against the act because the Democrats wanted to add in measures that some would find problematic. Most notably, those who are convicted of either a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence charges would be prohibited from obtaining a firearm.
The new additions carry with it some potential problems regarding 2nd amendment rights and even when it comes to protecting women. One of the issues was the legislation’s urging local law enforcement agencies to adopt “mandatory arrest” policies in which any officer responding to a domestic violence call is required to make an arrest. This approach is designed to prevent a situation in which the alleged abuser intimidates the victim into recanting their accusation.
But this could have unintended consequences. In an interview with The Atlantic, Christina Villegas, a visiting fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum pointed out a potential pitfall. She pointed out that a 2007 study revealed that states who implement similar policies could increase homicides because victims who may have wanted law enforcement to intervene in a particular incident without making an arrest are less likely to make an abuse claim before it becomes escalated.
Another flaw with the Democrats’ additions is the fact that it alters the visa program in a way that grants permanent residency to immigrants who become victims of abuse. Naturally, an immigrant could easily obtain this status simply by claiming that their significant other has abused them. During the Senate hearings on the law, Julie Poner claimed that her husband gained permanent residency after they divorced by falsely accusing her of abusing her. This resulted in the government taking her children out of her home and placing them into foster care.
Lastly, the new legislation expands the definition of domestic violence to include broad terms like “emotional distress.” Heritage Action, a conservative policy advocacy organization, explained that the “expansive and vague language will increase fraud and false allegations, for which there is no legal recourse.”
In a statement, the organization also wrote:
“Under VAWA, men effectively lose their constitutional rights to due process, presumption of innocence, equal treatment under the law, the right to a fair trial and to confront one’s accusers, the right to bear arms, and all custody/visitation rights.”
FreedomWorks, another activist organization expressed similar concerns. “A man that raises his voice at his partner, calls her an offensive name, stalks her, causes her any emotional distress, or simply just annoys her can potentially be prosecuted under the VAWA,” they wrote.
It’s not hard to imagine a situation in which a man who becomes angry and uses harsh language or a raised voice in an argument with his wife or girlfriend is unfairly punished by the government. Of course, we know the progressive #MeToo crowd would be willing to accept this. We have to believe all women no matter what, right? But rational people can easily see the potential problems with the new legislation.
People like Acevedo pretend that conservatives oppose laws such as these simply because they don’t want to protect women. Like many progressive arguments, this one is emotionally-charged and devoid of any real substance. But who cares? Their objective is to further restrict firearms and they are willing to lie to accomplish this objective, even if it means cynically exploiting the death of a police officer to do so.
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