Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Simple Fix

In states that require background checks prior to a gun purchase (a shamefully tiny number), the law frequently specifies married and cohabiting people but omits dating partners. That's a problem.
A gun is no less deadly in abusive dating relationships than it is in abusive married relationships, but in a majority of states the law pretends otherwise. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2008 48.6% of intimate partner homicides were committed by a dating partner. Of those victims, 70% were women. 
It's well past time to set up universal background checks, but that is unlikely to happen in the heat of a Presidential election cycle. However, the simple addition of the words "dating partner" into current laws (and insisting they be included in all future background check legislation) seems simple enough. Sure, it will stimulate the usual "slippery slope" argument from 2nd amendmenteers, but if #AllLivesMatter then this simple step is not only good policy but good politics.

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