Recently, 157 Republicans and one Democrat from Minnesota, Rep Colin Peterson, voted against the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The law renewal needed to address a major loophole— adding non-live-in boyfriends/girlfriends to the list of domestic abusers banned from owning guns. The new law would also bar those convicted of misdemeanor stalking and domestic violence from possessing guns as well. The current law already included a ban on guns for family members, spouses and live-in boyfriend/girlfriends convicted for felonies. The data is solid. Access to a gun by a domestic abuser increases the risk of homicide by 500 percent (yes, that is not a typo - 500 percent).

Kudos to Congressman Pete Stauber for being one of few Republicans who put the safety of domestic violence victims first. There should be nothing partisan or political about ending the scourge of domestic violence and sexual assault, which one in three women experiences. The NRA strongly opposed this bill and stated that a vote in favor of it would be reflected in the NRA "rating" that they give to House members. Where is the NRA's concern about the U.S.'s rating of domestic violence homicide? On average in the U.S., three women are killed every day in the U.S. by a husband/boyfriend. Join me in thanking Congressman Pete Stauber for caring more about the "rate" of domestic violence affecting our community than his NRA rating. It is possible to support the second amendment AND victims of domestic violence. The NRA could join forces with local advocates to work towards ending domestic violence. In the meantime, if you do not beat, stalk or maim your wife/husband or boyfriend/girlfriend, you have nothing to worry about.

Melissa Scaia

Chisholm

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