Guns and Domestic Violence

Single Florida male, 30, wants to meet caring female.  Must like guns — a new Zimmerman ad?

Ladies — do you recognize this guy? He is volatile, possessive, moody and prone to adult temper tantrums. He plays the tough guy but reserves his ire for women, children and even pets. When you’re through with his huffing and puffing and bullying and try to leave him — he turns violent and you need to get an order of protection.

George Zimmerman is the classic domestic batterer whose brushes with the law become more frequent and extreme until he is stopped. Partners of batterers end up dead with alarming frequency. Still, the NRA unabashedly defends domestic abusers’ “rights” to remain armed while they are under orders of protection from terrified wives and girlfriends. Why? Because the right to own and carry a gun is more sacred to the gun lobby than victims of domestic violence! The NRA and other gun rights groups have “beaten back legislation mandating the surrender of firearms in domestic violence situations,” says the New York Times.

batterer

Weeks after emboldening the nation’s cop wannabes with his acquittal for the murder of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman was questioned about alleged abuse against his wife, Shellie Zimmerman. She phoned 911 and told emergency operators “He’s in his car and he continually has his hand on his gun and keeps saying step closer … and he’s gonna shoot us,” according to the police-released phone call. This month in Florida, Zimmerman’s girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, also told police he threatened to shoot her with a gun. “You point your gun at my fricking face,” she is heard to say on the 911 call.

Why is someone who shot and killed a person last year and allegedly threatened to kill his wife this year still armed?

As every woman who has dealt with a violent partner knows, batterers are the opposite of the tough guys they pretend to be. Why else do they attack women and children? Zimmerman said he feared for his life when he encountered Trayvon Martin — even though he was the one with the gun. If he hadn’t self-deputized into a cop wannabe staking out and stalking strangers, there wouldn’t have been a lethal weapon to begin with. What’s wrong with this picture?

Intimate partner homicide increases by 500 percent when a firearm is present and women are three times as likely to be shot and killed by gun-wielding intimate partners than by strangers. Yet NRA-bought politicians keep laws on the books that elevate gun rights above women’s lives. Who will be Zimmerman’s next victim?

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Martha Rosenberg is a columnist/cartoonist who writes about public health. Her first book, titled Born with a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp the Public Health, has just been released by Prometheus Books. She can be reached at: martharosenberg@sbcglobal.net. Read other articles by Martha.