Today the Senate Judiciary Committee heard SB 525. The bill expands the ability of the state to seize firearms from people who have been neither accused of, nor convicted of, committing a crime.
The room was filled with supporters whose testimony can only be described as incoherent, inconsistent and misleading.
Everyone who testified in favor came armed with statistics. The statistics had only one thing in common…they had nothing in common. Some of these statistics seemed to come out of thin air. Most made little sense.
One common theme was that battered women are safer when their abusive spouse or partner is disarmed. But this all assumed that the victim continued to live or cohabitate with her abuser. No one explained why an abused woman would, or even could, continue to live with a person against whom she had a restraining order.
Representative Carla Piluso attempted to illustrate the need for taking guns away from persons who were the respondents to restraining orders by recounting a crime she responded to when she was a police officer. She described arriving on the seen of a domestic disturbance with shots fired. Inside the apartment the suspect had shot and killed his wife and then himself.
Everyone would agree that this kind of incident is horrific, more so because children were present. But then she mentioned that the perpetrator was a felon with a history of violence, who, of course, was already prohibited from owning a firearm. How this could be a justification for taking guns away from people who have not been convicted of any crime is inexplicable.
Oregon’s Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, who has been in the news a lot lately because of her handling (or mishandling) of the investigation into disgraced former Governor John Kitzhaber, also testified in favor of the bill, but when questioned by Senator Kim Thatcher, was forced to admit that, yes, the bill takes rights away from people who have been convicted of nothing, people who have never even been charged with a crime.
Most disturbing about the testimony from all the people in favor of this dangerous bill was, in spite of the massive showing by those in the entrepreneurial victimhood lobby, that while they were all in support of taking away rights from people never adjudicated to have committed a crime, not a single one ever suggested in anyway that victims of domestic violence should be encouraged to acquire the tools and knowledge they need to keep themselves and their families safe instead of relying on pieces of paper. But we did.
The bill was not voted on today. We will keep you posted.