Cocks vs. Women in South Carolina

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Yesterday, the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee voted to elevate cockfighting from a misdemeanor to a felony. The committee then killed an unrelated, poorly-timed bill that would have done the same for domestic abuse. Controversy ensues:

Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Dist. 66-Orangeburg) says of the two bills, "What we have said by the actions of the Judiciary Committee is we aren't going to create a felony if you beat your wife, partner. But now, if you've got some cockfighting going on, whoa! Wait a minute."

[Rep. John Graham Altman (R-Dist. 119-Charleston)] responds to the comparison, "People who compare the two are not very smart and if you don't understand the difference…between trying to ban the savage practice of watching chickens trying to kill each other and protecting people rights in CDV statutes, I'll never be able to explain it to you in a 100 years ma'am."

Much more, including a "You're not very bright and you'll just have to live with that" from the cock-loving Altman, here.

Via Feministing.

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  1. In the home state of the Gamecocks, no less!

  2. What is the rationale for punishing violence more harshly if the perp and the victim are married than you do if they aren’t?

    If the abuser has committed abuse that rises to the level of felony assault, just charge him or her with felony assault.

  3. I work (god help me) about 1000 yards from the State House, here in South Carolina’s decidely unlovely capital, Columbia.

    I’d like to report that a large group of angry, tank-top clad USC coeds just marched by my office, throatily chanting, “Chicks before Chickens.”

    And, really, who can argue with that?

  4. Okay, here’s one of those tangential philosophical independent-minded loony questions typical of libertarians. Why is spousal violence a separate crime from any other kind of non-defensive violence? Seems if you hit someone who didn’t hit you first, it shouldn’t matter one way or another how that person is or isn’t related to you, should it? (Well, maybe child abuse should be different, but let’s set that aside for the moment.) And are penalties for spousal violence lesser or greater than generalized assault? I can maybe see some reason why they should be worse, but if “beating your wife” is only a misdemeanor…? Is that true? Or is it a lesser degree of domestic abuse than outright violence that’s a misdemeanor and Cobb-Hunter was just exaggerating?? (Well, I guess that turned into more than one question…)

  5. Chick, er ah, Chuck, that was a great image.

  6. Dan beat me to it! (No pun intended!!!)

  7. Dan, the problem often is that in cases of domestic voilence (against woman, children and men) the officers often “decline” to take action. These laws are often over-compensation for that fact. However…
    —-
    “According to a tape of the meeting obtained by The State newspaper, Altman asked why the bill?s title ? ?Protect Our Women in Every Relationship (POWER)? ? just mentioned protecting women. Harrison suggested making the bill the ?Protecting Our People in Every Relationship? Act, or ?POPER.?

    A voice on the tape can be heard pronouncing it ?Pop her.? Another voice then says, ?Pop her again,? followed by laughter.”
    —–
    I personally gotta figure they got a bit of a problem down there. One thing to be doing that in a bar, but when you are doing that in the state house…hmmm…kinda lends credence that they value chickens above chicks…but that’s just me.

  8. If only Altman was as reasonable as you are, Dan. His main problem with the legislation seems to be that “There ought not to be a second offense. The woman ought to not be around the man. I mean you women want it one way and not another. Women want to punish the men, and I do not understand why women continue to go back around men who abuse them.”

    He seems unable to imagine that a guy can beat up one wife/girlfriend after having beaten up his previous wife/girlfriend.

    I agree that assault should be handled as assault, but Altman seems pretty damned thick to me.

  9. I believe women do sometimes go back to men who have abused them, but that shouldn’t have anything to do with the severity of the penalty domestic abusers should be subject to.

  10. Exactly, Les. You can debate the merits of the legislation, but the way Altman responded to criticism of the tabling was so inept and deficient, you have to wonder how a man with zero political skill ever got elected.

    As for the legislation itself, domestic abuse relationships are about control. Usually the abuser is using psychological pressure to keep the victim trapped in the relationship – e.g., threatening to kill her, harm the kids, turn her family against her, etc. There’s more going on than simple assault.

  11. But why isn’t Altman as hard on the cocks? I mean, they are easily as stupid as women, but he’s all “ban the savage practice of watching chickens trying to kill each other.” Stupid women go back to abusive men, stupid chickens fight to the death for our entertainment. I wish he had a hundred years so he could explain to me why cocks are excused for stupidity and chicks aren’t.

  12. As someone who’s been there, I just want to say there’s nothing quite like sitting in a football stadium and hearing 80,000+ people yell “GO COCKS!”

  13. If I get mugged by Black Bart on Market Street, and a year later I’m walking down Market Street, does that mean Black Bart shouldn’t get a second-offense sentence if he mugs me again?

  14. ?Pop her.? Another voice then says, ?Pop her again,? followed by laughter.”

    joe, if your a woman, it seems it was probably your fault the first time too.

  15. you are (please excuse my grammer)

  16. joe,

    I think anyone can see that returning to a relationship is a little different from returning to a street.

    Still, I agree that that does not in any way affect the abuser’s responsibility for his or her violence towards another.

    The Zero Boss,

    I agree that domestic violence can be very complicated. Are you saying that should effect the penalty that is meted out for it compared to other types of assault? If so, in what way?

  17. Fyodor-
    I disagree. Suppose Market Street is in a bad section of town, and joe was walking there at night. It was probably stupid the first time he did it, and even more stupid the second. That still shouldn’t be an excuse for Black Bart.

  18. Zero Boss, actually the threatening is the assault while the actual beating is called battery. Although the two almost always go together, they are separate legal terms.

    If you’re going to create separate laws/punishments etc. against DV, then you really should include men. Although, it really should be covered by the laws we already have. As TZB mentioned, the assault in a DV case would be significanlty worse and therefore carry a stiffer penalty. Multiple offenses must count against the offender, no matter what the crime.

    As for the fact that some women continue to put themselves in abusive situations…well, I don’t get it, but you’re not allowed to beat someone for being stupid or scared.

  19. The way he was dressed, Joe was asking for it. Both times.

  20. It’s funny, a friend recently commented on the disproportionate number of men in the libertarian movement. I think Xray just explained why. And it’s not because chicks are stupid.

  21. Dan, the problem often is that in cases of domestic voilence (against woman, children and men) the officers often “decline” to take action.

    The reason why officers often decline to take action is that the victim usually doesn’t want to press charges against his or her abuser. The cops I’ve known see that sort of shit all the time and it annoys the hell out of them — they waste minutes or hours listening to two hysterical people yelling and then nothing comes of it.

    Making misdemeanor domestic abuse a felony isn’t going to make victims more likely to press charges. It would, in fact, probably make them less likely to press charges, since by definition it requires that the victim want the perp to be punished more harshly than his or her crime actually merits.

  22. ed,

    I understood joe to be the butt of xray’s joke, not women.

    Decnavda,

    I didn’t understand that Market Street in joe’s example was supposed to be a bad neighborhood. Well, I think we can agree that there’s all sorts of things we can do that might make us more vulnerable to someone else’s violence, but, while it might make people wonder if we should have our heads examined, it never excuses that someone else’s violence.

  23. fyodor: thanx for the clarification. I was still sitting here trying to figure out how I had driven all the babes out of libertarianism.

  24. Dan,

    Maybe you’re finally shedding some light on my questions. Perhaps domestic abuse carries a lighter sentence than battery between strangers as an inducement to prosecution by abusees who are unsure of pressing charges. As long as the harsher penalties associated with ordinary battery are available for when an abusee does want to throw the book at the abuser, I guess it makes sense to have lesser charges available as well.

  25. From TFA, another Rep put it a little more maturely:

    “Speaker David Wilkins issued the following statement Wednesday regarding this story, “Criminal Domestic Violence (CDV) and animal cruelty are both critical issues that this body takes very seriously. The House is working diligently to improve the language on the CDV bill and pass meaningful legislation. That is our goal. In its present form, the bill has a number of legal and technical problems that would have made it very difficult to pass. We intend to fix those problems and get a bill to the floor of the House.”

    Altman could learn something.

    I missed it, Chuck! (only about 1500 yards from the Capitol myself)

  26. For the record, I also understood the joke to be on joe, and a sarcastic bit of humor, and I have nothing against joe, and I laughed.

    Snorted, even. C’mon, it was funny!

  27. “joe,

    I think anyone can see that returning to a relationship is a little different from returning to a street.”

    True, true, if I avoid walking down Market Street, I’m not leaving my fucking children with a violent asshole. And I don’t have any legal and emotional entanglements with Market Street. No one on Market Street has ever threatened to kill me if I walk on another street. And there isn’t an enormously influential, multi-billion dollar cottage industry dedicated to accusing people who stop walking down Market Street of destroying the country and dooming their children to lives of misery.

  28. I thought xray’s joke was funny, and assumed that is was “on” those assholes who blame women for getting beaten up and raped.

  29. I have a question.

    Has anyone here actually *read* the CDV legislation? If not, you’re guilty of swallowing the media spin hook, line and sinker. While Rep. Altman sounds like a boor, the *actual* *legislation* (http://www.scstatehouse.net/cgi-bin/query2003.exe?first=DOC&querytext=domestic%20violence&category=Legislation&session=116&conid=1345076&result_pos=0&keyval=1163143&printornot=N) contains about 5 or 6 violations of fundamental American jurisprudence in the first ten lines. I stopped reading when I hit the “no right to confront your accuser” part.

    Whatever Altman’s personal foolishness, this law is bad, bad, BAD, and from the looks of it is targeted entirely at men.

    Oh, and for fyodor:

    “…TO AMEND SECTION 16-25-65, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO CRIMINAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OF A HIGH AND AGGRAVATED NATURE, SO AS TO PROHIBIT A PERSON CHARGED WITH SUCH AN OFFENSE FROM PLEADING TO ASSAULT AND BATTERY OF A HIGH AND AGGRAVATED NATURE UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY THE COURT;”

    ..which suggests to me that this law makes beating your wife/husband *more* severe than beating a random stranger.

  30. What if I live on Market Street?

  31. I thought putting women in a cage and making them fight to the death already was a felony.

  32. daniel,

    Thanks. I’m too lazy to read that stuff.

    Well, that’s interesting. I would have guessed that beating up a stranger was a felony, but from what you’re saying it’s not. And cockfighting is. Well, at least they don’t think chickens are just more important than women.

  33. “And there isn’t an enormously influential, multi-billion dollar cottage industry dedicated to accusing people who stop walking down Market Street of destroying the country and dooming their children to lives of misery.”

    joe, I know this is an analogy, but which cottage industry are you talking about? The one that makes it highly tempting to stay with the man who beats her or the one that makes it highly tempting to accuse her husband of domestic violence so she can can get everything in the divorce settlement?

    Assault is assault. Regardless of whether you’ve known the person for 20 years or 2 seconds. It should be punished the same.

    A pre-existing relationship should probably only be considered in determining child custody in substantiated cases of abuse to the children or the spouse (regardless of gender).

  34. To be exact, the University of South Carolina’s nickname is Fighting Gamecocks!!!

  35. In violation of an order for protection, my sister’s ex-boyfriend wheedled someone into letting him in to her apartment building. He broke down the door to her apartment, dislocated her jaw, left bruises in the shape of his boots on her chest, and broke two ribs. He took their infant daughter and drove off, but brought her back when she wouldn’t stop crying. By the time he came back, the police were there, but they wouldn’t arrest him because they hadn’t witnessed him doing anything wrong. (Other than violating the restraining order, which they conveniently ignored, even letting him back into her apartment to see if he had left any of his personal belongings there.) The county prosecutor later said he’d consider bringing charges, but the charges wouldn’t be severe enough for them to issue a warrant that would allow them to go and arrest the guy. It would be like a warrant for an unpaid traffic ticket, where he could be served with it if the police happened to stop him for something else. I was shocked at how exceedingly difficult it was to get any sense that the system was there to protect people from crime and violent criminals. The prosecutor said that it would have been even more difficult if it weren’t considered a domestic violence case.

  36. Perhaps domestic abuse carries a lighter sentence than battery between strangers as an inducement to prosecution by abusees who are unsure of pressing charges.

    Domestic abuse doesn’t carry a lighter sentence than identical physical abuse between strangers.

    I’d like to say something in Altman’s defense: almost all victims of chronic domestic abuse knew they were marrying/moving in with an abusive person. It is extremely rare for a person with no history of abusiveness and/or violence to suddenly become abusive towards their spouse after the ink is dry on the marriage certificate. There is this popular myth that women get blindsided by domestic violence — “I never thought he’d hit me”. In almost all cases the honest say of stating that would be “I knew he was abusive, but I convinced myself that it would get better instead of worse”. Does that mean it is the victim’s fault that they get beaten? Of course not; it is the abuser’s fault. But it is, with few exceptions, the victim’s fault that they are living with an abuser.

  37. Daniel, while I curse the long link that you made which is screwing up the width of the posting screen, thanks for linking the actual legislation. It really makes both of the legislators look like idiots, the one for championing a bill with such absurd language and the other for not explaining adequately why the domestic violence bill didn’t pass but taking the opportunity to be gratuitously insulting and embarrassing himself, though he probably thinks he was clever.

  38. rob,

    “joe, I know this is an analogy, but which cottage industry are you talking about?”

    The anti-divorce, family values, women should be subordinate and not cause trouble corps. Maggie Gallagher, Katie O’Beirne, KL Lopez, etc.

    “Assault is assault. Regardless of whether you’ve known the person for 20 years or 2 seconds. It should be punished the same.” I disagree. The existence of a familial, or at least household, relationship between the victim and her assailant should be considered as an aggravating factor, because of the power the abuser has over her. You can play stupid and pretend a spouse or live-in doesn’t have any “hand,” but it would take an extraordinary blindness to human nature and relationships.

  39. Serafina,

    What in the world??? Wow, that’s an INSANE nightmare. I’m so sorry to hear that… My sister’s now ex-husband was a violent guy with an excessive case of SAMS – “Short Angry Man Syndrome.” But he always knew that if he hurt my sister or the kids once I or my Dad would make sure he’d never be capable of doing it again. (But to be honest it was probably the fact that she’s a better shot than I am that really kept him in line during that ugly divorce.)

    “The anti-divorce, family values, women should be subordinate and not cause trouble corps.” – joe

    I don’t like those folks either. But I also don’t much care for the opposite end of the spectrum. (Which is why I asked the question.)

    I just don’t think that allowing another person to have power over you in a relationship is a definable or punishable offense. Assault, on the other hand, definitely is. As for aggravating factors, that’s what aggravated assault charges, attempted manslaughter, and attempted murder charges are for.

    “relationship between the victim and her assailant” – joe (whose prejudices are showing again.)

    So let me ask this – do you think that if it is the man being abused those same factors should be put into play?

    A friend of mine actually stayed with his violent wife. When I asked him why (because I figured she’d eventually kill him) his reasoning was basically “Yeah, she cracked my head open with a blunt object, but if I leave I’ll never see my kids again and I can’t leave them because then who would protect them from her?”

  40. The existence of a familial, or at least household, relationship between the victim and her assailant should be considered as an aggravating factor, because of the power the abuser has over her.

    He has no power over her that she doesn’t have over him, joe. This is 2005, not 1925, and spouses have the same legal rights and privledges. It may be that the abusing spouse has other powers unrelated to marriage, such as being the only one with a job, or being larger/stronger, or being in control of the family finances, but that isn’t inherent in marriage.

    Besides, you can’t just slap a higher penalty on a crime based on the relative power of perp and victim. You punish a person based on what they did, not what they are.

  41. Dan,

    Altman doesn’t need defense because he said that women should leave after the first assault. He didn’t grasp that guys who assault often move on to assault their next partner.

    If they can fix the language, don’t you think that a second battery deserves a harsher consequence than the first, regardless of the victim?

  42. Holy fucking shit Serafina, that’s insane. I’m sorry to hear that. It sounds like they also ignored the kidnapping that he committed too. What state does she live in? I want to know where not to move (and where not to allow my sister to move).

  43. Les,

    How is a second conviction for a crime differ because it’s committed against someone the assaulter is in a relationship with? I still think that it should be assault (or whatever)period. Just because one was against a stranger and one was against a spouse doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be counted as “two strikes.”

  44. Dan, would you mind providing cites for, well, everything in your 06:39 PM?

  45. I think there’s enough laws on the book to prosecute bad people with. The problem is the system that doesn’t always follow through and prosecute them.

  46. Amen! Preach it Brother Thoreau!

  47. Rob,

    I was, as I often am, unclear. I agree that assault should be assault should be assault, regardless of the victim. But I do think that if you’re convicted more than once for assault, the second penalty should be harsher, which I suspect is already the case.

  48. Right on Brother Les! (Cue cheesy tent revival organ version of “Amazing Grace” and pass the communion wine!)

  49. …mmmmm…communion wine…

  50. rob,

    “So let me ask this – do you think that if it is the man being abused those same factors should be put into play?”

    Absolutely. In the much rarer, but still considerable, number of cases in which a woman is physically harming her spouse or boyfriend, the same extra level of protection should apply.

  51. He didn’t grasp that guys who assault often move on to assault their next partner.

    Unless arranged marriages came back into style when I wasn’t paying attention, it requires mutual assent from both parties for a “partnership” to start. I see no reason to divert extra resources to protecting people foolish enough to move in with a known abuser (or with a person they don’t know well enough to have heard about their criminal history).

    If they can fix the language, don’t you think that a second battery deserves a harsher consequence than the first, regardless of the victim?

    I see from later comments that you think that the harsher penalty should be for all forms of assault, not just domestic. I could go for that. What I don’t agree with is special treatment for special cases of existing crimes — they have the same problems that “hate crimes” have.

    But in any case, repeat offenders typically get harsher sentences anyway.

  52. The equivalences in this are difficult. Is there really no difference between A) being struck by a spouse who one has a financial relationship, contractual relationship, the expectation of future contact, and an emotional relationship with, and B)being struck by a random stranger who one does not know, has no relationship with, and no expectation of future contact.

    This may be a civil matter but doesn’t the violation of trust involved in situation A) matter on the criminal side? If crime is against the people isn’t it in the interest of the people to see to it that these relationships are backed by law? It seems to me that deterence is an arguement for many other types of crimes, but is ignored in this.

    My inclination is that assault is assault and battery is battery, and each instance should be prosecuted, period. When it comes to the so called “hate crimes” this has been my position. In this instance I do wonder if the additional violation of a domestic trust is merits an additional slap on the wrist.

  53. I think this book had a very interesting take on the phenomenon of women going back to their abusers. I have no clue whether Ms. Pizzey is right, but she certainly seems to have a pretty good idea what she’s talking about.

  54. “I’ll never be able to explain it to you in a 100 years”
    No doubt he went on to say:
    “That’s because I’ll never be able to explain ANYTHING to ANYONE, no matter HOW much time I have.
    But, hey, the gibbering, clueless, wife-beating fucktard vote counts for SOMETHING, y’know?
    For example, they have a right to representation BY ME.
    And I do, might I say, REPRAZENT, knowh’I’mean?!”

  55. I actually know John Graham Altman III.

    His son, John Graham Altman IV, is a local
    Libertarian who has had some success based
    upon is father’s name recognition. I’ve worked
    closely with John Graham IV on a couple of campaigns. I’ve seen the positive response that
    the name generates in door-to-door work. Twenty
    years ago he got 13% in a three way, county-wide
    partisan race. Pretty good for a Libertarian.

    John Graham III’s district includes a small
    part of James Island, where I was on the town
    council. Our town was abolished by the state
    supreme court. John, like the other representative whose district is most of and
    mostly James Island, supports our cause. As
    one can imagine, I have met with Altman III several times on quite friendly terms.

    John’s other son owns a head shop in my town
    (well, what was my town.) Like his brother, this small businessman has been one of my strong
    supporters. In my first election, he was holding a sign for me at a polling place. He had a domestic dispute with his wife, though I don’t know the details. It did make local news.

    Altman is very bright, but a right wing extremist. He isn’t very good on free-market
    reform, but not really bad. He is a Christian
    rightist–so bad on personal liberties issues. His district is middle-middle class to lower middle class. Because of racial gerrymandering, it is safely Republican
    and very white.

    Much of this discussion seems to assume that
    Altman opposed the bill because he believed
    that women should not remain with their batterers. I don’t think that is it. Some
    version of the bill will probably pass and Altman
    may support it. A bill designed by one of
    the few liberal Democrats in the house (more
    or less designed by the special interest groups
    on this issue) is going to be modified.

    Altman was just sharing his opinion. Women in
    abusive relationships should get out of the
    relationship. While loosely tied to issue at hand, there is no reason to tie this view to
    opposition to the bill. (Personally, I see this
    as a moderate position by Altman–at least he
    didn’t say that women are bound to stay with
    abusive husbands by God’s law and should just be
    more obedient and avoid proper punishment.
    Overbearing husbands will get their deserts
    in the afterlife.)

    Consider one of his other recent statements–people who worry about the confederate flag should get a job, quit shooting one another,
    and not have illegitmate babies. Certainly
    a racist statement, though one that zeros in
    on actual problems in the black community.
    Unskilled politician? Well, it all depends on
    the district, doesn’t it.

  56. Dan, two people don’t have to be living together for it to be domestic violence. It might be nice living in your pretty little black-and-white world, but for most people life is more complex than that. Abuse in a relationship often starts or escalates exponentially when one party wants out of the relationship and the other doesn’t want it to end. And there is almost nothing the police can or will do to protect the person who is abused.

    Maybe others have had different experiences, but for my sister, the order of protection wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on or the day in court she had to spend to get it. Short of moving into a battered women’s shelter or finding a bodyguard, there was little she could do.

    The law frequently considers the status of the victim and the intent of the perpetrator in meting out sentences. Someone hits me with a baseball bat, that’s one crime. Someone hits a police officer with the same bat, that’s a different crime. Someone whacks their own child with it, yet a different crime. I have no problem if society decides we want to give more protection to victims who may be especially vulnerable because they are in one way or another dependent on the person who’s whacked them with a baseball bat. And I’m all for subsequent incidents carrying a higher sentence. Hell, I’d be happy if more than two states allowed evidence of previous domestic assault in the rare cases that come to trial.

  57. a friend of mine was a social worker in oregon who basically burned out from following DV cases to court, where the assaulter was sitting in court with a new girlfriend many times.

    none of that is an excuse for anyone’s violence, but it certainly boggles the mind.

  58. Serafina,

    Did your sister finally get away from the guy? (Pleasepleaseplease tell me that she did!)

    You’re 100% right that an order of protection isn’t worth the paper it’s written on – but it’s a good thing to have regardless. An order of protection would have lent a lot of credibility to her should she end up injuring or even killing her husband.

    A firearm would have been (and probably STILL is) a good idea for her. I tend to think it’s a good idea for pretty much everyone, based on the realization that a 911 call isn’t going to provide assistance in time. As your sister sadly learned, even when they finally get there the cops are pretty amazingly useless.

    I too, firmly support allowing evidence of prior abuse in the prosecution of domestic abuse. (How can evidence of prior crimes not be admissable? That’s unbelieveable…) But I still don’t see how the status of the victim should be taken into account.

    Of course, I’m one of those crazy libertarians that believes intent shouldn’t matter either. It always struck me as particularly strange logic: “You didn’t mean to kill those people? Oh, well, since you didn’t do it on purpose you don’t deserve the same sentence as the guy who meant to do it when he killed the exact same number of people.”

    I’m pretty cut and dried when it comes to things like crime and punishment, and I don’t think hitting a regular citizen should carry any less severe a fine than hitting a spouse or a child. If the person doing the hitting is the parent of the child, the child should be removed from their custody obviously. They’ve proven they are not fit to have custody, but that’s a separate issue and not necessarily a criminal act. (Can’t try them for the same thing twice…)

  59. I’d like to say something in Altman’s defense: almost all victims of chronic domestic abuse knew they were marrying/moving in with an abusive person.

    Yeah, but being an idiot isn’t a crime, and it doesn’t take away your rights.

  60. Rob, yeah, she did manage to get away by moving yet again and entirely dropping any social connections that they had in common. But when you have children together, you’re never completely free of the other person.

    I suggested a firearm at the time, but since he often carried one, she was convinced it would only escalate the situation, especially with her being comparatively scared and inexperienced.

    Regarding your comments on intent, I take it you’d rather see Laura Bush imprisoned for life for killing her ex-boyfriend… ­čÖé

  61. Good question on the Laura Bush thing. I’d like to see Teddy Kennedy put away for life for Chappaquidick, so yeah, I suppose Laura could share the same cell block.

    Wow, your sister had it BAD. I’m starting to suspect that the only thing that would have helped would have been strenuous self-defense and firearms training along the lines of the highly silly J-Lo movie “Enough.”

    It really sucks that most people who find themselves in situations where the only thing that would help them is a firearm rarely have either a firearm or the training required to handle it safely and use it effectively.

    “being an idiot isn’t a crime, and it doesn’t take away your rights.” – dagny

    True that! While it’s incomprehensible to me why anyone would get into a relationship with an abusive person or stay with them, that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve the same rights and protections those of us in non-abusive relationships enjoy.

    It’s a two-way street. I don’t think someone who hits my sister deserves any less punishment just because he’s not dating/married to her.

    But then I’m kind of an Old Testament guy when it comes to my little sister: Which hand did he use to hit her? Okay, that’s the one we’re lopping off.

    Or to paraphrase Marcellus Wallace…

    “What now? Well let me tell you what now. I’m gonna call a couple of hard, pipe-hittin’ gangstas, who’ll go to work on the homes here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch. Hear me talkin’ hillbilly boy? I ain’t through with you by a damn sight. I’m gonna git Medieval on your ass.”

  62. And there is almost nothing the police can or will do to protect the person who is abused.

    Buy a gun and learn to use it. Expecting the police to protect you is never a good idea; that isn’t their primary job, after all. Their primary job is catching people who have *already* done something wrong.

    Yeah, but being an idiot isn’t a crime, and it doesn’t take away your rights.

    You don’t have a “right” to have people who assault you prosecuted more severely than people who assault me.

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