I have twice interrupted a young person screaming obscenities and abuse at their dating partner. In one case I called the police because the man was clearly out of control, pounding on a door, screaming terrifying things at the woman inside the house. I have no idea what would have happened if he’d gotten into the house. I have no idea what he would have done if he’d had a gun.
Currently Oregon’s background check law only prohibits convicted domestic abusers from buying a gun if they are married to, live with, or have a child with their victim. House Bill 4145, under consideration in the Oregon Legislature this session, would expand the definition of prohibited domestic abuser to include abusive dating partners and convicted stalkers.
One in three women will be the victim of domestic violence in their lifetime and they will not all be married to their abusers. Dating partners now kill as many victims as spouses do each year. A gun in an abuse situation makes it five times more likely that the victim will be killed. Allowing abusive dating partners to purchase guns makes no sense. It puts their victims, both women and men, at risk. Oregon’s Legislature must pass HB 4145 to protect victims of domestic violence.
Sarah Finger McDonald
Corvallis (Feb. 7)