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Image Oleg Volk
The Kentucky House overwhelmingly approved House Bill 128 on Monday, in a 92-6 vote, after the Senate's passage of the bill 37-1. Given those margins of victory, Governor Steve Beshear's (D) not-too-impressive record on gun rights is probably not particularly worrisome to the legislation's proponents, since for a veto override to fail, the bill would have to lose the support of either 42 representatives or 17 senators.
The way the bill would work for domestic violence victims is that anyone who has an emergency protective order or a domestic violence order will be able to apply for an emergency temporary (good for 45 days) concealed carry permit, for which the training requirement would be waived (the applicant would still have to pass a criminal background check). If the permit holder does receive the required training at some time during those 45 days, the permit becomes like any other Kentucky concealed carry permit.
While the law doesn't discriminate, and of course people of both sexes can be either victims or perpetrators of domestic violence, those most likely to benefit from the law are women.
The Kentucky General Assembly's attitude toward women stands in stark contrast to the insufferable condescension exhibited by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Department of Public Safety in February 2013, advising women to, "Tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating," and "Vomiting or urinating may also convince the attacker to leave you alone." That "advice" probably looks quite familiar to women in Illinois.
Colorado lawmakers were similarly condescending (and arguably borderline misogynistic), with Representative Joe Salazar (D) dispensing this bit of wisdom:
"It's why we have call boxes, it's why we have safe zones, it's why we have the whistles. Because you just don't know who you're gonna be shooting at," Salazar remarked in debate late Friday night. "And you don't know if you feel like you're gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone's been following you around or if you feel like you're in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop around at somebody.
Then, of course, there is former Colorado State Senator Evie Hudak (who has since preemptively resigned, to forestall an imminent recall election that she appeared unlikely to win -- said recall motivated by her rabidly anti-gun agenda), callously dismissing campus rape survivor Amanda Collins' assertion that had she not been put in a position of mandated defenselessness, she could have prevented not only her own rape, but the later rape of two other women, and the murder of one, by the same sick predator who brutalized her:
I just want to say that actually, statistics are not on your side, even if you had had a gun. You said that you were a martial arts student, I mean person, experienced in Taekwondo, and yet because this individual was so large, was able to overcome you even with your skills, and chances are that if you had had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you.
Granted, the Colorado discussion dealt with women protecting themselves from sexual assault on college campuses, rather than from violence by stalkers and abusive domestic partners, but the underlying principles are similar.
This is not to say that this legislation is the ideal solution to the dangers faced by victims of domestic violence -- far from it. Another solution exists that is both far simpler and vastly more in keeping with the Second Amendment's shall not be infringed. Still, Constitutional carry does not appear to be in the immediate cards for Kentucky, and in the meantime, domestic violence victims will be killed, in part because of their inability to legally carry a defensive firearm.
That makes this an emergency.