The S.C. Senate is about to vote on the Criminal Domestic Violence Bill. Passing this bill into law would mean saving the lives of many women who would likely be fatalities, murdered by abusers who owned or acquired guns and used them in their deadly rage. It would also mean protecting the children, who are not only witnesses to the violence but too often literally in the line of fire themselves.
Living in a home where a family member is abusive means living in fear. The abuser controls the family through often unpredictable rages.
Those who are physically abusive within the family have poor impulse control, and it has been proven that if they have attacked once, they are likely to attack again, and to escalate the violence. Threats control the family, because the family understands from past experience that the potential for violence is great.
Adding a gun to this horrific scenario increases the likelihood that it will be used. Poor impulse control and rage lead to violence, and the closeness of family life increases the vulnerability and helplessness of the other family members.
It is not just women who are damaged and too often killed in households where threats and violence reign.
It is the children who witness the rages and attacks who carry the trauma with them their entire lives. And tragically, children are too often also injured, sometimes fatally.
Our legislators can take a dramatic step in turning the tide of domestic violence in South Carolina by passing S.3, the Criminal Domestic Violence Bill.
Taking guns away from those who have been convicted of domestic violence takes not just the weapon, but the temptation to use the weapon, out of the hands of those who have already lost control and inflicted injury.
Passing this bill just makes sense.
Agnes F. Pomata, Ph.D.