William Thien

Do Domestic Violence Laws Discriminate Against Men?

Posted on: August 28, 2013

A friend recently completed a firearms application in order to purchase a hunting rifle and asked me the question, “what does domestic violence have to do with firearms ownership?”

Currently on a firearms application you have to answer that you have not been found guilty of ‘domestic violence’ or are not subject to a restraining order related to domestic violence. I have not seen the application myself for a while, but it is something to that effect. That question hasn’t always been on the application. So, as my friend asks, what does domestic violence have to do with firearms ownership?

It’s a question I’ve been pondering for some time. I’ve been asking myself that question because I believe the question discriminates against the male in society. It’s not OK to discriminate against the female, or any racial group, which is understandable, but for some reason, perhaps it is media driven, discrimination against the male is not really considered a social transgression of any significance in our society.

First of all, at one time the thresholds preventing ownership of a firearm were any of the following, a felonious record, dishonorable discharge from the military (another question that I believe at one time at least discriminated against the male primarily because the military was almost all male), drug use is another, and mental condition. Then came a new type of crime, branded “Domestic Violence,” as society attempted to curb violence between partners (could be read “boyfriend and girlfriend”) and family members, of which most domestic violence charges are misdemeanors and NOT felonious crimes.

Now you might say, well what does it matter if they are felonious or not, often the crimes are somewhat and/or often violent, such as fighting between spouses, and indicate even only the potential (and that is why the question is on the application) for violent behavior in the future against a family member or member of the opposite sex, for example? Often, the law comes into play merely as the result of a threat during a heated argument between boyfriend and girlfriend, no less! You might think that is a worthy reason for the question to be on the firearms application. And at first, I myself reached the same conclusion.

But then something occurred to me about the purchase of firearms that indicated that the “Domestic Violence” question on a firearms application discriminates against the male in our society. Simply put, the question discriminates against the male in our society because males, to a much larger extent, purchase firearms in substantially greater numbers than females purchase firearms and so the question has a directly discriminatory effect on the behavior of males while not so of females. Therefore, the question on the application is discriminatory by numerical definition.

There is not much else to it really. The question and the law from which it originates substantially discriminates against the male in our society. Therefore, the question should be removed from the application. Any law that discriminates against a category of society disproportionately, in this case against an entire sex, is by definition discriminatory.

I would add that the domestic violence question bypasses any constitutional muster since again often the domestic violence laws involve misdemeanor crimes, not felonies.

So, to answer my question in the title of this observation, “Yes, I believe domestic violence laws discriminate against men.”

I would also add that though the question on firearms applications regarding domestic violence was meant to curb or reduce domestic violence in America, it has done little as there has been a substantial increase in domestic violence incidents (ask any police officer) for the last thirty years and it doesn’t seem to be slowing any (also an indication that the control of the household is constantly being relinquished to the state, perhaps primarily through the implementation of domestic violence laws). So that question and the related law has had little or no effect. Not only is the “domestic violence” question on firearms applications discriminatory, it does not work.

That’s just my take on it. If you disagree, let me know by commenting. I’d like to hear what you have to say.

Copyright © William Thien 2013

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For an interesting perspective on the subject of Domestic Violence and gun rights, read Rob Morse’s blog SLOW FACTS essay titled Domestic Violence, Due Process and Gun Rights


1 Response to "Do Domestic Violence Laws Discriminate Against Men?"

Reblogged this on William Thien and commented:

Here are some interesting studies to add to my initial observation on Domestic Violence Laws and how they discriminate against men. It appears that the media does not report female and male victims numbers for political reasons and in fact just as many men, often more, are victims of physical domestic violence and abuse than are women, but due to societal norms that fact is not reported, which is a form of societal discrimination. Therefore, domestic violence laws do in fact discriminate against men. Here are some studies to examine, this one by the CDC, http://www.saveservices.org/2012/02/cdc-study-more-men-than-women-victims-of-partner-abuse/, and another http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2006/may/em_060519male.cfm?type=n, and another, http://news.ufl.edu/2006/07/13/women-attackers/ Many of these studies indicate that women are often the likely perpetrators of abuse but then also claim to be the major victims, a certain duality of behavior which is often the source of the domestic dispute to begin with, I’m sure. Society doesn’t offer the network of support for male victims and if you look at studies on the internet, often when male victims call for municipal services on the matter, often they are shunned.

My main interest in this matter is that I believe the questions should not be on a firearms application, questions that pertain to domestic violence, because misdemeanor laws do not meet the threshold of felonious behavior, which was once the threshold for firearms ownership.

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