|Oregon State Bar Bulletin OCTOBER 2006|
Velda Rogers’ final paragraph (Parting Thoughts, "Unintended Consequences," July 2006) is an affront to the hard work of the men and women of Oregon fighting domestic violence. Having been a domestic violence prevention specialist at Legal Aid for several years under the Violence Against Women Act and having taught two semesters as an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon School of Law on domestic violence, I have to say that her presentation of the consequences of the Lautenberg Act as "unintended" and "draconian in nature" is misleading and inaccurate. Numerous studies have been done regarding the demographic makeup of those involved in domestic violence and, particularly, aggressors. While the studies generally support that domestic violence crosses all demographic boundaries, when analyzed from the perspective of the occupation of the abuser, there are heightened levels of domestic violence perpetrated by police officers and members of the armed services.
No legal analysis is presented to conclude that removing guns from the hands of people whose occupation requires them to carry guns was an "unintended" consequence of the act. Furthermore, it is not draconian to remove firearms from the hands of people who perpetrate domestic violence. In fact, a police officer or member of the armed services who is capable of committing violence against his intimate partner should not possess a firearm for any purpose. While I appreciate the bar’s willingness to at least include articles about domestic violence in the Bulletin, I do not believe it is appropriate to print unsupported conclusions by authors that do damage to the years of struggle by the men and women of Oregon who are fighting to reduce the incidents of domestic violence in our communities.
Judson M. Carusone