Maine citizens, including legislators, need to take legislation designed to assist people affected by domestic violence seriously. Domestic violence is Maine’s No. 1 violent crime.
We are fortunate that in our communities there is little other violent crime, such as gang shootings and carjackings. The last 20 years in Maine has shown a consistent statistic: more than half of the homicides result from domestic violence and half of the murder weapons are guns.
People need to take notice of LD 1938, “An Act to Protect Victims of Domestic Abuse,” a straightforward, do-the-right-thing bill that was killed in the House.
Although everyone at the well-attended public hearing spoke in favor of the bill, resulting in a unanimous vote from the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, the bill died on the House floor. Blame lies with the legislators who got sidetracked by unrelated amendments funneled by the National Rifle Association.
What NRA officials failed to recognize is that not every bill that references a gun is a threat to legal and responsible gun ownership.
The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence urges the Legislature to revive this bill when members return to session, for those who have died at the hands of a loved one and for those who live with a daily threat against their lives. Legislators must keep in mind what is at stake and pass this bill.
Lives are at risk, and people all over Maine are counting on them.
Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, Bangor