Denmark Representative proposes new laws in wake of three high-profile deadly domestic violence cases
|Bryan Sweatt killed a half dozen people after ranting on Facebook about a custody battle, his girlfriend being first of the six. He later killed himself.
|This North Augusta woman killed her platonic friend/friend with benefits/boyfriend after an argument.
|Ronald Wilson, of Graniteville, who gunned down his grandson, then killed himself.
DENMARK — Greenwood, North Augusta, Graniteville.
In each one of these cases, domestic disputes turned deadly so very quickly.
In each one of these cases, a firearm was used (and in two of those three, a legally-owned firearm was used).
The male perpetrators, Bryan Sweatt and Ronald Wilson, killed themselves afterwards. The female perpetrator, Robin Herndon, tried to heal the fatal wound she caused on purpose.
In 2011, 61 women were killed in domestic violence incidents. In 2012, nine men were murdered by their girlfriends and wives, enough to put South Carolina back into a dubious, but familiar spot, right at the top in domestic violence deaths nationwide at 48 such deaths overall.
These three cases have caught the attention of Rep. Bakari Sellers (D-Bamberg).
“Our laws are poorest to say the best, they don’t protect vulnerable,” he said.
Rep. Sellers said that he and the rest of his colleagues at the state General Assembly need to step up be leaders and reject the special interest groups’ lobbying tactics.
“There could have been more done to keep those people safe,” said Rep. Sellers. ” There comes a point in time where we have to do our job in Columbia and we haven’t been doing that.”
Try to give law enforcement the ability they need and try to give Solicitor Thurmond the ability he needs and we haven’t been doing that and that’s nobody’s fault except the people who get sent to Columbia.”
Rep. Sellers is including himself in that last statement. Mr. Wilson, the only one of those trio actually charged with domestic violence, had to pay only $2,505.00 to bond out of jail. Rep. Sellers wants to change that.
“Our magistrates’ hands are tied,” said Rep. Sellers. “Eliminate that cap so that magistrates in their own wisdom, knowing better than anybody in Columbia, can do what they need to do.”
And thanks to the NRA and the other extremely loud voices in the gun lobby, Mr. Wilson continued to have access to his guns after his domestic violence arrest. Rep. Sellers has an answer for that too.
“They have to submit a list of those guns and turn them in, we already have laws on the books felons can’t have weapons; we need to treat this with the same veracity.”
We can do better, we need to do better. If not, we’ll have more people lose their lives to people out of control.”
WJBF-DT News Channel 6
Democratic lawmakers introduce a bill that would ban states from passing unconstitutional measures singling out abortion clinics to meet unnecessary building standards and revoke all federal funding for those that do
WASHINGTON, DC — After North Carolina passed unconstitutional measures forcing abortion clinics to shut down this past summer, women nationwide were so fed up, they contacted their Representatives and Senators.
Now, a half dozen of them vow to do something about it.
Sen. Dick Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is introducing a bill that, while it would be the most stringent pro-choice law in US history, would put America in line with the rest of the industrialized world in ensuring that women have a basic fundamental right: the right to abortion.
Unlike most other bills that come from government nowadays, the name of this bill is actually accurate: the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013. The Women’s Health Protection Act protects women’s healthcare rights no matter where she lives.
More importantly, states would be barred from passing any so-called Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, which impose strict and cost-prohibitive building standards on abortion clinics, require women seeking abortions to have ultrasounds, and create other barriers to abortion access.
“In states like Texas and Wisconsin, legislatures are passing bills with the false pretext of protecting health when their only objective is to obstruct and curtail access to safe and legal abortions and reproductive services. These laws are largely unconstitutional, and some measure of certainty and clarity is required to preempt these regulations and laws so women are not deterred in their very personal decisions based on their own values on how they want to use their constitutional rights,” said Sen. Blumenthal. “The Women’s Health Protection Act will provide a clear and certain response to these regulations and laws that impose unnecessary tests, procedures and restrictions — including requirements for physical layout in clinics — on reproductive services.”
Blumenthal’s bill would ban states from enforcing any anti-choice law that is more restrictive than federal law, states with abortion laws more lenient than federal law would be allowed to continue enforcement of such laws under the Women’s Health Protection Act.
The bill would direct judges to consider certain factors in determining whether a restriction is legal, such as whether it interferes with a doctor’s good-faith medical judgment, or whether it’s likely to interfere with or delay women’s access to abortion.
While the bill will likely clear the US Senate (barring yet another act of GOP obstructionism), the House will not bring it up while the GOP is in control of that chamber.
Huffington Post Politics