October is Domestic Violence Encouragement Month for Pro-Gun Activists
Each year, our country observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from their “Day of Unity,” which was first conducted in October 1981. The intent was to connect advocates for battered women who were working to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became a special month when a range of activities were conducted at the local, state, and national levels.
This year, the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (MDA) is observing Domestic Violence Awareness Month with programs aimed at calling attention to the fact that nine women are shot and killed by their husband or intimate partner every week in America, and that has pro-gun activists hopping mad. They have responded with a wave of misogyny and intimidation that reinforces the threat that firearms pose to women.
Facebook is one of the primary venues for this hate. First are the faux Facebook pages like “Moms Demand Bedroom Action” that pro-gun activists have created. Then there are comments like that of pro-gunner Jerry Bradley of Forth Worth, Texas, who became enraged upon learning that MDA chapters are active in his state. “Get the fuck out of Texas move to California and be with your kind,obama cock sucking whores,” he told them.
Some of the ugliest missives continue to come from “The Hypocrisy and Stupidity of Gun Control Advocates” Facebook page, which is administered by John Keel of West Babylon, New York. Earlier this month, Keel posted one of MDA’s graphics to the page, mocking their efforts to curb domestic violence (“waffles” here is Keel’s shorthand for “twat waffles,” a derogatory term that he and his pro-gun supporters use to describe women who advocate for tougher gun laws).
The comments in response to Keel’s posts were gruesome. Jimmy Lee wrote, “Hmmmm. Never mention that women just abort or poison there victims , or burn them, or run them over with cars, or usually stab them….” Jamie Buchite wrote, “What do the 9 have in common??? Not 1 knew when to shut the fuck up. Bitch bitch bitch dead…. oops.” “Big Hoss” said, “of course those women do nothing to incite this. It’s all the dirty evil man’s fault.” And Kevin Lanigan of Chicago, Illinois added, “I hate to sound sexist when I say this but there are many women who are just idiots and go back to their abuser again hoping he’ll ‘change’ and then end up dead because of it.”
The tone has been similar this month on pro-gun blogs. Take, for example, a post that pro-gun activist Bob Owens of Raleigh, North Carolina published at BearingArms.com on October 7, 2013. Entitled “Moms Demand Anti-Male Hysteria,” it lead to a misogynist feeding frenzy in the comments field. Pro-gun activist Mike Sullivan of Clinton, New York remarked, “If those women didn’t cheat on the man he probably wouldn’t have shot her. In most countrys thats the law. If obama is successful in bringing shariah law to America, it will be the law here too. You can’t trust women and you can’t trust obama..” “Would they rather be thrown out of windows?” asked pro-gunner Barry Barnett of Lucasville, Ohio. Finally, there was Stephen Henderson of Montgomery, Alabama. “I’ll shoot the Bitch dead that messes with me!” he informed the world.
Robert Farago, a pro-gun blogger at “The Truth About Guns,” has also been on a crusade against MDA because of their focus on domestic violence, writing a series of angry posts on October 7, October 9, and October 20. “There’s no level of emotional manipulation to which they won’t sink to achieve [their] goal,” Farago wrote in his October 7th post, to which commenter “niceguns” responded, “Moms demand action. we reserve the right to be bitches without any repercutions. How would you like to be married to one of those bitches.” On October 9th, Farago decried an editorial (“Time to Block Gun Violence Against Women”) that MDA founder Shannon Watts wrote for Reuters along with Chelsea Parsons of the Center for American Progress. A commenter calling himself “Dirk Diggler” then posted Shannon’s home address and suggested gun owners go there. Farago let that comment stand, along with others that were sexually aggressive in nature.
Farago got down and dirty with his audience in his October 20th post, which dealt with his participation in the “Line in the Sand” rally organized by Open Carry Texas and other insurrectionist pro-gun groups at the Alamo on October 19, 2013. At that event, Farago encountered a Moms Demand Action activist who stopped by (MDA was holding its own rally that day in San Antonio) “At first I thought the Mom from Moms Demand Action was just being a bitch,” Farago recalled, referencing the fact that the MDA activist refused to consent to an interview with him for his blog. Farago then mocked her for confessing that she was frightened by the sight of hundreds of heavily armed Americans preaching armed revolution at the famed battle site. Referring to her as a “hoplohphobe”—a term made up by misogynist/ultra-racist NRA board member Jeff Cooper to describe an individual with an “irrational” fear of guns—Farago explained that she sought him out that day because she “want[ed] an alpha to take control.”
Perhaps Farago is unaware that violence—like his pointed accusations—is used as a way of demeaning and controlling women, to keep them in a subordinate position to men. Or maybe he simply fails to appreciate irony.
Whatever the case, pro-gun activists have turned Domestic Violence Awareness Month completely on its head. Under their grim tutelage, this special, peaceful observance is nothing more than a means to keep the sights of angry men focused on women who dare to disagree with them.