Opinion: Republicans Opposed The VAWA To Satisfy The NRA And Right Wing Religious Bigots

The 172 House Republicans who voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act proved that their primary concern really is “guns, god, and the Christian bible. They have no use for protecting women against violence because the National Rifle Association and religious extremists oppose the VAWA.

 It is stunning in one sense, and typically Republican in another that barely 24 hours after several Atlanta area women fell victim to gun violence, 172 House Republicans voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. It leads any conscious American to conclude that the Republicans support violence against women.

Of course Republicans claimed they definitely do not support violence against women. However, opposing the bill for any reason informs sane human beings that although they may not outwardly support violence targeting women, they refuse to support preventative measures and policies protecting women as a sign of fealty to gun zealots and religious extremists.

Naturally, conservatives claim that Democrats are blackmailing Republicans by saying they support violence against women because they opposed the Act to please the NRA and religious extremists.

 Last week the sponsor of the original 1993 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), then-Senator Joe Biden, spoke out as President Joe Biden in support of the latest version of the Act that Mitch McConnel blocked two years ago. President Biden said:

Delay is not an option, especially when the pandemic and economic crisis have only further increased the risks of abuse and the barriers to safety for women in the United States. Domestic violence is being called a pandemic within the COVID-19 pandemic, with growing evidence showing that the conditions of the pandemic have resulted in escalated rates of intimate partner violence, and in some cases more severe injuries.”

President Biden is right according to several studies including one in 2017 that concluded: 

Numbers reveal that gun violence is heavily intertwined with the issue of domestic and intimate partner violence ― and women are the most affected population of this lethal combination.  

Another report issued less than one month ago by The Centers for Disease Control concluded:

Female victims of gun violence are increasing and more recent years have been marked with higher rates of firearm injuries, particularly among younger women. These data suggest that improved public health strategies and policies may be beneficial in reducing gun violence against US women.

Democrats believed the statistics about women suffering higher rates of gun violence by including “improved policies that will be beneficial in reducing gun violence against US women” in the current iteration of the VAWA.  In a repeat of the failure to reauthorize the VAWA in 2019, Republicans opposed the current Act because the National Rifle Association opposes it over a provision to restrict gun ownership of anyone convicted of “domestic and intimate partner violence.” That provision enraged the NRA in 2019 as well as 172 House Republicans in 2021 who voted against reauthorizing the Act.

Those Republicans who opposed the Act are also enraged that transgender people will be protected; something the religious right and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will not tolerate. Don’t believe it? 

 The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops came out against VAWA specifically because it would not allow groups to discriminate against the abused and battered based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

That coincides with the sentiments of right-wing gun enthusiasts and anti-LGBTQ religious extremists who vehemently oppose the Violence Against Women Act stating:

[The VAWA] constitutes political blackmail. Democrats have told Republicans they must weaken gun rights and support transgender identity or they support violence against women.”

Democrats are not blackmailing Republicans in any way, shape, or form. If, in spite of the statistics, Republicans refuse to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals who commit violence against women or transgender people, then they do support violence against women and transgender people. And they support it because they ardently oppose any attempt to stop it by voting against the “improved public health strategies and policies beneficial toreducing violence against US women.”

This issue is absent any gray area. Republicans either oppose violence against women or they support it. It is irrelevant that they are following the orders from the NRA and religious extremists who support violence against women, but it is very relevant that they are willing to sacrifice women’s safety and lives to satisfy gun fanatics and religious freaks.