The misleading and inept Violence Against Women Act is being reconsidered by Congress, and just like last time, the bill has the potential to deprive Americans of their constitutional rights. The Obama Administration defined domestic violence very broadly to include conduct that was not violent at all, such as alleged economic, emotional, or psychological abuse. Fortunately, the Department of Justice in the Trump Administration has sensibly clarified the meaning of domestic violence to include only conduct that would be a felony or misdemeanor if charged as a crime.
Inclusion of non-violent behavior then becomes a means for grabbing guns from men, and imposing automatic sentences in prison if they are found to have any guns. The First Amendment is at risk, too, in this planned reauthorization of VAWA. Proposed expansions to the law include authorizing federal monitoring of internet communications, under the guise of punishing cyber stalking and so-called bullying. That could result in censorship of the internet as prosecutions are brought against communications which the federal agents might consider to be inappropriate. The freewheeling environment that makes the internet so popular could be chilled by a new VAWA.
Even President Trump’s colorful tweets against the women who are vying for the Democratic nomination to run against him might be considered cyberbullying, depending on how VAWA is rewritten. Robert Mueller might need to be recalled into service to do a new investigation into tweeting by Trump and his supporters. That kind of circus is exactly what the Left wants to put on so the American people are distracted from the real issues facing our nation.
Of course, there are many men and women who have all the best intentions when they hear the phrase “Violence Against Women Act” and immediately make up their minds to support it. No reasonable person would ever want to do anything to make violence against women more prevalent in our society. However, when legislation like VAWA wants to take away constitutional rights and do nothing substantive to actually protect women, we have every right and every obligation to oppose it in the strongest possible terms.