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Mitchell Rosen: Should we take a page from Canada on gun control?

By in Press Enterprise on November 25, 2017

By Mitchell Rosen

If there is a common thread or theme running through many of our country’s shootings and its perpetrators, it is a history of domestic violence or relationship problems. The man who shot and killed so many parishioners recently in Texas was court marshaled in 2012 for assault on his wife and child. Among those he later targeted at the Texas church were relatives of his wife.

Canada has a novel idea when it comes to those applying to own a firearm: The applicant must list all current and recent partners. Police would then interview and ask about the applicant’s history of violence, anger and fitness to own a firearm. It could be argued that this process could be an easy way for a former lover to get back at the person who left them. Maybe, it also could be a better way to screen for mental stability than only checking psychiatric admissions or domestic violence convictions.

It is not my role to argue for or against gun control, however my area of expertise includes relationships and domestic violence. All couples argue; as a marriage counselor I’d be the first to state that. It’s not unusual for angry partners to raise their voice, use foul language, and even leave the home in a huff. When a person gets angry and resorts to violence, threats of violence, isolating and tormenting others, then we have transitioned from what all couples do to a much scarier scenario.

Yes, most couples argue, but they don’t threaten their partner or their partner’s children, pets or relatives. Most people have the capacity to be angry in a manner that is not intimidating, sadistic or criminal. Those who behave this way, I agree with Canada, should not have access to firearms.

When I speak with police officers they will say domestic violence […]    

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