Does Wisconsin Need Tougher Domestic Violence Laws?
The violent Azana Salon shootings have been the most obvious example, but a number of domestic violence cases have been in the news in recent weeks, including another involving a gun.
The horrific shooting spree last month at Azana Salon and Spa in Brookfield was the most high-profile — and most tragic — domestic violence incident in a series of them in recent weeks.
Two Wisconsin legislators are pushing for tougher enforcement of gun rules in domestic violence cases, according to Business Insider, in the wake of the Azana shootings. But even supporters of their bill question whether that would have prevented Radcliffe Haughton from shooting seven people.
Meanwhile, a 76-year-old Watertown man was charged with attempted homicide of a Waukesha police officer who was investigating a domestic disturbance. The man, Dick Petarius, fired a 12-gauge shotgun at the officer.
Meanwhile, other less-violent incidents kept law enforcement busy in the area.
- In Muskego, a man held police at bay for 11 hours in a standoff that was defined as a “tactical situation.”
- In Waukesha County, a Muskego police officer was arrested following a domestic disturbance.
- Major League Baseball pitcher Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez was charged this week with disorderly conduct-domestic abuse in Waukesha County following a mid-September incident involving his fiancé.
- A Racine man stabbed his on-again, off-again girlfriend, police said, because she “talked back.”
- An 81-year-old Menomonee Falls man was slapped across the face by his 41-year-old wife, and a 42-year-old Menomonee Falls man broke a window and grabbed his girlfriend by the hair.
- In Greenfield, a man is accused of trying to run over his ex-wife and her landlord with his car.
Wisconsin does have a mandatory arrest law that requires law enforcement to make an arrest if they believe a person has committed abuse, and there is a belief that abuse will continue or that an injury is evident. Gov. Scott Walker said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that tougher laws are needed, but didn’t indicate what changes should be made. The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s legislative agenda for 2011-12 including pushing for the closing of the “72-hour loophole,” in which abusers are not charged with a crime for violating a three-day no-contact period following an arrest.
Would changes in the state’s domestic violence laws deter incidents large or small? And what should those changes be? Or these events too sudden, too driven by emotion, to be impacted by any kind of stiffer penalties or more diligent enforcement? Vote in our poll and then discuss the issue in the comments.