Under feminist pressure, most courts have interpreted federal law broadly to deprive millions of men of their gun rights. However, in the Hayes case, a 2-1 majority on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had the courage to stand up to feminists and rule that Hayes had no fair warning that prosecutors would stretch the definition of domestic violence to include his minor offense.
Randy Edward Hayes had a dispute with his wife in 1994, pled guilty to misdemeanor battery, and served one year of probation. Ten years later, he was prosecuted for having a Winchester rifle in his West Virginia home.
Why are men with clean histories except for one domestic dispute punished like hardened criminals who mug strangers on the street? The answer is that the feminist agenda calls for domestic-violence laws to punish husbands and fathers above and beyond what can be proven in court under due-process procedures.
When U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., voted for the federal law prohibiting a man from owning a gun if he has a domestic violence conviction, she stated, "It is an unfortunate fact that many domestic violence offenders are never convicted of a felony. Outdated or ineffective laws often treat domestic violence as a lesser offense. ... Plea bargains often result in misdemeanor convictions for what are really felony crimes."
In other words, Feinstein wants to pretend a man is a felon even if he is not. That's the feminist anti-male agenda.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this year in District of Columbia v. Heller that we all have a fundamental constitutional right to own and use a gun. We will soon see how serious the court is in defending our Second Amendment right.
It's time to restore basic constitutional rights to husbands and fathers by repudiating the feminist agenda that considers men guilty unless proven innocent.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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