In response to:

Missouri Takes Lead Reducing Gun and Domestic Violence

DKJ Wrote: Feb 11, 2013 10:14 AM
Mr Usher - I think most of the confusion is due to the fact that you don't seem to mention a trigger or threshold in the discussion of this bill. What is the burden of proof, if any? If all a spouse has to do is make an accusation, and as a result of that accusation the coercive power of the state is brought to bear, then this really is a horrible concept. For example, guess what step 1 would be if I wanted to divorce my spouse? It would be accusing them of substance abuse. If nothing else, it immediately puts them on the defense. They are in the position of having to "prove a negative" (prove they aren't a substance abuser). Divorce lawyers are going to love it.
David R. Usher Wrote: Feb 11, 2013 12:30 PM
False allegations will be cleared by the substance abuse treatment center. they interview both spouses. Many of the individuals working in the substance abuse field are recovering abusers themselves. You can't fool these folks. They can smell a substance abuse a mile away. They have a form used to report status back to the court, and can indicate who (if anyone) has a substance abuse problem. In the case of co-substance-abusers, both of them will end up pursuing recovery.
JustMC Wrote: Feb 11, 2013 12:32 PM
Oh, great. The magical "substance abuse treatment center" can somehow do what no court can do, and without any of the protections a court accords for the falsely accused.

It's a magic bell of truth, appearing on the cat. It slices, it dices, it irons your shirts, gets out embarassing stains on your collar...

DKJ Wrote: Feb 11, 2013 8:59 PM
Got it. The burden of proof is upon the accused. And how do you find this to reinforce American values? Where does the presumption of innocence factor in?

It doesn't. You want to appoint some "experts" - who will be compensated or rated based upon how many people are in the program, and you expect them to be unbiased.

I'm a resident of Missouri, as it happens. I'll be contacting my state reps and senators to let them know how little I think of this, as it is being proposed.

It's not a bad idea - but the execution doesn't even offer the most basic protections.
JustMC Wrote: Feb 11, 2013 10:53 AM
Yes, and further, what if one person IS a substance-abuser, but doesn't actually do harm or make threats against an irritated spouse? It matters not, because apparently the crime of ingesting substances is THE CRIME. Not violence. Not threats.

Let's punish the individual not for ACTUAL crimes the individual commits, but for a group LABEL that has been pinned on him, regardless of any criminal wrongdoing. Because that could never go wrong. Let's treat someone who pi55ed in an alley after a football game the same as someone who raped a slew of 4-year-old girls. After all, they both have attained the label "sex offender." (And yes, that one is not made up.)

Missouri House Bill 402 is a major step forward reducing gun violence, domestic violence, and other forms of serious violence. For decades, federal and state policy attempting to impact these growing problems failed because the policies were pointed in the wrong direction.

Substance abuse in the family is the leading factor and primary driver of many kinds of gun-related crimes, domestic violence, and other offenses.

Substance abuse is tightly bound to domestic violence. Three-quarters of serious domestic violence is associated with substance abuse at the time of violence (Fig 3). This statistic does not include substance abusers who...