Who are they representing?

Olivia Fowler

Olivia Fowler

On The Way

By Olivia Fowler

We are Americans. We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. And sometimes the stupid.

Some may and likely will be offended by that opinion. Just remember that the right to bear arms isn’t the only amendment. We also enjoy free speech. This means we have the right to speak freely, not that we enjoy or agree with the speeches made by everyone. So if you favor violence against women, stop reading now.

Not everyone has to agree that violence against women is wrong. But it would be helpful if someone who opposes the law to protect women from violence could explain their opposition in a way that doesn’t make them sound idiotic. Yes, I said idiotic. And I meant it.

We live in a state with one of the highest rates of domestic violence and death by domestic violence in the nation. Call me crazy, but I don’t take pride in this statistic.

It is outrageous that our two senators, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, voted against renewing the violence against women act on Valentine’s Day. The measure managed to pass the senate with a 78 to 22 vote anyway. Graham and Scott were among the 22 senators who voted against it.

I believe in contacting our elected officials any time an issue comes before them that is of particular concern. I’ve written and called supporting an effort to improve Duke Energy’s compliance record with safety requirements at our nuclear reactors, for the development of alternate energy sources, for improving air quality, education and many other topics.

Graham consistently responded. Or at least someone from his office would send out a form letter which always contained the following phrase: “Although we may not see eye to eye on all issues, I will always take your concerns into consideration.”

There is no reasonable explanation for Graham and Scot’s vote against this measure. Can they possibly think that women don’t need protection against violent abusers? Are they against funding for shelters which house these victims temporarily?

In South Carolina women are shot, stabbed, strangled, raped, beaten and killed on a regular basis. It is an everyday occurrence. And they are not alone in their suffering. Children are also victims in domestic violence cases.

More than 50 percent of the state’s citizens are female. Yes, women are citizens. We can now own property and vote.

This issue is not a party issue. It isn’t about who gets to win, Republicans or Democrats. It’s an American issue. It’s about doing what’s right as opposed to what’s wrong. Isn’t it about time our elected representatives started earning their generous paychecks by passing laws that are in the best interest of the people they are supposed to be serving?

Someday this will change. Our hope is pinned on the generation lining up to replace us. And they will make changes. They will make improvements and also make mistakes, just as every generation has done before them. We’re waiting.