Following the murder of a New Jersey woman while she was waiting for her firearms license paperwork to crawl through the purposefully slow political system in the state, a number of people have been using the incident as an example of how gun control laws keep victims disarmed and limit their ability to defend themselves. They are calling for action on legislation designed to speed permits for those who are victims of domestic violence. nj.com thinks that using this murder to support gun rights is disgusting . . .
But the protest at Sweeney’s house by members of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society was both out of bounds and disrespectful to Bowne’s memory. […] [P]rojecting that Bowne absolutely would have fended off her attacker simply if she had owned a gun is pure conjecture. Yes, she might have been able to scare away or shoot her attacker. Yet, a number of other scenarios are possible. Eitel could have been strong enough to wrestle the gun away from the victim and use it on her. And, inexperienced with a brand-new weapon, she might have missed Eitel and wound up shooting someone else.
Various aspects of how New Jersey’s gun-permit laws work in real time are a legitimate topic for discussion. But the Senate president bears no responsibility for the death of Carol Bowne, and to say otherwise shamefully exploits a tragedy.
On balance, I agree with nj.com. Using a single high-profile incident as the impetus to legislation is rarely a good idea (e.g., the NY SAFE Act). But I would be more willing to listen to NJ.com’s plea if it wasn’t so blatantly hypocritical.
They’ve had no problem in the past publishing editorials from Sandy Hook family members demanding more gun control. They don’t bat an eyelash when they use the same shooting to demand restrictions on handguns. And they’re happy as a clam to paint law abiding gun owners as proto-murderers on the basis of isolated incidents.
Not to coin a phrase, but people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.