“After physically abusing [Marilyn] Stanley for nearly an hour, Gross urged his dog to attack the woman after she refused to drop a knife she had picked up in self defense,” fox19.com reports.
The dog tore off part of Stanley’s ear and scalp. Investigators say after the incident, Gross forced Stanley to look at herself in the mirror, ridiculing her appearance.
With a portion of her scalp in a plastic bag, Gross drove Stanley to her mother’s Union home and dropped her off in the front yard.
Hospital staff said 80 percent of Stanley’s scalp was completely detached from her head, according to police documents. The attack also left her with eyes swollen to the size of baseballs and a broken nose.
I recently wrote about a new study on guns and domestic abuse (The Truth About Guns and Domestic Abuse). That article focused on the astounding fact that guns were used in just 1.6% of 35,413 incidents studied.
That’s guns used by the abuser. What about guns used for self-defense against an abuser?
There’s no data on either the number of defensive gun uses by people facing domestic violence, or the efficacy of their use. But one thing’s for sure: every American facing an imminent, credible threat of grievous bodily harm or death is legally justified in using lethal force to stop the threat.
In this case, Ms. Stanley chose a knife to defend herself. A defense that proved woefully inadequate.
There’s no way of knowing if Ms Stanley would have been more successful if she’d had access to a firearm. No way of knowing if she would have used it (given the psychology of many abuse victims). And yes, there’s the possibility that Mr. Gross would have used the gun against her.
But it seems obvious that Mr. Gross needed shooting. If not, consider his response to his sentencing:
“I’m not asking for your mercy. Just give me the 20. I don’t need a lecture,” 31-year-old Zachary Gross said.
The judge went one better, sentencing Mr. Gross to 21 years in jail. How long before he’s out? Too soon. How long before more potential victims realize that they should take up arms in their defense? And be prepared to use them?
Not soon enough. It should have been a defensive gun use.