The NRA Wants To Solve Domestic Violence By Arming Victims. It Probably Won’t Work the huffingpost.com headline proclaims. “Adding guns to an already violent situation creates the potential for disaster” the subhead adds. Let’s start with that . . .
To be fair to the author, Huffpo scribe Melissa Jeltsen (above), SEO-crazed editors usually write the headlines. In this case, one who wants readers to believe that the NRA is naïve enough to think that legislation providing additional self-defense options for abuse victims could “solve” domestic violence.
Unfortunately, there are some warped individual who believe that physical abuse is a perfectly acceptable way to deal with their problems. There always will be individuals who will use their intimate partners as their punching bags.
[Please note that I’m not discounting the corrosive effects of mental and emotional abuse, but unless accompanied by physical abuse, neither typically calls for self-defense using deadly force.]
Second, “adding guns” to otherwise violent situations can indeed lead to disaster (or avert it, as shown by the 4,000 or so daily defensive gun uses in this country). But instances of domestic violence (DV) are hardly average “violent situations.”
Typically, in a DV scenario, you have an abuser (often significantly bigger and stronger than their victim) who instigates the violence, and a victim who is, well, victimized.
“Allowing” the victim to exercise their natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and constitutional right to carry the self-defense weapon of their choice creates the potential not for disaster, but for preventing it. Huffpo’s Jeltsen doesn’t see it that way:
Controversial gun laws that went into effect in two states earlier this month purport to protect domestic violence victims by arming them against their abusers.
Purported? Controversial? When we first passed the Minnesota Personal Protection Act in 2003, it contained an emergency permit clause (624.714 Subd. 11a). The State of Ohio issues emergency permits with “evidence of imminent danger” (like police reports, restraining orders, etc.). And in Wisconsin:
A person who believes they need a license immediately may petition a court in the county where he or she resides for an emergency license. A court may issue an emergency license if the court determines it is necessary to protect the person from death or great bodily harm unless it knows that the person is ineligible for a license. Wis. Stat. § 175.60(9r)(a).
Then there’s North Carolina:
In emergencies, a sheriff may issue a temporary permit to an individual when the sheriff has reasonable belief that the individual’s safety, the safety of his/her property, or the safety of the individual’s family is in immediate danger …
In Colorado, C.R.S. 18-12-209 states:
Notwithstanding any provisions of this part 2 to the contrary, a sheriff, as provided in this section, may issue a temporary emergency permit to carry a concealed handgun to a person whom the sheriff has reason to believe may be in immediate danger.
The Michigan Compiled Laws, 28.425a(4) provides:
A county clerk shall issue an emergency license to carry a concealed pistol to an applicant if the individual has obtained a personal protection order … or to an applicant if a county sheriff determines that there is clear and convincing evidence to believe the safety of the applicant or the safety of a member of the applicant’s family or household is endangered …
As for using a temporary restraining order as a permit to carry, California — yes California — has such a law! The California Penal Code Section 25600.(a) states:
A violation of Section 25400 is justifiable when a person who possesses a firearm reasonably believes that person is in grave danger because of circumstances forming the basis of a current restraining order issued by a court against another person who has been found to pose a threat to the life or safety of the person who possesses the firearm.
Kentucky bridges the gap between TRO as a permit and temporary emergency permits with KRS 403.754, providing that:
A petitioner for an order of protection granted under KRS 403.715 to 403.785 may apply for a temporary permit to carry a concealed deadly weapon on or about his or her person into those places and under the same conditions as a person holding a carry concealed deadly weapon license issued under KRS 237.110.
The Minnesota law has been on the books (sort of ) since 2003, I don’t know how long the other four states (just the ones I found in a quick web search, please let me know in the comments if there are others) have had their laws in place.
It seems obvious that, despite Ms. Jeltsen’s Chicken Little cries, the sky has not, is not, and will not fall. But she continue with her hysteria nevertheless:
Firearms are the most commonly used weapons in domestic homicides. In the U.S., a woman is killed by an intimate partner wielding a gun every 16 hours.
According to the link, the AP arrived at this horrific stat by analyzing data from 2006 – 2014. Digging a little deeper, there’s a lot more going on than first appears. You know, context.
During that same time period, every 7.3 hours a woman was shot dead by a non-romantic partner, and every five hours a woman was murdered with something other than a firearm (SOTF).
In fact, during that same period, a man — yes, a man — was murdered with SOTF every 2.5 hours. One “child or teen” accidentally drowned every 9.5 hours.
In the 10 years from 2006 – 2015, among “seasoned citizens” (70 and older), a member of that group dies from an accidental fall every 25 minutes. In other words, in the time one woman was murdered by a romantic partner, more than 33 elders died by falling.
I’m sorry Ms. Jeltsen, where should we be putting our efforts?
Critics of the NRA say arming an abused women at a time of distress will only make it more likely that someone will die or be seriously injured ― whether it’s the victim, her children or her abuser. And if she does use a gun, they warn, she may end up in prison for the crime.
True that; thanks to the efforts of people like Jeltsen and HuffPo, not to mention the Brady Bunch, EveryTown, Felonious Mayors Against All Guns , and the Violence Propagation Prevention Center and their ilk, in many states armed self-defense is almost (almost I said) as dangerous as not fighting back.
Because of their ongoing efforts to block and roll back Stand Your Ground laws across the country, many states still have a “duty to retreat” for victims before they can use deadly force in self-defense.
In addition, the direct and indirect support these groups give to anti-gun prosecutors makes it more likely that a woman (or anyone) who is forced to use a firearm in self-defense — no matter how clearly justified — will wind up facing prosecution, thus ensuring that, even if they avoid prison, their lives will be destroyed by the emotional and economic strains of a court battle; what our own Dean Weingarten so artfully describes as “punishment by process.”
Obviously, arming victims isn’t going to “solve” the problem of domestic violence. The best we can hope for: it will allow some of its victims to survive and break free of their abusers. A hope Ms. Jeltsen and her those of like minds are happy to extinguish in exchange for some vague notion of pubic safety.
 In MN gunnies refer to the Personal Protection Act as “the law so nice we passed it twice” since a liberal court threw out the first version of shall-issue on a legislative rules technicality. This resulted in such a storm of outrage that, as my House Rep. (a staunch anti) told me, legislators were so busy dealing with us that they literally could get no work done until they announced the reintroduction of the PPA.
 They say they are only against the illegal ones, but since they want to make them all illegal, this is a much better name.