Red flag laws have been a hot topic around here as of late and they’ve been served with an occasional side of domestic violence. On December 2nd we ran an op-ed on a mental health care worker’s opinions on red flag laws; on December 11th we posted a news story – Scared Wife Fatally Shoots Husband After Years of Unreported Abuse – with mixed results in the comments section.
Today we’re taking a look at it from a different angle. I’m giving you guys the first look at a full-length podcast done by Polite Society Podcast on the realities of domestic violence and red flags laws. The podcast was scheduled before the aforementioned DV piece ran on TTAG.
It’s just over one hour-long and this is the unedited version, put together by host Paul Lathrop specifically for you. (The first two segments will air tonight on the Polite Society Podcast and the other two will run next week on the same show.)
Why is this unique? Because it’s my story, one I have never shared publicly. Only a handful of highlights are mentioned in the podcast because time limits are real, but it’s enough to give you a look into how domestic violence happens – and how it can happen to anyone. Your sister, your friend, your daughter.
Many, if not most abusers are master manipulators and it becomes a case of the frog in the pot of soon-to-be-boiling-water. Abuse is a slow burn you’re caught in before you realize what is happening. Abuse is a slow-working poison you’re dosed with in the early days under the guise of caring and support.
Some women get out faster than others; some women get out and stay out while others repeat the cycle with the same man, often to the point of death. It can be infuriating and enormously frustrating when you’re on the outside looking in. I, myself, become incredibly frustrated with women who don’t leave quickly or who return knowing the fisted cards they’ll be dealt. So I stop, take a deep breath, and force myself to think – and to remember.
Regarding red flag laws I won’t keep you in suspense waiting to listen to this podcast to find out what I think of them. They’re trash. They have no place in a democratic society. There is no due process, they violate the Second Amendment, and they are all too easily wielded against innocents and even used as tools by abusers to disarm their prey.
I don’t care if it hasn’t happened in your state yet or is called one thing in your state and another in whatever state, this is your problem. If you are a law-abiding gun owner, red flags laws are your problem. Sitting back and waiting to see what happens is not an option.
To those who have commented on domestic violence posts claiming the abused person potentially planned to shoot their abuser, shame on you. Scenarios like that rarely play out outside of Hollywood. Do people lie? Of course, but as with the case of the battered woman who recently shot her husband in self-defense there is almost always significant evidence of abuse.
Should you take seemingly unsubstantiated claims with a grain of salt? Yes. But when you are dismissive and belittling you give credence to the shame and embarrassment of women who are afraid to speak up because, after all, who would believe us? Always force yourself to stop, listen, and consider that your perception of reality may be wholly inaccurate.
To those who do not understand how someone can feel trapped, cut off from all help, and be drowning in an ocean of shame, well, I hope this podcast helps explain it.
After more than a decade, my story is now out there. It is not who I am but it did affect me in intimate ways I would not wish on anyone. I’ll answer polite questions in the comments section. It is my heartfelt desire that doing this podcast helps someone – male or female – who is currently trapped in an abusive situation. If you’re reading this, reach out for help. It’s out there. And if you are out of it and are now a new legal firearms owner needing help with firearms training to protect yourself and your children there’s help for that as well. Please feel free to reach out via email (you can find mine on the About Us page).
Please take this in the spirit in which it was given: seriously and with the intent to help others.
To listen to the podcast in its one-hour entirety, click the audio file below. Segments one and two are myself and Belle McCormack, a good friend and firearms instructor at Firearms Academy of Seattle, discussing our own experiences and the challenges of leaving. The third segment includes Karen from Rachael’s Rest talking about how to leave. Fourth segment I discuss red flag laws and we wrap up the hour: