“Commenting on a gruesome case of domestic homicide that occurred in Geismar, Louisiana on August 9, 2015, Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley advised women to do the following,” the anti-gunners at csgv.org report, accurately enough. “Get your concealed weapons permit. Ladies, learn how to safely handle a weapon, learn how to safely store a weapon, and when you’re in a situation like this shoot him in your back yard before he gets in your house. Drop him. I mean, I’m serious. Take the extremes necessary to live a life where you don’t have to worry about your kids and your life.” And that’s where the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence’s rhetoric goes south, so to speak . .
Sheriff Wiley’s remarks put the blame on abused mother Monica Butler Johnson for her own murder at the hands of her ex-husband. Sheriff Wiley also seems to be indicating that he believes our criminal justice system is useless, or ineffectual. If that is the case in Ascension Parish, then the responsibility is his.
There is no credible domestic violence prevention group in the United States urging abused women to obtain firearms. As National Domestic Violence Hotline CEO Katie Ray-Jones noted, “It is always highly concerning when a person introduces a weapon into a violent situation. While someone may be trained to use and carry a firearm, there is always a possibility that the weapon could be used against them by their abusive partners.”
The CSGV cites a study “proving” that it’s better – safer – for victims of domestic violence to be disarmed. Citation: Fact Sheet, “Intimate Partner Violence and Firearms,” Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. That would be the same Michael Bloomberg whose money funds Everytown for Gun Safety, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and The Trace.
It’s an inherently flawed study that makes no distinction between armed victims and armed abusers. (It’s just “guns in the home.”) If you think about it, by not making that distinction, the study puts the blame on victims of domestic abuse for living in a house where their abuser is armed. Oh wait. It’s society that’s to blame for allowing anyone to be armed.
If followed to its logical conclusion, the antis’ final solution to domestic violence would mean that everyone would be disarmed: abuser and victim. Would that stop domestic violence? It’s a rhetorical question, obviously. Unless you happen to be a defenseless victim of domestic violence, in which case you could be beaten to death with a baseball bat, as Ms. Johnson was in Ascension Parish. Or stabbed. Or strangled. Or pushed down a flight of stairs. Etcetera.
The Trace is all over this story, too (Advocates Warn of New Dangers as Sheriff Urges Domestic Violence Victims to Arm Themselves). They have to be. The idea that women in danger from domestic violence should arm themselves for self-protection, and the protection of their children, is simple common sense. The idea that they shouldn’t be armed is extremely difficult to make. And if the antis can’t justify disarming society’s most vulnerable members, their cause is surely lost.
To defend their anti-gun jihad against the obvious emotional power of Sheriff Jeff Wiley’s advice, The Trace adds this to the CSGV’s argument against armed self-defense:
Christy Salters Martin is one of the more high-profile examples of what can go wrong: The professional boxer and licensed concealed carrier armed herself against her husband during a violent 2010 altercation at their home in Florida. Martin’s husband, also a concealed carrier, grabbed Martin’s pink Glock and shot her with it. Overall, the presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide five-fold, according to a 2003 study. An analysis of 2010 homicide data by the Violence Policy Center found that women in relationships are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined.
Another survey, which gathered responses from more than 400 women in California battered women’s shelters in 2004, found that only 1.4 percent of domestic abuse victims had used a long gun in self defense against their abuser, and only 3.1 percent had used a handgun in self defense.
Meeks also warns that when women do use firearms to successfully defend themselves in domestic incidents, there can be unforeseen consequences. It’s what she calls the “Marissa Alexander situation.” Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing what she argued was a warning shot to scare her abusive husband at their Florida home in 2012. She was released on house arrest after overturning the conviction on appeal, but had already served three years behind bars.
That same year, Tammy Romero was charged with second-degree murder after fatally shooting her live-in boyfriend after years of dysfunction and abuse. The Louisiana woman pled guilty to negligent homicide and filed a federal lawsuit against local police, arguing that officers actually caused Wirtz’s death because they did not do enough to protect her from him.
So women exposed to domestic violence shouldn’t arm themselves against their abusers because they can be shot with their own gun, they can be murdered by their abuser’s gun, California women in domestic violence shelters haven’t armed themselves with guns, and if an armed woman uses her gun against her abuser she could be jailed.
Convinced? Neither is anyone with an open mind and a sympathetic heart who read about Monica Johnson’s murder, and the Sheriff’s response.
Which is why gun control advocates are so adamant that victims of domestic violence remain unarmed. And if society listens to this nonsense and enacts laws that infringe on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, which they do in New Jersey, New York City, parts of California and elsewhere, are they not at least partially to blame when abused women – or men – are murdered? Just wondering . . .