“Chinika Hursey got a protective order against her ex-husband, Dominick Hursey, in March after she told police he threatened to kill her,” abc2news.com reports. “The order required he stay away from his ex-wife’s house and turn over any guns he had.” The cops came a knockin’ on Mr. Hursey’s door . . .
On March 27 officers went to Hursey’s house and asked him to surrender any guns. He claimed he didn’t have any. The officer search Hursey and didn’t find any guns and didn’t see any in plain sight in his Owings Mills home, but didn’t have a warrant to search the home.
On April 2 police say Hursey broke into his ex-wife’s home in Randallstown and [shot and] killed 36-year-old Chinika and her boyfriend, 36-year-old Steven Campbel.
A protective order offers no real protection against a killer. Adding a gun confiscation element to a protective order is nothing more than security theater. A killer can get access to a firearm even if he’s prohibited from owning or legally purchasing one. And if not that, something else equally — yes equally — lethal.
I know the antis will see the Hurley homicide case as proof that all states should have firearms confiscating “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” (what used to be called Gun Violence Restraining Orders). Screw due process. The only problem here: the cops lacked the legal authority to turn over Mr. Hurley’s house.
So what if the boys in blue had and discovered and confiscated Mr. Hurley’s firearms? It’s naive in extremis to think that a man capable of killing his ex-wife and her boyfriend in front of his own children would have been deterred by the simple loss of his firearms. Assuming, that is, he hadn’t thought ahead and hidden a gun where the cops couldn’t find it.
If someone poses an imminent, credible threat of grievous bodily harm or death to another person, if that threat can be proven in court with the accused having the right to challenge his accusers, that person should be removed from society. Then again, law enforcement attempts at pre-crime convictions are bound to fail. And the practice sets the stage for government abuse.
At the end of the day, we must defend ourselves. Any law that removes the ability to protect innocent life by force of arms — without due process — is a bad law. In fact, I reckon this story would have been better presented as It Should Have Been a Defensive Gun Use. And therein lies the tale.