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New Jersey commerative coin (courtesy

Following the murder of a New Jersey woman while she was waiting for her firearms license paperwork to crawl through the purposefully slow political system in the state, a number of people have been using the incident as an example of how gun control laws keep victims disarmed and limit their ability to defend themselves. They are calling for action on legislation designed to speed permits for those who are victims of domestic violence. thinks that using this murder to support gun rights is disgusting . . .

But the protest at Sweeney’s house by members of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society was both out of bounds and disrespectful to Bowne’s memory. […] [P]rojecting that Bowne absolutely would have fended off her attacker simply if she had owned a gun is pure conjecture. Yes, she might have been able to scare away or shoot her attacker. Yet, a number of other scenarios are possible. Eitel could have been strong enough to wrestle the gun away from the victim and use it on her. And, inexperienced with a brand-new weapon, she might have missed Eitel and wound up shooting someone else.

Various aspects of how New Jersey’s gun-permit laws work in real time are a legitimate topic for discussion. But the Senate president bears no responsibility for the death of Carol Bowne, and to say otherwise shamefully exploits a tragedy.

On balance, I agree with Using a single high-profile incident as the impetus to legislation is rarely a good idea (e.g., the NY SAFE Act). But I would be more willing to listen to’s plea if it wasn’t so blatantly hypocritical.

They’ve had no problem in the past publishing editorials from Sandy Hook family members demanding more gun control. They don’t bat an eyelash when they use the same shooting to demand restrictions on handguns. And they’re happy as a clam to paint law abiding gun owners as proto-murderers on the basis of isolated incidents.

Not to coin a phrase, but people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

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  1. And, inexperienced with a brand-new weapon, she might have missed Eitel and wound up shooting down a jumbo jet. It’s possibly possible.

  2. Eitel could have been strong enough to wrestle the gun away from the victim and use it on her.

    And how would that have turned out worse for her? She’s dead! Eitel probably wouldn’t have wrestled the gun away from her had she shot him a few times.

    • Well, she was stabbed to death… if she was shot to death, she would have been deader! Why do you hate children? Something, something, war on women, yada, yada, yada.


        • That’s weird LanceF, all I’ve ever heard is that only .45 ACP kills the soul and makes targets deader, anything else is like shooting with a daisy .177! Now I don’t feel so bad about my 9mm if ALL guns can kill the soul!

  3. 5 bucks says that they touted how aurora, new town, Giffords, etc. were why we needed stricter gun laws…

  4. “Yes, she might have been able to scare away or shoot her attacker. Yet, a number of other scenarios are possible. Eitel could have been strong enough to wrestle the gun away from the victim and use it on her. And, inexperienced with a brand-new weapon, she might have missed Eitel and wound up shooting someone else.”

    While the source author supports the typical purile anti-gun BS, the above quote is accurate enough .Just because someone has a gun doesn’t make them prepared to use it, especially if they’re newbies. She may have prevailed….or she could have either frozen in the moment of conflict,or done something outside the legal bounds of self defense like fire a warning shot.Or he could have stabbed her anyways regardless of her having a gun (remember the Tuller drill).

    • Or aliens could have whisked her away for a probing.
      Or Eitel could have danced a jig instead of stabbing her to death.
      Or she might have turned her phone into a frisbee and plunked the nearest 3 year old child.
      Or they might have decided to argue the merits of the designated hitter in baseball.
      Or she could have done a cartwheel.

      I have no idea what she could have done, but she damn sure couldn’t defend herself without an effective tool, in this case, a gun.

      • She also could have used a circular saw blade as a Frisbee and he be so shocked he didn’t dodge…

        We’ll never know what the situation would have turned out like now. Meanwhile, the hypocrites keep marching on and indoctrinating the vulnerable minds.

    • A few months ago, in my local area, a 70 year old man fired a gun for the very first time. He shot the shotgun-wielding home invader that busted in his back door.
      Effective is effective.

    • or she could have purchased her gun on April 21, the day she decided she needed one, and spent the last month taking classes and practicing to become proficient enough with it to defend herself.

      See hypothetical arguments work in both directions….

    • She was stabbed to death. There aren’t many scenarios where having a gun could have possibly made her situation worse.

      BTW in NJ she would have broken the law taking her gun with her onto her front lawn to check the mail anyway. (Not that she shouldn’t have done it anyway, with the clear threat to her safety that the police ignored)

  5. So happy that I’m moving out of New Jersey in a month or two…

    There is an effort underway to get Sweeney recalled. Hopefully it is successful, but no matter what the outcome, our next governor (maybe Sweeney, maybe someone even worse) is going to make the NY SAFE Act look downright reasonable.

    I’ll be watching it all unfold from my new home in South Carolina.

  6. “P]rojecting that Bowne absolutely would have fended off her attacker simply if she had owned a gun is pure conjecture.”

    Aaaaannd, insisting that all the death and bloodshed at [insert mass shooting event here] could have been stopped by background checks is what, exactly?

  7. Yet, a number of other scenarios are possible. Eitel could have been strong enough to wrestle the gun away from the victim and use it on her. And, inexperienced with a brand-new weapon, she might have missed Eitel and wound up shooting someone else.

    Citation needed.

  8. Unfamiliar with a new handgun? Uh, nice little .38 Airweight, Lady Smith, Taurus Ultra-lite, no long, intense training, labor intensive, usage requirement needed. Maybe she was already familiar with some firearms fundamentals. Who the hell knows. What we do know, is she counted on a system never designed to save her life. However, she might, keyword might, be alive today had she the ability and means to defend herself from a clear and lethal threat. I hope the Sherriff sleeps well with “his” firearm within reach.
    Disgusting, tragic, and totally expected from Stalag New Jersey.

    • Of course the “editorial board” that wrote this drivel has no idea if she had any prior handgun experience. The lady might have been to the range before and just didn’t choose to own a gun until now. These “journalists” are grasping at straws to try to justify their specious arguments.

      • Moreover, I recall reading articles – a few, not many – over the years where it is clear that the victim in a DGU had little-to-no gun experience yet acquitted him/herself on the occasion of need.

        Obviously, no one who reads TTAG would advocate that a newbie buy a gun but neglect self-study, formal training and range time. We all want every member of the gun-using community to be better trained and more skillful than they already are. Yet, there is no really useful standard above which an individual can be deemed qualified and below which we would say she is better off trusting her fate to God.

        Gun designers have been refining their techniques for hundreds of years. Somewhere along the line they must have developed the ergonomics to the point where they were pretty intuitive:
        – aim pointy-end to object to be destroyed;
        – insert bugger-hook in hole;
        – pull bang-switch
        This fairly obvious (from watching television) information is necessary and often sufficient to end an assault.

        Any conjecture about whether this victim might have survived or not if she had a gun is entirely beside the point. The fundamental issue facing our society – any society – is whether it is the government’s role to ensure that she would remain vulnerable or to allow her a means to a possibly successful self-defense.

        NJ reserves the right to a possibly successful self-defense to men-of-means and their employees who carry their money.

  9. Crossroads of the Revolution, eh?

    They still are no place for more than a rolling stop; I might go through there had I no reasonable alternative, but I’d not go to New Jersey for a tax – free kilobuck.

  10. “But the Senate president bears no responsibility for the death of Carol Bowne”

    Pure BS. He is as responsible as if he slid that knife into her gut himself. It was her 2nd amendment right he denied her, and that 2nd amendment right was what would have given her a chance at life.

    And to bring up that same stupid argument that if she had a gun he would have taken it away from her, and then shot her. What complete nonsense! Dead is dead whether she was stabbed, thrown out a window, beat to death, strangled, or poisoned. It is also a sexist statement, for they are essentially saying that because she is a woman, she cannot handle a gun. Again, that is absolute BS.

      • Yup. They need to choke on it. This should not go quietly into the night. This should be brought up in their face at every baby hugging/handshaking suck up event, every press conference.
        Senator, how do you explain the death of a woman with legitimate fear for her life, that followed the legal recourses available,end up dead waiting for a System that failed her?

  11. “Various aspects of how New Jersey’s gun-permit laws work in real time are a legitimate topic for discussion.”

    I’m not sure why this sudden and solitary devil’s-advocate line was tossed into an otherwise clearly anti-gun article, but it’s the only line I found worth reading. Why they think they should allow people who’ve filed restraining orders to get their paperwork done in reasonable time is bewildering. Like that’s the only situation where an exception should be made, because that’s the only reason a gun permit is viable? Can I say that I feel threatened by my new neighbor and get my permit pushed through faster then? Or is this a wedge law being driven into statute to enable more legislation requiring all permits to be approved (or denied) in the originally specified time of 30 days? Because only allowing one subset of applications to be processed in a timely manner is discrimination.

    As a NJ resident, people in my circle have reported wait times between four and twelve months for permits, and you have to get one every time to want to buy a handgun. The law has effectively brought handgun business to a halt here, adding a factor to all purchasing decisions that means that good deal I was looking at will probably fall by the wayside the moment I remember that it will sit in my poor FFL’s safe for the next year. Likewise it’s impossible to sell a handgun for the same reason, nobody has a ready permit laying around as they only last 90 days plus another 90-day extension if you go back to the local PD and file for it. On top of that, you can only buy one handgun every 30 days even if you filed for three permits at once, it will take the whole 90 day lifetime of them to be used.

    • Seems to me like we ought to push for a NJ law change (or a Federal law operable in all States and territories) that a provisional permit be issued upon clearing a NICS check. Thereby, no person enabled of her 2A rights would be deprived of the certification to exercise those rights for more than a few minutes (or 3 days in rare circumstances). The State could complete whatever other checks it wanted to make – such as finger prints – and chase down the permittee if a discrepancy were discovered.

  12. The woman was not allowed her Constitutional Right to self-defense due to what amounts to unconstitutional law. Pro-2A people were justified to speak out. No, there are never guarantees, but at least she should have had the opportunity. As far as inexperience and the shooting of someone else, who was accusing who of conjecture?

  13. Outstanding article. Spot on. I just turned down a 6 figure job in NJ- primarily because of their stance on the 2A.Fortunately, I have other options. Many, however, do not. Pray for them.

  14. Almost all of the commentary here skirts the real point.

    If there were no government at all (“a state of nature”) then it would be survival of the strongest; she would probably be toast. It would have been entirely up to her as to whether she did nothing/something to improve her ability to defend herself thus improving her chances of survival.

    To what end are governments “instituted among men”? Is it not to “secure” the right to life? What did NJ do to fulfill it’s duty? What little it did (issue an order of protection) was woefully insufficient. NJ’s most significant act was to block the victim’s lawful access to a likely effective means of improving her self-defense ability.

    Government does nothing to secure the right to life when its actions operate to impede the innocent from access to the means of an effective self-defense. In this case the victim expressly sought such means as evidenced by her applicaiton for an FOID and pistol purchase permits. Whether she would have prevailed is not the point in any sense whatsoever; that NJ prevented her from the lawful exercise of her right to try to prevail is the point.

    Do we ask that government – at taxpayer expense – buy guns for every man and woman? To pay for our training? To guarantee our skill levels in combat? Of course not. We ask only that government not prevent us from doing what we can in our own defense, however little that might be.

    This case is a perfect example of government doing its utmost to ensure that the violent criminals in society will prevail over the innocent. NJ guaranteed that she would never be issued a carry permit while still alive. NJ ensured that she would not obtain a permit to acquire a gun while she was in imminent danger. NJ has set up every barrier possible to dissuade the innocent from preparing, in advance of the manifestation of a threat, to defend themselves.

    I see it as our moral duty to waive her blood-stained shirt before the eyes of NJ voters to show them what their elected legislators are doing to promote criminals in the pursuit of their “lawful” prey. If we refrain from doing our duty in this one clear-cut case when will we do so? When there are 20 innocent women who have so been deprived of their right to live through the deliberate action of NJ? When shall we start counting?

  15. Wow, I’m surprised they didn’t use the old “she wouldn’t have been able to shoot him anyways since they had sex before and everybody knows that women biologically submit to men they’ve orgasmed with,” because I’ve literally been told that… by a FEMINIST!

  16. The state forced her to go to a knife fight ill equipped. That she didn’t bring a knife may be her bad or it might not. It’s irrelevant since everyone in a knife fight gets cut. Blades are not a great defensive weapon. So a gun was the only really viable option for her personal defense. Had her rights been properly respected she would have at minimum been able to be the one who brought a gun to a knife fight and her attacker would likely still have brought a knife to what turned out to be a gunfight.

    Rights denied are privileges. Subjects have privileges. Citizens have rights. Guess who we all are already. Nobody will admit it to themselves or out loud though because that’s too close to inciting revolution. The laws are not crafted for the majority and the economy is not built for them either. We never were a free country and we’re getting less and less free while people keep beating a bizarre patriotism drum as a soundtrack to their rights being converted to privileges and privileges then are restricted to the elites. The powerful are murderously hateful of the weak and they are piss-legged terrified of the every-man with a holstered/slung gun for one simple reason. If everyone were equal under the eyes of the law then the powerful would end up having to change their behavior or have quite a lot of guns to legitimately worry about.

    • Three quarters of the editorials in Gannett papers blame the Governor for everything that happens in NJ. He could balance the budget, cut the tax rate, make the schools the best in the nation and cut crime and all they would write about would be that he gained five pounds.

  17. “Eitel could have been strong enough to wrestle the gun away from the victim and use it on her”

    And? She’s friggin dead already, and you’re bashing her at having a chance because what if she died…again?

  18. Funny how the Peoples democratic party is political king pin of all the ardent anti-American Treasonous States, using politics’s to further Seditious acts against the Constitution!
    FDR passes the 1934 act to appease rich Chicagoan s. what you have is a culture war plain and simple, rich against poor/ city vs Rural!

    • So, how do you engage? How about proposing an obvious solution – self-defense – to urban dwellers who have cause to doubt that the police will be there any minute?

  19. I’m OK with using a high profile event to prompt legislation, providing that it’s surfacing a genuine problem and not simply exploiting emotions. Woman assaulted and/or murdered by an intimate partner is a very real problem. Of women murdered, intimate partners is the leading relationship between killer and victim. Aside from the fundamental issue of women having the right to keep and bear arms, which is both beginning and ending of the conversation in my mind, there remains the reality that women can and do defend themselves from stronger attackers every day. So there.

    A high profile is ripe for positioning this travesty in the forefront of public discussion and policy making. Where the tactic turns tawdry is when it’s used to shoehorn into law something wrong, unrelated and counterproductive, taking advantage of the rush to act and people’s temporary reluctance to criticize.

    For example, using Sandy Hook to jam through mag size limits, gun registration or bans on certain makes of firearms, is ridiculous and callous. None of that would have prevented Sandy Hook. Using Sandy Hook to encourage repeal of so-called gun free schools and passage of school personnel carry, is productive and could save lives in a similar situation.

    Lest anyone accuse me of bias, much as I would like to see the NFA and even the GCA laws repealed, I”m not seeing Sandy Hook as a legitimate justification for it.

    • The correct frame of the issue is this:

      “Is it a legitimate use of the State police power to delay or deny
      a law-abiding prospective victim
      her right to keep and bear arms?”

      In this particular case it is indisputable that:
      – the State acknowledged that this particular woman was exposed to a particularized threat;
      – this particular woman was desirous of undertaking individual responsibility of self-defense by gun;
      – this particular woman was respectful of the State formalities to certify her 2A-abilitity;
      – No other State – NOT ONE – would have denied access to a gun as long as NJ does as:
      – – a matter of routine throughout it’s diverse precincts; and,
      – – in EXPLICIT violation of its own State law mandating issuance within 30 days
      – this victim’s denial-by-unlawful-delay cost her her life. Had her permits been issued in 60 days – by the time she followed-up on the status of her application – she would have had 2 days to buy a gun before she was murdered.

      Is this the ONLY such incident in the history of American gun-control? Or, is it simply one that is so acute that it draws attention to the critical issue? How many other law-abiding innocent victims have been deprived of their prerogative to consider defending themselves by the intimidation of the State?

      How many Black freedmen and their succeeding generations were denied the vote by States and County registrars by delay or intimidation? By poll taxes? By literacy tests?

      If the sacred right to vote does not admit of an obstacle so low as a photo-ID, how-then can the right to protect one’s own life be denied by such delay or insurmountable barriers (such as evidence of a need to carry)?

    • Absolutely true. Akin to a belief; perhaps one held religiously. How many millions of martyrs have resigned themselves to their fate in the lions’ den based on nothing more than religious belief? Today, suicide bombers do precisely that based on a belief.

      There is a lesson in this fact for us to puzzle out. Say we go to an ISIS camp and tell the Soldiers of Allah that there are no 72 virgins; or, that they are all nuns. What can we expect? Will they immediately see the light? Will they be open to any logical proofs? Will we plant any seed of doubt whatsoever? Well, then, maybe this isn’t quite the right strategy.

  20. With all that speculation from the paper’s part, their strawman fails one key test. How does someone take a firearm from someone else whilst getting shot in the face. This legislature and all before it that passed and condoned this garbage have the blood of no just this innocent on their hands, but of all the people that died as a result of these asinine laws.

  21. If leftists didn’t have hypocrisy they wouldn’t have anything to say.

    Also, the NJ politicians that denied her the permit should be charged with accessory to murder.


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