A Louisiana sheriff had a simple yet potentially life-saving message for victims of domestic violence: safely and responsible arm yourselves.
“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,” said Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley.
“Take the extremes necessary to live a life where you don’t have to worry about your kids and your life,” Wiley added.
The announcement came in the wake of the death of 45-year-old Monica Butler Johnson. Earlier this month, authorities found the body of Johnson in the back yard, bloody and battered. She had been beaten to death with a baseball bat.
Police arrested Johnson’s estranged husband in connection with the brutal murder. She had taken steps via the legal system to protect herself, including filing for and obtaining a restraining order. But that didn’t stop her former husband, who was arrested and charged with domestic abuse strangulation in December of 2014, from tragically killing Johnson.
While some see the Second Amendment as an optimal safeguard against such a horrific incident, others believe that it only creates more problems for the potential victim.
“I don’t think we’re ever going to eliminate domestic violence homicide, and we’re never going to be able to eliminate the need for women to defend themselves,” Beth Meeks, executive director of Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, told The Trace. “But there’s an overwhelming pile of evidence that says that a woman who wields a gun against her abuser is much more likely to have her own weapon used against her.”
To Meeks’s point, there have been a number of bogus claims made various gun-control organizations about the risk/reward factor of carrying firearms for self-defense. One such claim propagated by Everytown for Gun Safety is that “Women are five times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner when a firearm is present.”
This claim fails to consider (a) whether the person possessing the firearm is a law-abiding citizen or a prohibited person, (b) whether the firearm was possessed by the victim at the outset of the encounter, whether it was forcibly apprehended by the suspect during the encounter (c) how this claim compares to the overall number of defensive gun uses that happen each year (upwards of 100,000), of which how many involve women? A figure that is not known or reported on.
At the end of the day, the choice is ultimately the at-risk individual’s to make. Some will take the sheriff’s advice while others will opt to put their faith in the system.
That said, there is but one question to ask, if it was your mother or your sister or your daughter in danger of being attacked by a domestic abuser, what would you have her do? Would you have her depend on the legal system and trust the claims of gun-control organizations or would you encourage her down the path to safe and responsible gun ownership?