Restraining Orders Are Not Solutions People Should Be Told They Can Stake Their Lives On

Posted on June 20, 2015

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A couple of weeks ago, a correspondent of mine, whose brother is in the service, brought my attention to this National Review story, which underlines the sort of political contradictions that are bound to drive any thinking person up the wall: “The Deadly Consequences of Draconian Gun Laws.”

It’s about a 39-year-old hairdresser, Carol Browne, who “had become increasingly nervous about her ex-boyfriend. Convinced that he intended to do her physical harm, she took out a restraining order, had security cameras installed at her home, and purchased an alarm system.”

She also applied for a permit to buy a gun, which she should have received (or at least had some word about) within a month. About six weeks after her application, she was stabbed to death in her driveway.

Defending his tardiness, the local police chief explained that the application process usually takes more than two months, and that when Bowne died, his team was still waiting for her fingerprints to be processed. Perhaps so. But this should serve as no acceptable excuse. By state law, New Jersey is required to get back to permit petitioners within 30 days. It didn’t.

It almost never does. Instead, would-be gun owners report waiting for three, four, six, and even nine months for permission to exercise what the Second Amendment makes clear is an unalienable individual right. The rules do not apply to the government.

Sure, the story makes a good case for easing restrictive firearm policies (or at least making them no more restrictive than the law prescribes), but what it saliently stresses is that liberal/feminist perspectives and the public safety policies they coerce are incoherent. Easy access to restraining orders is fiercely defended, and domestic and sexual violence are promoted as “epidemic.” Complainants of “whatever” are emboldened to represent their situations as dire and seek state protections. It’s estimated that millions of these orders are dispensed every year, and violence is the justification—and violence is always implicit in judicial rulings in this arena of law.

At the same time, the most obvious deterrents to violence, guns, are denounced—also in accordance with party positions. Okay, but which is it? Are multitudes of people in immediate danger…or aren’t they? Are their needs desperately important…or aren’t they?

(What wonder if police officers exhibit a degree of cynicism?)

Corollary to millions of restraining orders’ being granted to people is that millions of restraining orders are issued to people, and those people are publicly represented as threats. If they’re not really regarded as threats, then this is wrong. If they are regarded as threats, then there are a lot of people at risk, and denying them the means to defend themselves is wrong.

What the story in this post emphasizes above all is that restraining orders aren’t armor; they can’t live up to their promises and may enrage violent aggressors to extremity.

The perspectives outlined above persist in spite of obvious and outrageous contradictions because the leftist ideologues who hold them don’t get falsely accused…or stabbed to death in their driveways on their way to restock their larders with croissants and cat litter.

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