45-year-old Michael Eitel is a fugitive on the run, wanted for the very preventable murder of his former girlfriend. A violent man, he had threatened her. A law-abiding citizen, she did everything she could legally to protect herself from him. 

New Jersey’s absurd, antiquated gun laws cost her her life.

When Carol Bowne felt the threat of domestic violence, the petite hairdresser took steps to protect herself.

The Berlin Township woman got a restraining order against a former boyfriend, installed security cameras and an alarm system to her home and began the months-long process of obtaining a handgun, friends said.

But it wasn’t enough.

Bowne, 39, was stabbed to death in the driveway of her Patton Avenue home on Wednesday night.

Her former boyfriend, 45-year-old Michael Eitel, was charged with her murder. Eitel, a convicted felon, was a fugitive Thursday, being sought by a U.S. Marshals Service task force.

Bowne’s death shocked her friends and neighbors, who described her as a bubbly, well-liked person. But her slaying also embittered some, who felt the system had failed to protect a woman in danger.

“She did absolutely everything she was supposed to,” said Denise Lovallo, a fellow hairdresser at O’Hara and Co. in Somerdale…

…Berlin Township Police Chief Leonard Check said Bowne applied for a gun license on April 21, and that she had inquired Monday about her request.

The application process typically takes two months or more as police collect information on the applicant, including fingerprints and reference checks. “We did not get the fingerprint information yet,” said Check.

If Bowne had lived in a civilized state where the government viewed residents as citizens to be protected instead of subjects to be lorded over, then she would have had her handgun more than a month ago, and would have had to time to become proficient in its use.

If Bowne lived in a state that respected her freedom, she would have been armed with a handgun with a standard-capacity magazine and premium quality defensive hollowpoint ammunition when she left her home. She would have stood a fighting chance.

But Carol Bown made a fatal mistake.

Carol Bowne decided to live in New Jersey.

Now she’s dead as a result of that mistake.