CarolBrowne

This is how gun laws work, folks: Good people follow them. Bad people don’t.

According to the Seattle Times:

Skagit County court records show C__* has a criminal record that included three domestic-violence assault charges in both Burlington and Island County, with the victim identified as Cetin’s stepfather. He also was arrested for drunken driving.

Island County District Court records show that C__ was told by a judge on Dec. 29 that he was not to possess a firearm.

However, C__’s stepfather urged the judge not to impose a no-contact order, saying his stepson was “going through a hard time” and that he couldn’t help him with the order in place.

That’s how a criminal acts: they don’t care what the law says, they do what they want to do. That’s what makes them criminals.

Now let’s look at how gun laws affect law-abiding citizens:

In the summer of 2015, just three days before her 40th birthday, Carol Bowne was brutally stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend outside her Berlin, NJ home. This horrific story is only made more tragic by the fact that Carol knew she needed to protect herself from her attacker and had applied for a firearms permit – not days, not weeks, but MONTHS before her death.

Carol Bowne’s death is a gross tragedy and she is only one of the many Americans trying to protect themselves with a firearm, only to be left defenseless in their time of need. Why? Because they follow the law.

Bowne knew the restraining order she had on her ex-boyfriend was only a piece of paper and would not protect her if he chose not to abide by it, which was the case on the night of her untimely death.

New Jersey is one of the worst states for gun owners and Bowne’s murder is further evidence that not only do state laws need to be fixed and processes need to be more efficient, but also that better reciprocity laws are needed nationwide. Although New Jersey state criminal code requires applications be granted within 30 days, Bowne was unable to defend herself with the firearm she wanted, and needed, to carry.

The fact that Carol Bowne had checked the status of her firearms permit just two days before her murder shows exactly what is wrong with restrictions of our right to keep and bear arms. Why was she following up on this and not the recipient of the application? No one should be left defenseless. The fact of the matter is, if she had been able to carry a firearm, she would have at least had a fighting chance, which was exactly what she was attempting to do. Carol wanted to exercise what we know is a Constitutional right: to own our self defense and not have to rely on anyone for our personal safety. She did the right thing, she followed the law, and that failed her greatly.

If you feel threatened by an abuser, we encourage you to follow your local and state laws to protect yourself, but we also plead with you to do everything you can to take your gut instinct seriously and do everything you have to in order to maintain a secure personal protection plan. Stay with relatives, reach out to local organizations and politicians, link in with a local chapter of the Well Armed Woman, take a Refuse to be a Victim class, find a local firearms instructor and tell them your concerns with your personal protection plan, rattle cages, be the squeaky wheel that authorities cannot ignore.

One of the biggest regrets I have that haunts me every day is that I didn’t know Carol Bowne before last June. I would have done anything to help her. That’s why I started the Bearing Arms Against Domestic Violence campaign – because it’s never too late to step up for the sake of others.

If we work together to show victims of domestic violence that we are here for them, that we will stand with them and fight for them, and follow through on that promise by providing services and support for them until they are safe, Carol’s memory will live on to save others.

I’m ready. Are you?

*Bearing Arms does not publish the names of mass murders or spree shooters