Carol Bowne didn’t have to die. She didn’t have to be murdered by a violent felon—stabbed to death in her own driveway unable to defend herself. Carol knew she was at risk of being attacked by this man, and she took steps to protect herself. She had an alarm system installed. She took out an order of protection. She tried to buy a gun. Tragically, New Jersey’s “common-sense gun regulations” put a barrier of red tape between Carol Bowne and her rights, and her gun permit application hadn’t yet been approved when she was killed by her ex-boyfriend, who later committed suicide by hanging himself in the garage of another ex-girlfriend.
Meanwhile, gun-control advocates like the head of the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women, Jane Shivas, contend that the fact that Carol Bowne was unarmed doesn’t really matter. She told the Courier-Post newspaper, “We will never know whether Carol would be alive today if she had received her gun permit and purchased a gun. We do know that the presence of guns in the home in which there is domestic violence significantly increases the risk of lethality.”
I’d say not being able to defend yourself significantly increases the risk of lethality. Or, to put it another way, having access to a firearm for self-defense may increase the risk of lethality to an attacker. That was certainly the case for the man who attacked Sarah Berkey in her Munroe Falls, Ohio, home in March. Adam Jovicic was Berkey’s ex-boyfriend. Violating an order of protection, he showed up drunk at her house one evening, smashed a glass door to gain entry, and began assaulting the off-duty police officer. Berkey retreated to a locked bedroom and called 911. But when Jovicic broke down the door, she opened fire, killing him.
Two men—both intent on doing harm to women. One took his own life after committing a brutal murder. The other was killed before he could do the same. Both men were legally barred from contacting their victim. Neither one had a gun, nor did they need one to commit a homicide. One used a knife, the other was prepared to use his fists.
And yet somehow the anti-gun activists would claim both of these stories demonstrate the need for more gun-control laws! For them, it’s always about getting rid of guns, not always about saving lives. Self-defense is a human right, however, and the red tape and bureaucratic barriers put in place by anti-gun politicians and their activist allies are preventing good people from protecting themselves. Another law taking away guns from people with an order of protection won’t help; in fact, it’s likely to lead to abuse of the system that could lead to innocent men and women being disarmed by someone who will take advantage of that situation. What is needed is real common-sense gun reform, beginning with the acknowledgement that the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense is a real right, it’s a fundamental right, and it shouldn’t take permission by your chief of police and two character references to exercise that right.
Gun-control advocates have had decades to put into place the laws they want in New Jersey, and we’ve seen the abysmal results. It’s time to grow our rights in the Garden State, and to restore the ability of good men and women to protect themselves in their homes, their driveways and beyond.