The New York Times caused a sensation with its kazillion-word, March 17 article by Michael Luo on the failures of state courts to get guns out of the hands of men in domestic violence situations.
The main purpose of the article was to tweak America’s oldest civil rights organization, the National Rifle Association, for opposing some of the more rash anti-gun proposals being considered by state legislatures, such as allowing courts to take away a person’s firearms on the basis of a temporary restraining order.
It’s a new position for liberals to oppose the rights of the accused. Usually the Times is demanding that even convicted criminals be given voting rights, light sentences, sex-change operations and vegan meals in prison.
Another recent Times article about communities trying to keep sex offenders out of their neighborhoods quoted a liberal saying: “It’s counterproductive to public safety, because when you have nothing to lose, you are much more likely to commit a crime than when you are rebuilding your life.”
But that was about convicted child molesters. This is about guns, so all new rules apply.
As is usually the case when liberals start proposing gun restrictions, they assume only men will be disarmed by laws taking guns from those subjected to temporary restraining orders. But such orders aren’t particularly difficult to get. It doesn’t occur to liberals that an abusive man could also get one against his wife, whether or not his accusations are true.
Rather than helping victims of domestic abuse, this — and other Times’ proposals on guns — only ensures that more women will get killed. A gun in the hand of an abused woman changes the power dynamic far more than keeping a gun out of the hands of her abuser, who generally can murder his wife in any number of ways.
The vast majority of rapists, for example, don’t even bother using a gun because — as renowned criminologist Gary Kleck notes — they typically have a “substantial power advantage over the victim,” making the use of a weapon redundant.
As the Times eventually admits around paragraph 400: “In fairness, it was not always clear that such an order (taking guns from the accused wife abuser) would have prevented the deaths.”
No kidding. In one case the Times cites, Robert Wigg ripped a door off its hinges and heaved it at his wife, Deborah, after having thrown her to the floor by her hair.
Deborah Wigg moved out, got a protective order and filed for divorce. But doors were not an impediment to Robert Wigg. He showed up at her new house and, in short order, broke down the door and murdered her.
He happened to have used a gun, but he might as well have used his fists. Or an illegal gun, had the court taken away his legal guns. Or another door.
As her husband was breaking in, Deborah called her parents and 911. Her neighbors called 911, too. But the police didn’t arrive in time. Even her parents got to the house before the cops did, only to find their daughter murdered.
The protective order didn’t help Deborah Wigg; the police couldn’t help; her neighbors and parents couldn’t help. Only if she’d had a gun and knew how to use it — after carefully disregarding everything Joe Biden has said on the subject — might she have been able to save her own life.