By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters
When people think about self-defense, concealed carry and so on in terms of potential threats, they mostly imagine strangers. Criminals at large, drunken bar patrons, active shooters or terrorists; you’re worried about The Other.
In reality, the threat is just as likely – if not a little more so – to come from someone you know. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 50 percent of violent crimes are committed by an intimate partner, relative, friend or acquaintance of the victim.
Per BJS figures, there were 2,493,747 violent crimes committed by strangers. However, there were 847,226 violent crimes committed by intimate partners, 485,827 violent crimes committed by relatives, and 1,830,357 violent crimes committed by friends or acquaintances. There were also more than 700,000 violent crimes committed by a party with an unknown relationship to the victim; factoring those out, that’s 5,657,157 violent crimes, of which 2,493,747 is about 44 percent.
While that’s 50/50 +/- 5 percent (which means statistically insignificant) the basic idea still holds: you’re just as likely to face a threat from a loved one, friend or acquaintance as you are by parties unknown, if not possibly a little more so.
And the lesson here is that if such a person close to you is an obvious danger then you should be prepared to get them out of your life, and take the necessary steps to keep yourself safe. This might include eviction, divorce and filing for a restraining order as well as having the means for effective protection on hand.
An ounce of prevention, in other words.
Granted, there are instances where there isn’t much warning. Arguments get out of hand, turn physical, and then deadly. Bear in mind also that domestic violence restraining orders only work if the person with the order against them complies.
On Nov. 28th of this year, a woman in McCleary, Washington, shot and killed her estranged husband after he broke into the home she was inhabiting, according to Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO. The decedent, unnamed in the report, broke into the home armed with a knife and began fighting with another male at the residence. The woman, identified only as “Aubrey,” shot and killed her estranged husband, claiming self-defense. She had filed for divorce and a domestic violence restraining order, ostensibly out of fear for her safety.
There are also plenty of instances where there were almost certainly to have been warning signs for some time such as anger management problems, instability, worsening mental illness and so on.
If you find yourself in the latter, it’s a good idea to get out before anything bad happens.
For instance, a woman in Sweet Home, Oregon, was arrested for shooting her husband as he slept on Dec. 19th, according to the Corvallis Gazette-Times. Mary Katherine Rochefort, 62, shot her husband Ronald Basl as he slept, then went to her son’s home (who lives nearby) and asked him to call emergency services. Basl reported that she told him she shot him because God told her to do so “for the second coming of Jesus.” She told her son that she did it because she believed Basl was cheating on her. She admitted to police that she had a history of mental illness and had been using marijuana.
It can be Another incident occurred just two days prior to this Christmas. In Encinitas, California,, a 53-year-old man was shot by his father after threatening his mother with a knife, according to the Encinitas Advocate. Luckily, the man survived.
These news reports don’t give much backstory, but how many incidents like this happen in a vacuum or without any precedent? Some, but not many; typically there’s a history of instability that gets worse if untreated or if treatment is obviously not working.
Having a bad day or two is one thing, but if there’s a history of instability the one thing is to get the person the help they need or to get out. And when it’s a family member or spouse, that’s a hard choice.
But it’s also one that might save your life.
Sam Hoober is a Contributing Editor to AlienGearHolsters.com, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit aliengearholsters.com.