Lunaya Pravda

03 April 2007

Robert Jamieson still doesn't get it

It comes as no surprise, but Mr. Jamieson, who I've written about before, misses the final fucking piece that might have saved a life.

Remember these names the next time someone suggests that women seek restraining orders just to get a leg up in custody battles, or when law enforcement is slow to take seriously the cries of battered women.

Griego had done everything to escape the mad love of her ex-boyfriend. She got a protection order in March. She ignored the phone calls he made to her job. She told friends to be on the lookout because he was psycho. She even moved a couple of times, changing her phone number. None of it worked.

Yes, she tried to avoid him by rearranging her life. But no, she HADN'T done everything she could have done. She could have armed herself against someone obviously an aggressive, threatening stalker and the high probability he would seek her out for some kind of confrontation. (And by "armed" I don't just mean that she could have run to the nearest gunshop and bought a handgun. I mean obtaining a firearm AND practiced with it, gaining both skill and accuracy.)

For these reasons, women need a safety plan, according to domestic violence advocates. They can make arrangements to stay with family or friends whose addresses the stalker doesn't know. They can alert their employers so police or security will be notified when the batterer comes to the workplace. They can change their phone numbers, their route to work, their schedule -- anything to make them more difficult to find.

A scared woman can turn everything upside down -- as Griego did. She even had the restraining order sitting on her desk in case Rowan showed up.

Nothing short of dropping everything -- quitting her livelihood or leaving town -- could stop the man whose warped and angry love stole her precious life.

A scared woman can also turn the tables around, learn how to use a gun defensively in an attack. Again, Mr. Jamieson, she could have successfully ARMED HERSELF. Why is it you continue to ignore the possibility that, had a gun been part of that necessary "safety plan", she might well be standing here today to tell reporters like you how she fought off a dangerous stalker hell-bent on preventing her escape?

The title of your commentary "A piece of paper alone can't stop abuse," and indeed the entire piece, are screaming "so what DOES stop abuse?" Running and hiding sure didn't in this case. And I have to wonder why people like you think victims like Ms. Griego should have to go to ridiculous lengths in disrupting their lives in order to prevent any confrontation (or resolution) in the matter. By not arming herself, the statement is made that her attacker's life was more important than her own.

Responsible gun owners don't relish the idea of shooting someone, even in self-defense. It can be a long process involving police, lawyers, and perhaps the family of the person shot. But they do at least recognize that their lives are far more valuable--and worth defending--than that of any would-be attacker. It's sad people like you continue to refuse to do the same, and it's upsetting that you continue to argue that she has no legitimate right to pick up the one weapon her attacker is almost certain to have.

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