Opinion

Domestic violence, guns and Federal Way's mayor campaigns | Firearms Lawyer

I have been wondering whether attorneys other than me that assist victims of domestic violence tell women to consider obtaining a Concealed Pistol License. A CPL entitles a person to carry a concealed weapon loaded while in public and in one’s vehicle. Protection orders are a good first step, but they cannot stop an aggressor who is set to commit mayhem.

Someone mindless enough to stalk a helpless woman does not usually care about the fact that violating a no-contact order will result in going to jail. Men that care about consequences do not commit domestic violence or become stalkers.

I met with Federal Way City Councilman Jim Ferrell recently and asked how he advises men and women who are the victims of domestic violence. Most of us know Ferrell as a mayoral candidate, but Jim is also the attorney who supervises King County prosecutors in the domestic violence unit.

Jim told me that he has never advised a victim to get a gun because he “did not believe it was appropriate to do so.” Obtaining a gun if one has never used one is dangerous to the domestic violence victim and others. One problem is that domestic violence victims often get back into abusive relationships even though a protection order is still in place. A woman or man that has not learned how to properly store or load the weapon can easily have the gun taken by a partner.

The combination of children, alcohol, drugs and co-dependent behavior that is presented in most domestic violence situations could be like throwing gasoline into a situation that is already burning out of control. On the other hand, there have been many documented instances of women being murdered after following all the conventional instructions in order to avoid a stalker — with whom she may have never been in a relationship.

In cases where a victim has obtained a protection order and continues to believe that violence is imminent, she (or he) should consider getting trained at one of the firearms schools that operate in our area. Overcoming the tendency to balk at the use of deadly force is an essential psychological component to firearms training. An aggressor can take away a pistol unless the right psychological preparation has been instilled into the gun owner. A gun can never take the place of removing oneself from an abusive relationship and obtaining counseling in order to stay out of abusive relationships.

Incidentally, Ferrell loves American history. “The Second Amendment is all about the American passion for freedom,” he explained. He recommended that I read books about Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and the men that wrote the U.S. Constitution.

Ferrell knows that protecting life is fundamental to all the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. His opponent, Skip Priest, has about as good a rating with the National Rifle Association (NRA) as a legislator can get. Thus, regardless of who wins the race for mayor, Federal Way gets the benefit of leadership that understands how the Second Amendment secures our other constitutional rights.

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