More than two years ago, I wrote about a Missouri couple whose stalker was not deterred by the order of protection they had filed against him. Armed with two guns, he kicked down their door and started shooting, and only stopped when one of the homeowners shot and killed him with a gun of their own. Though both James and Suzanne Butler were wounded, they survived. The “protective piece of paper” had nothing to do with that outcome.
That, really, is the nature of an order of protection. Such an order depends on the person against whom it was filed respecting the rule of law. The obvious paradox, though, is that the kind of person who respects the rule of law would presumably not have committed the acts of aggression that justified the restraining order in the first place. Perhaps the best thing to be said about an order of protection is that the process of getting one filed establishes a documented history of aggressive behavior on the part of the miscreant. This can prove useful in court, if self-defense with lethal force ever does become necessary.
An Illinois bill working its way through the legislative process would actually help to make that self-defense possible. HB 3499 would dispense with the 72-hour waiting period generally required to purchase a firearm in Illinois, when the prospective buyer is under the protection of certain kinds of domestic violence related orders of protection. 72 hours, when unarmed and under threat from a rage-filled ex-boyfriend or estranged husband, can be a very long time. It can, in fact, leave someone waiting literally for the rest of her life.
The Illinois House passed the bill Tuesday, with perhaps surprisingly strong bipartisan support, voting for it 78-34. Even the reliably anti-gun Speaker of the House, Michael Madigan (who, remember, recently voted against protecting the privacy of gun owners), voted “Yes.” It’s fate in the Senate remains to be seen, but how many senators would want to be remembered as having cast the vote that left a woman unable to defend herself against the violent thug who eventually killed her, while she waited to buy a gun?
A glaring problem, of course, is that HB 3499 would do nothing to help a person defend herself outside the home. Illinois remains one of two states (Wisconsin is the other) with absolutely no provision for legal concealed firearm carry for ordinary citizens, and the only state that outright bans both open and concealed carry for all private citizens.
Without legal defensive firearm carry, such as provided by HB 148, even HB 3499 would do nothing for a person’s ability to defend one’s life outside the home. We have long ago gotten past the antiquated notion that “a woman’s place is in the home.” Shouldn’t that mean that we must acknowledge that her life is just as worthy of defending outside the home, as well?
- When the order of protection . . . provides none
- Gunfight in the Illinois legislature?
- Wagging the Madigan to Prevent CCW?
- Is AG’s FOID data dump ruling a diversion to thwart concealed carry in IL?
- Illinois Victim Pleads for Passage of Right to Carry Law
- Savagely beaten Illinois woman pleads for right to defend herself
- Protection of Illinois gun owners’ privacy picking up steam