No Trace Of Truth: Endangering Abused Women

   < < Go Back
from America’s First Freedom,

On Aug. 17, The Trace responded to the brutal murder of Louisiana resident Monica Johnson, who was beaten to death with a baseball bat by her estranged husband a week earlier. Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley appeared on CBS affiliate WAFB to urge women to get concealed weapons permits: “Learn how to safely handle a weapon … and when you’re in a situation like this, shoot him in your backyard before he gets in your house.”

Wade Duty, the owner of Precision Firearms in Baton Rouge, responded to Wiley’s plea by offering free concealed-carry training classes to women with restraining orders: “I thought to myself, ‘What can we do to help these people in this situation?’” Duty, an attorney and NRA instructor, told The Times Picayune.

Backed by years of experience in law enforcement and firearms training, experts like Sheriff Wiley and business owner Duty would seem to be on solid ground.

But for The Trace, this is Louisiana swampland. Financed by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the website can’t admit that firearms are useful in any situation. This puts them in the unenviable position of arguing that a woman isn’t capable of defending herself with a gun from an intimate partner hell-bent on her destruction—a position that manages to insult not just victims of domestic violence, but all women.

The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia (who must have drawn the short straw at the editorial meeting) took on the seemingly impossible task of convincing women they should not shoot an enraged partner who is about to bludgeon them. Under the headline, “Advocates Warn of New Dangers as Sheriff Urges Domestic Violence Victims to Arm Themselves,” she writes, “Here’s the story the data tells.” Mascia then masks a lack of “data” with a mass of links, which she apparently hopes you won’t click. For example:
– Mascia quotes Beth Meeks, head of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, who claims, “There’s evidence that typically trying to defend yourself with a firearm is not successful.” In truth, the Centers for Disease Control in 2013 reported “almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year.”
– Mascia links to an interview wherein Meeks claims that, even if they do defend themselves, women will likely be jailed for doing so: “Ninety percent of women who are in prison are there for killing their intimate partner.”

Really? Nine of 10 imprisoned women aren’t there for drugs, DUIs, robbery or property crimes (the top reasons cited in Justice Department records)? If true, that would be astonishing. However, Meeks is merely mangling facts found in a Feb. 24, 1992, Boston Globe article by Allison Bass: “As many as 90 percent of the women in jail today for killing men had been battered by those men.” That’s a far cry from proving the system unfairly punishes women who defend themselves against male abusers.

More From America’s First Freedom: