What can be said about the new state law in Indiana which enables victims of domestic violence to carry firearms, that too without having a legal permit? There is a multitude of opinions floating around this recent update. However, the law asks for certain conditions to be met before legalizing victims of carrying guns. The person carrying the gun must have a protective order against an alleged abuser.
Speaking of gun-rights, there’s a lot that could go wrong after this new law is passed. Police and advocates of domestic violence both attest to the fact that the law is ill-advised and poses great danger to the safety of women carrying weapons and their children. The new gun law may seem like a quick and easy way to solve domestic violence, but actually is a “half-baked solution to a complex problem.”
In essence the new law is handing over guns to untrained and emotionally upset victims of domestic violence, who are psychologically possessed by their abusers. In many cases, domestic violence will suffer an increase and children might possibly end up being collateral damage as a result of an intensely heated argument and a subsequent exchange of bullets.
Senator Aaron Freeman, R-Indianapolis, has been the a huge proponent and sponsor of this bill. He maintains that this legislation offers domestic abuse victims ancillary protection by allowing them possession of a gun during the waiting period. He argued that the victim must be able to act in self-defense while waiting for their permit to arrive at their doorstep.
Meanwhile, Senator Freeman refused to take advice from a current legislator and a former police officer who remarked that this move would entail more harm than good. Undeniably, the police have more hands-on-experience with cases of domestic violence than disengaged legislators. However, when it comes to legislation, lawmakers have more often than not, taken sides with the gun industry. In fact, lawmakers have recently bestowed themselves the right to carry a gun in the Statehouse while they perform day-to-day activities in their respective House and Senate chambers.
According to Linda Lawson who before joining the Legislature served as a Hammond police officer and handled countless cases related to domestic violence, “when you add a gun to a domestic violence situation it only increases the probability that someone is going to get killed by that gun. And my opinion is that it’s going to be the women.” Lawson not only opposed the bill, but also echoed a serious concern regarding domestic violence victims obtaining permits without undergoing proper safety training and procedures. This, according to her, only adds up to a false sense of security among victims.
Last year, the police worked on 1,338 domestic violence calls (four a day) in Porter County alone. Domestic violence situations are already a farrago of uncertainty and hostility before the police ventures into resolving them trying their best to avoid any casualties. The commander of the Lake County Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit, Sharon Bennett contended that the inclusion of more guns into the already intensely boiling soup of hostility will not only pose high risk to the police officers, but will do greater harm to domestic violence victims themselves.
“It would be nice if we were the only ones entering a situation with a handgun. Now we’re going to be putting more weapons in the hands of untrained people and people who are risking having those guns taken away from them and used on them and on the police,” she said. In essence, the new gun policy on surface might appear as a quick solution however, it fails to tackle complexities buried within which is why most experienced individuals claim that arming victims isn’t the way to go in solve this complicated situation in fact, it will eventually backfire.