The tragedy in Berlin Township, NJ where Carol Bowne, was stabbed to death by her ex boyfriend, and convicted felon, Michael Anthony Eitel, after securing a restraining order against him, could have, and should have been prevented. Bowne, in obvious concern for her personal safety, had already been granted a restraining order against Eitel who had, according to court records, previously been indicted in 2006 for aggravated assault with bodily injury and pleaded guilty in 2008 to a weapons offense. Then in 2009, was sentenced to a five-year term.
Bowne obviously understood that a restraining order is simply a piece of paper and cannot effectively stop someone who is determined to cause harm. She had installed an alarm system, security cameras around her residence, and promptly applied for New Jersey's permit to purchase a handgun on April 21 of this year.
The State of New Jersey, by law, is required to get back to those seeking a permit within 30 days. Records indicate that Bowne called to inquire about her petition on day 41. Yet, in a tragic and heart wrenching turn, she was stabbed to death two days later in her own driveway, as her request for her state government's permission to exercise her unalienable Second Amendment right of protecting herself with a firearm was still being processed. After a three-day manhunt, including a promised $5000 reward, Eitel who had already been charged with the first-degree murder of Carol Bowne, was found dead Saturday, June 6 2015. Camden County prosecutors said he had hanged himself in the West Berlin home of a different ex-girlfriend, who "had been out of the home for her own safety."
Carol Bowne had taken every legal step she could take in the state of New Jersey in order to protect herself. Her death, at the hands of a convicted felon, was a direct result of a state government which has purposely implemented a set of draconian gun laws which even when working efficiently, subjugates it's citizens to a minimum of 30 days before they can even purchase a firearm legal to own within their state. Not to mention that after her request to purchase a handgun, had she not been brutally murdered, she would have also had to apply for the right to carry that same firearm outside her residence. That in itself is more red tape which bound her from protecting her own life. Even if Bowne had applied for her concealed carry permit, New Jersey is a "May Issue" state, which means that every applicant not applying as a law enforcement officer must demonstrate justifiable need in order to obtain a permit.
Obviously, Bowne had justifiable need. The court acknowledged that need having granted her a restraining order against her attacker. Did this information help expedite the process of allowing Bowne to purchase a gun as to protect and defend her life? Sadly, the answer is no.
Sunday, June 7 a group known as New Jersey Second Amendment Society (NJ2AS) held a peaceful rally they dubbed, Senator Sweeney Protest -RIP Carol Bowne, at Sweeney's home. There they marched with signs and brought awareness to their belief that without these harmful and erroneous gun laws, Carol Bowne could be alive today.
Subsequently they are also holding a formal recall rally on June 27, 2015. For more information on how to get involved visit http://www.recallsweeney.com
Previously, Sweeney had this to say, "To lawful gun owners – who I have great deal of respect for – we’re not hurting one of them. For sportsmen, we’re not hurting one. And if it prevents one child or one person from losing their life, we should do it.” N.J. Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester), N.J. Democrats propose limiting capacity of gun magazines[via philly.com]
I beg to differ, Senator. Carol Bowne was left stripped of her fundamental right to protect her life with the most efficient tool available to her. She lost her life due to politicians like you, sir, who are bent on playing God with their constituents lives at stake. The constitution you swore to uphold and protect reads the same as every Americans, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." -Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. It only seems logical, based on your own words, that if removing the unconditional, anti second amendment, laws "prevents one child or one person from losing their life, we should do it.”
In closing, we must not forget, this is not simply a New Jersey issue. This is an American issue. This is about more than one life lost. When American citizens are prohibited and overlorded by state and local governments who determine who can and cannot exercise their Constitutional rights we, as a nation, need to take note and take a stand for freedom. Do not for a moment think, "at least I don't live there." The citizens of New Jersey are Americans just the same as the rest of us. They should be free to exercise their unalienable rights, just the same as any other American, regardless of location.
"Shall not be infringed" crosses every barrier. It applies to all American citizens regardless of class, creed, gender, race, disability, and location. It is all encompassing and it is in danger of extinction if we do not stand together to protect and preserve it as a nation.
Do not let Carol Bowne's savage murder turn into merely another statistic. Instead, honor her drive to protect herself. Let her story fuel your commitment to restoring American citizens the freedom to exercise their constitutionally protected rights. Education equals empowerment, and empowerment saves lives.
Blog posts are original content written by 1MMAGC moms and dads.