This week we watched the a National Arguments about Violence against women and Gun control play out in our small coastal town with heartbreaking results.
I don’t even know where to start.
The air came alive with sirens and Hubby came home early. He said there were cops at ever exit and about 70 cop cars at one intersection. The news started. 2 people shot in a home. One more shot a block away. Police are looking for a particular person they give his name and description. Snipers are on roofs. All county agencies and FBI on the scene 4 local schools are on lock down (the kids are safe)
The 2 shot at the home are cops. No names released. We all sit on edge is our friends we lost? Our SCPD has never lost an officer in the line of duty.
Twitter comes alive with 2 stories one that the 3 person shot ran down an ally holding two guns firing at police and several different Officers of several different agencies shooting back. The witnesses say they think the gun man is dead. This happened next to a whole foods and many people were sitting at tables outside the market.
The other story is the one of the “person of interest” they are looking for. Arrested on Friday for a sexual assault against a coworker. Fired on Saturday from his job. served 2 years jail in Portland. He had been filming a woman with his cell phone while she showered. He had used a stick to push the blinds aside. He was confronted by her boyfriend and his gun went off. He was carrying it concealed and didn’t have a permit to do so. One article said “he choose to serve jail time because he didn’t get along with his probation officer” another said his PO was female and upon leaving her office he went to her window and used the same technique to look through her window as he had his last victim. This is not “not getting along”, this is a statement about how he sees women.
But there was more much, much more. You can read a full article here.
2 rapes in the military for which he was discharged for. Several more sexual assaults Here is the thing Military doesn’t count for civilian life and all the other assaults were misdemeanor so he never had to register as a sex offender. They were not felonies so he was legally allowed to own guns. He had 3 including an assault rifle.
Like I said I long ugly history. Now what would have happened if we treated sexual assaults as the very real and violent crimes they are? What if we actually started blaming the perpetrator of such crimes instead of trying to make it the victims fault?
If this man had been convicted of a felony he would have had to be a registered sex offender. Maybe he would have had fewer victims. Maybe the poor girl who was assaulted last Friday would have been warned not to be alone with him. Maybe our town would not be in deep mourning over the loss of two of our officers. It’s hard to look back and say what if. I know but I think this is a pretty clear picture of how the system is broken in ways that let us down. I can’t help but think if we treated violence against women more seriously we might have avoided this tragedy