Turns out a woman shot her husband a few times in the face with a .22. She called the police herself. She's been charged with Misconduct Involving Weapons IV (she was drunk) and attempted murder.
Gwen of course sees this as a heinous crime. I am more cautious and reserve judgement. The woman was given a protective order earlier in the month and the hearing for a long term divorce was supposed to occur in a few days after the incident. I can't find the criminal record of the husband for sure but this may be the guy based on an interwebs search; if it is, then he has a fair number of crimes including some assault and domestic violence on his rap sheet.
I generally don't have a problem with women using force, including deadly force, if necessary, against violent male abusers. Let's postulate for a minute that the shooter was justified in using deadly force at the outset of the encounter. Even if so there's issues with this shoot. Let's look at the classic triad of ability, opportunity, jeopardy.
- Ability. Generally the average man can be presumed to have the ability to inflict death or serious bodily injury on an average woman. Satisfied.
- Opportunity. The article says that the man was backing away slowly and was 20 feet away when she shot. 20 feet is right at the boundary for where you can meet the Tueller drill criteria for opportunity of an opponent to employ an melee weapon (or fists!) before you can get a shot on target from the holster; from a "ready" long gun the timeline should be faster and thus the assailant can be closer. Maybe satisfied but probably not.
- Jeopardy/Intent. Our Castle Doctrine removes the duty to retreat in the home but does not create a presumption against unlawful entry, so the shooter would have to deal with the issue that a man backing away slowly likely poses no immediate hostile intent. I don't know how the restraining order influences things (i.e., does violating a restraining order create a presumption that you intend to inflict death or serious bodily injury on the defender?). It is possible.
That's why this is an attempted murder charge -- the shooter may not have met the required elements of self defense. That is also why we have due process. The justice system will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that her use of force was unjustifiable. This also illustrates the importance of the protective order. I suspect that a good defense attorney will be able to use that to create enough doubt about the intent piece to tempt the prosecutor into a deal. Attempted manslaughter may be a likely outcome.
All in all this case looks like a mess, and potentially a tragic mess all around. However, Gwen forgets that there are women out there who have been victimized and who chose to no longer be targeted by males who tend to be larger, stronger, and sometimes more numerous. For those women, a firearm is the best (and sometimes only) way to even the odds. Based on her past comments, I suspect that Gwen would prefer to just declare any woman who owns a gun to be a criminal and put them in jail, no discussion, no due process.