This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 15, 2015:
Carol Browne, a petite hairdresser about to celebrate her 40th birthday, was getting out of her car in the driveway of her Berlin Township, New Jersey, home late Wednesday night, June 3, when she was attacked, stabbed and murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Michael Eitel.
Eitel, an acquaintance of Browne’s husband (who had died in a motorcycle accident three years earlier), befriended Browne. But his background as a convicted violent criminal surfaced and Browne began to fear for her life. Eitel had pled guilty to a weapons offense in 2008 after being indicted on a charge of aggravated assault on a former girlfriend. For that he received a five-year sentence behind bars.
Browne installed surveillance cameras at her home (which later caught and recorded the details her murder) and obtained a restraining order against Eitel. This apparently so enraged him that he broke windows of her home and her vehicle in retaliation.
On April 21 she also applied for a permit to purchase a handgun to defend herself, and was still waiting for approval on the day she was murdered. Knowing that under New Jersey law, law enforcement officials are required either to issue or deny issuance within 30 days, on Monday, June 1 she contacted the police department to check on the status of her application. It was still pending.
New Jersey’s anti-gun laws are vastly different from most states, where someone seeking to purchase a handgun merely visits a local gun store, makes the purchase, completes some paperwork required by the BATF, waits for a simple computer phone call to be completed, pays for the firearm, and leaves with it.
Not so in New Jersey, as explained by Perry Chiararmonte, for Fox News:
New Jersey’s gun laws are among the nation’s strictest…
Law-abiding citizens are eligible to purchase and possess handguns after filling out forms available at their local police stations, submitting to a background check on any possible criminal history or mental health issues, giving fingerprints and paying a fee.
Once these steps are taken, local police conduct a 14-point investigation and the chief is supposed to approve or deny for cause within 30 days.
But delays of two to nine months are common, thanks to anti-gun politicians who, according to Alexander Roubian, president of New Jersey’s Second Amendment Society, make them “as difficult and cumbersome as possible.”
Eitel was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the garage of another ex-girlfriend on Saturday.
But he wasn’t really the murderer, claimed the National Rifle Association: Browne’s murder can and should be traced directly to efforts of anti-gunners to keep innocents such as Browne from being able to defend themselves against convicted thugs such as Eitel. Wrote the NRA in its blog, NRAILA.org,
In the most direct sense, Browne … was murdered … by a violent ex-con….
But in a broader sense, anti-gun politicians also bear responsibility for Browne’s avoidable death. It is they who forced her to choose between obtaining a handgun quickly … or subordinating her self-preservation instincts to the dictates of those same politicians.
According to the NRA, anti-gun laws don’t protect innocents such as Browne, nor do they have any perceptible impact on gun crime: “Gun control laws do not disarm murderers; they disarm their victims.”
Three New Jersey state senators, no doubt trying to salve their consciences while distancing themselves from the NRA’s implied charge, have introduced legislation to “fast track” future applications from people such as Browne who have obtained a restraining order. One of them, Dawn Addiego, even stated that this would be a “sensible change” in the law that would help others in the future:
The tragic murder of Carol Browne shows that there are sensible changes we should make to public safety laws to help people protect themselves.
This legislation will make sure that those who need protection the most are given priority when it comes to the lengthy process of applying for a firearms permit.
The biggest and most “sensible change” that needs to be made, according to the NRA, is to remove the likes of Addiego and her compatriots, and replace them with individuals conversant with the language of the Second Amendment, and the guarantees contained therein.
Ironically, had Browne obtained her permit in a timely fashion, and had she then been able to purchase a firearm without further delay, and had she been able successfully to defend herself against Eitel’s ambush in her driveway on the night of June 3, she might still have been charged with — guess what? — another violation of New Jersey’s virulent anti-gun laws: the unlawful carry of a firearm outside of her residence.