Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How did I get to this point in my life? Fisherman. Writer. Artist. Gun Toter.

By Karen Rae Elkins

I'm a fisherman, not a policeman. Yet in this rapid river of increasing violence, I've learned that sometimes the police are not necessarily there to uphold the laws when taking another report of intimate partner violence. I'm not saying there are not good cops out there. Policemen are like fish, Some are predators in pursuit of right over wrong. They hunt to feed justice. Some are like the trout or perch. They bring a taste of color and hues of deep thought in an upstream battle. And then... well some are just plain bottom feeders, sucker fish. When I fish, I'm after the predator called a bass. When I pull up a bottom feeder,  I get this girlie yuck feeling in the pit of my stomach. I will often just cut the line on a bottom feeder.

I'm going to talk about the bottom feeders of our men in blue. Bottom feeders have their place. If for no other reason, it's to teach you the serious lesson of forgetting what others may think of your situation. There's more to life than what a bottom feeder thinks. I just want you to go into a Police Station with your eyes wide open. Pulling into the parking lot of a police station takes courage. Some will look at you with total disgust or their eyes will look anywhere but directly into your eyes. While others rarely listen to what you have to say. Often times you must repeat the same sentence three maybe four times, or worse they question the event as if it really didn't happen. I've heard stories of Investigators suggesting that a woman actually beat herself up to claim violence. Any woman who would beat them self up has crushing psychological issues beyond those of violence, and sadly it does happen. However, it is rare. Most women, like me, avoid pain. Think about it like this, most would prefer to focus on anything but a mixture of pain stirred in with humiliation, trauma, and disbelief.  Please don't for any reason, avoid documentation because the police officer could be a bottom feeder.

Bottom feeders are there to clean up after the violence and do as little as possible. It's their nature. You know, when the woman has lost her life because the police didn't follow up or follow through because to them, "it's just another day at work". Bottom feeders abuse their position. A therapist once told me, "Never date a policeman, they are deceptive." I guess that bleeds into trusting them with your life.

When you leave the station pay no attention to the thoughts that they are talking about you. Without a shadow of a doubt they are using colorful words to describe you. Tell yourself, who cares? You've done what you set out to do. Report an incident. It's your paper trail. Just whatever you do, make sure the documentation is correct. If the officer didn't get the report correct, ask for another report. What else does he have to do but breathe air and eat donuts. Bottom feeders.

I'm a writer, but some words are not worth the paper they are written on. Three words come to mind.: Protection From Abuse. The worst thing you can do is to isolate yourself from the facts. If you find yourself reporting acts of violence, you my friend, are in danger. In the film, Enough,  J Lo is at the police station to help "a friend" with violent husband. In reality it is her that is in the violent marriage. The officer instructs her to tell the "friend" to file for a protection order against her husband. She responds, "And what is she suppose to do with the paper when he shows up? Throw it at him? Do Protection Orders perpetuate more violence? As best I can tell, it's a flip of the coin. Heads it does, tails it doesn't. There is one silver lining, but it alone won't keep you safe. There is a Federal law, an act that  bans shipment, transport, ownership and use of guns or ammunition by individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, or who are under a restraining (protection) order for domestic abuse in all 50 states. Don't make it easy for him to turn a gun on you. Have his gun rights taken away.

Other papers are worth their weight in gold. Start a journal and an on-line journal of your journey back to you. I always say when you come to a fork in the river, take it. This blog is as much for me as it is for the woman who wonders what life is like after the escape from violence.  It seems that everyone wants you, the victim, to prove or answer to his actions. Should you ever end up in court, or apply for a new Social Security number, or faced with filing an Evidentuary Will and Abuse Affidavit, your documentation can be used to help your memory. Trauma and violence can blend memories or worse, there are some things you'd rather forget. The journal will help keep the facts in somewhat order. The Coalition Against Domestic Violence suggested that I keep a journal of my travels so that if I went missing, the police, hopefully not the bottom feeder kind, could use it to help locate me. Each morning when I have my first cup of coffee, I jot down my daily activities, well sometimes. 

I'm an artist, I should not have to draw a gun. I'd rather draw flowers or butterflies. I'd rather capture a sunrise on the lake with my camera. Artist are known for their "non-violent" beliefs. We would rather live life on the edge of creativity, not the verge of destruction.  However, non-violence, doesn't mean I have to give up my right to protect myself. I made the decision to exercise my Second Amendment Right, the Rights to pursue FREEDOM.  I urge you to do the same. I'm reminded of a quote from my first blog with Time's Up. There is no freedom without the truth. The truth is "If I'm going to die at the hands of a violent man, I'm going to die fighting." I'm free from the spell of defenselessness. 

I had a wake up call. I was followed into my neighborhood late one night. I had stopped the pattern of no pattern home. I let my guard down. I had become comfortable just driving the same route.  There were no cars on the road in the small town. Most people were sleeping. I pulled into the right lane to merge onto the two lane highway. There wasn't a car in sight. I drove maybe six-tenths of a mile and turned my blinker on. All of a sudden, out of no where, the inside of my SUV lit up. The car behind me almost rear ended me. I turned to escape a crash and the car turned behind me. There was maybe 12 inches between our bumpers as I drove through the neighborhood. My mind went blank and my body numb with fear. All I could think is, "Is this the end of me"? I grabbed my cell phone and flipped it open to dial 911 and realized they couldn't save me. At this point they all became bottom feeders. I avoided a near miss that night. I realized then that I should have been reaching for a gun not a phone.

If you put him in jail, he's going to eventually get out of jail. Then what? I've searched out every law of protection and found the laws to be faulty. Except for the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, all of the laws have loopholes designed to protect the guilty. Protection comes in the form of a gun for women who want to live. Don't believe the lie that you will become the victim of your own gun. The reports are false. Honestly, if I had not searched out every option, every avenue available to me, I would not be writing this blog. It's time to take back the power that has been stolen by our courts, judges, and the offenders. It's a right for a reason. 

Take a gun safety class. Enroll in a local gun club or shooting range. Listen to your instructors.  A 22 caliber handgun isn't the ideal gun for protection. Go ahead and spend your money on a gun that will defend you.  Apply for a concealed carry permit. Obey the laws and know the laws. Size matters when it comes to guns. Get a handgun that fits your hand. Learn to clean it the same day every week while you watch Nancy Grace report on other women who didn't have the chance to defend themselves. Buy a second gun. Your life depends on your ability to fight back. Do you really want to go into battle with just one gun? Buy a shotgun for your home. The spray will cover a large area. Make up your mind before he ever shows up at your home to do the right thing. He has no business at your home. His past abuses carry the weight of his intentions. And just like a target, aim for the center mass. "There are no dangerous weapons. There are only dangerous men."

If he finds me now he will find me standing behind cold metal. Why? Because I can. Though defensive violence will always be 'a sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if a wrongdoer should prevail over the just. In 1998 one study reported the use of a gun by women in 12 cases of defense against intimate partner violence. In all 12 cases the man died. TWELVE. Yet, one in four women have been at the wrong end of a fist. We as women often send the wrong message. It's our nature to nurture, not pick up a gun. The day has come to redefine that mindset. Because, we can nurture ourselves, we will survive by all legal means. Redemption can come at the end of a gun.

Remember, "A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders." I'm not a chicken, I'm a fisherman, a writer, an artist and a gun toter. 

Just one question. Is toter really a word? 

Fish Steady in all you do. karen

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  1. Lke the previous comment says, Wow! Truly a great post! The images in my mind it drummed up(especially from the vehicle following you) are frightful! (I have a vivid imagination.) I hope you never stop being a fisherman, a writer, an artist and a gun toter.

    Yes, toter is a word. It means bearer or carrier. And you are a bearer of common sense and logic and a carrier of words that make people think and act in a way that is right.

  2. Karen - big believer in gun and run. Girls sometimes want to think things literally to death. A man would have a gun.

    We have the right to protect ourselves and should. It's no different from the wild west and the justice system is responsible by NOT doing their jobs.

    They care more about men blushing than women bleeding.

    We are responsible for our lives and our children's, be the protector of what God gave you.


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