Commenting on a gruesome case of domestic homicide that occurred in Geismar, Louisiana on August 9, 2015, Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley advised women to do the following:
Get your concealed weapons permit. Ladies, learn how to safely handle a weapon, learn how to safely store a weapon, and when you’re in a situation like this shoot him in your back yard before he gets in your house. Drop him. I mean, I’m serious. Take the extremes necessary to live a life where you don’t have to worry about your kids and your life.1
Sheriff Wiley’s remarks put the blame on abused mother Monica Butler Johnson for her own murder at the hands of her ex-husband.2 Sheriff Wiley also seems to be indicating that he believes our criminal justice system is useless, or ineffectual. If that is the case in Ascension Parish, then the responsibility is his.
There is no credible domestic violence prevention group in the United States urging abused women to obtain firearms. As National Domestic Violence Hotline CEO Katie Ray-Jones noted, “It is always highly concerning when a person introduces a weapon into a violent situation. While someone may be trained to use and carry a firearm, there is always a possibility that the weapon could be used against them by their abusive partners.”
One study of women physically abused by current or former intimate partners found a five-fold increased risk of the partner murdering the woman when the partner owned a firearm.3
In 2008, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal appointed Sheriff Wiley to serve as Chairman of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement. The commission’s mission is to “promote public safety by providing progressive leadership and coordination within the criminal justice community.” Sheriff’s Wiley’s remarks about Monica Butler Johnson betray that mission.
Tell the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement: Repudiate Sheriff Jeff Wiley’s comments on firearms.