Should my relative have his guns taken away?


June 11, 2007, 09:46 PM
This is a different relative than HoosierCheetah who posts here from time to time - not the same guy.

This "other relative" has been married about a year and a half. He has been increasingly prone to violent drunken rages. He threatens to kill his wife and himself. He has gotten guns out of the safe and threatened her with them.

I have generally been opposed to laws that take guns away from DV perps, but this situation is giving me pause to reconsider.

"Shall not be infringed" - does this include people who are threatening their family members in violent drunken rages?

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June 11, 2007, 09:48 PM
it does not protect the rights of the mentally unstable, take his guns until he's clean.

June 11, 2007, 09:58 PM
Your rights can't infringe on the rights of others.
His right to bear arms does not trump the wife's right to life.

June 11, 2007, 09:59 PM
He needs to lose his guns. His RKBA, in my opinion, ended when he threatened to kill them and menaced them with a gun.


Molon Labe
June 11, 2007, 09:59 PM
He has gotten guns out of the safe and threatened her with them.She should press charges against her husband.

June 11, 2007, 10:01 PM
If that is the only way, Yes. I hate to say it but there are times that the DV laws have their place.
However my first choice would be to handle it within the family, if possible.
Though it may not be considered "legal", the men of the family should have a serious talk with him. A confrontation, if you will, and then closely monitor the situation. If necessary, apply negative reinforcement. It is first a family matter, and should only involve the law as a last resort.

June 11, 2007, 10:01 PM
He threatens to kill his wife and himself. He has gotten guns out of the safe and threatened her with them.Yes he should have his guns taken away, because people in jail are not allowed to have guns.

June 11, 2007, 10:03 PM
You need to be proactive in helping her. Get her out of the house tonight if possible.

June 11, 2007, 10:08 PM
:( Once a threat is conveyed, it's time for the law. Intervention by male family members may result in a lot of work for the coroner. Events like the Delevan, Wisconsin tradgedy do happen. It's sad, but this guy has attained "perp" status and needs to be dealt with quickly and, with luck, safely by the local pros. :(

June 11, 2007, 10:10 PM
Yes he should have his guns taken away, because people in jail are not allowed to have guns.

June 11, 2007, 10:11 PM
i agree, this needs to be dealt with before it becomes fatal to someone. if you choose to intervene privately, be very careful and have 911 ready on your cell phone speed dial.
be careful, and don't allow emotions or familial feelings to cloud your judgement. if it's time to call for help, don't hesitate. the life you save may be your own.

once you decide to intervene, don't take no for an answer, you must leave with the guns or the wife. if you don't think that she will cooperate [this is VERYcommon in domestics] you may have to call leo anyway. don't be surprised if she fight you harder than he does, this is the most common resaponse from battered or threatened spouses.

June 11, 2007, 10:15 PM
I hope you are not still at your computer but if you are the time to act would be soonest.

June 11, 2007, 10:23 PM
Yes he should have his guns taken away, because people in jail are not allowed to have guns.

+1 Act before it is to late.

June 11, 2007, 10:31 PM
Sounds like its long overdue for the men of the family to have a "family conference" with him... if you know what I mean.

June 11, 2007, 10:35 PM
If he has threatened her with firearms, and was in a position to carry out the threat--demonstrated the ability to carry out the threat--then he has committed the crime of Assault in the First Degree (Washington), aka Assault with a Deadly Weapon-Domestic Violence.

The police should be involved NOW. If you haven't done so, call them.

Let them go over there to take the guns. You don't know how close this guy is to snapping.

Friend, the fuse is burning on a time bomb. Act NOW, and you might save his wife's life.

June 11, 2007, 10:44 PM
There are certain people who have no business owning guns. And if we truly love our right to keep/bear firearms, then it should be on us to be the most brutal in coming down on those who imperil our rights through irresponsible actions. :fire:

All it takes is any yahoo (your family member included) to threaten someone with a rifle, discharge a firearm during an argument, be held at gunpoint by the responding police, etc etc and it can hurt everyone's gun rights. The cops go in, find out he owned an AR-15 or SKS, the media gets wind, then the head line reads (more or less) "Wife Beater Wields SKS During Domestic Fight." The public suddenly associates domestic violence with firearms enthusiasm. They begin to question why anyone "needs" an AR-15 or SKS.

Sad scenario but it can and does happen. Please step in before the police do! That means ASAFP!

June 11, 2007, 10:44 PM
Better to lock him up or institutionalize him until he can be trusted with arms. Taking his guns away from him will do no good if he intends to do harm. He'll either use another weapon or technique to do his deed. The guns ain't the problem. HE is the problem.


June 11, 2007, 10:51 PM
Do something now, not tomorrow, not in ten minutes don't wait. Nobody should live under the circumstances you describe.

June 11, 2007, 10:59 PM
The guns ain't the problem. HE is the problem.
Taking the guns away is only part of what needs to be done.
Family intervention once he's committed a crime is a bad idea. Thinking words and threats will fix him is wrong. He sounds like he needs professional help and should not have access to his wife for a while.

Kali Endgame
June 11, 2007, 11:05 PM
Your relative needs to have his guns confiscated. Domestic violence is not acceptable for any reason. His rights do not supercede his wife or childs rights. No person has any right to terrorize another for their own amusement.

Sorry about the low road response, THR.

Aguila Blanca
June 11, 2007, 11:49 PM
Yes he should have his guns taken away, because people in jail are not allowed to have guns.
Give that man a cookie.

This is the correct answer. Threatening is a crime. This isn't a verbal altercation or a mutual shoving match, this is a serious threat of "grievous bodily harm." The fact is, at the time "cuz" is muttering such threats, wifey dearest would be entirely within her rights to shoot him. Failing that as a solution, he should be arrested, tried, convicted and incarcerated. When he has done his time, he can petition to have his RKBA restored ... and see how far it gets him.

I remain opposed to the general suspension or revocation of the RKBA is domestic violence situations. The probability is too high that none of the parties is telling the truth, and that someone's rights will be unfairly curtailed.

June 11, 2007, 11:56 PM
He should lose his guns, and go to jail. There are those who should not own guns. He is one of those people.


June 12, 2007, 01:32 AM
My stepdad used to drink, and he got ugly violent when he was drunk, that was pretty much every day. He got to the point where he had to quit drinking. When he did that, the ugliness stopped. Thankfully, because he could have killed my mom, or she could have killed him. I'm exceedingly happy that scenario never happened, though my mom has told me it was as close as pulling the trigger.

My stepdad is really a great guy who used to have a HUGE problem, and it seems your relative may be in the same boat.

At this point, get his wife and the guns away from him, and take your other relatives to talk to him. He either gets help for his anger and drinking, or he will have help given to him, either by the law or by your crew. Be reasonable first, and hope he can see the light. If he can't see the good help, he will eventually be helped in really bad way.

June 12, 2007, 02:45 AM
I am the first one to say that the police can seldom protect people from harm. However, this is one case where they can. She needs to swear out a complaint. Pronto!!!!

June 12, 2007, 03:21 AM
Just thinking here... here's one potential approach:

Approach his best friend(s) and let them know the 411. Approach your (and his) male family members with the same. Then, with at least 4 of them plus yourself, confront him (non-aggressively) when he is most likely to not be in a foul mood or armed, and let him know (in no uncertain terms) that it's time for either a sit down or a drag-out. Let him know that it's time for an intervention, and either he deals with his friends and family peacefully - people who have his best interests in mind - or you will can deal with it outside of the family.

(In yesteryear, it was supposedly not uncommon for such "interventions" to involve one or two people having an extended "lecture and a beating" with such an individual, I've heard.)

Make sure he is clear on your family conditions (temporary removal of firearms from the house, absolutely no drinking, counseling alone and with wife, etc.), as well as the alternative (ie what the law will do to him). Make sure his wife is in complete agreement with you as to your approach: she might prefer doing something else (just having the cops deal iwth it) or she might be operating in "beaten victim mode" (there's another official term for it, but I'm tired and can't recall it) and would prefer to side with him out of fear of losing him. However, I thin that if you approach this in a level-headed manner, with people he trusts or may hold authority in his life (father, brother, etc.) you may be successful.

Is this person in his 20s? A person's 20s is often when mental illness manifests itself. Is there a history of it (dementia, Alzheimer's, bipolar, depression, etc.)? If no, then there's probably something distinct that is causing his freak-outs. He needs to address it, and come to terms. Often in America, men are taught that they've got to hold their problems in. Yes, that's how we tend to deal with things (internally), but it is also the case that many people aren't able to do so. When those people hold their problems in long enough, you are presented with a sad example of psychosis, such as Cho or Witman.

I should note that it is ABSOLUTELY important that he's sober when you approach him (and hopefully alone/not with his wife), and that you and everyone else gets the impression of his honest intent of compliance. He will need to have people - family and friends - checking up on him to make sure he's complying with the agreement.

This is, at least, what I would attempt to do for my friends and male family members. Better to work it out before the law gets involved. It would NOT be a bad idea for him (or his wife) to step outside the scenario for a while (go live with a family member) until his problem is determined and reconciliation is made possible.

Keep a cool head, THR folks: you never know what the problem could be. He could have a brain tumor that is causing his erratic behavior. If that's the case, and it's something "fixable", it would be horrible to deprive him of his liberties over a medical complication. Frankly, I am surprised you all are as ready as you are to have this guy call the cops when there are apparently loving family members close by able to help (that's my read on the situation - obviously I can be ignored if it's not true).

June 12, 2007, 04:32 AM
then one of those interventions may be in order.
the problem with a dv conviction is it is forever, he could give up drinking and even after 20 years of outstanding citizenship, still not be able to legally to own a .22....

take the guns and wife and hide them, he gets them back after a year of continuous sobriety in AA...wife should check out al anon

June 12, 2007, 04:38 AM
Problem with that approach, is that it only takes one time falling off the wagon to kill someone. If he can't control himself, and has shown a complete inability to act in a responsible manner with his guns, then what's so tough about taking them away?

I'm not trying to start a fight, but it seems like there's a lot of sentiment that folks would wish him to be able to regain the right to own guns at a later date. I'm not so sure about this - in my mind, the fact that he physically threatened his wife with a gun says that he's waay, way outta bounds and while alcohol may have enabled him to go that little bit further, there's something in him that is not going to just go to sleep if he's unable to drink. That's some serious lack of control, drunk or not.

June 12, 2007, 04:46 AM
Also - a drunk is a drunk for life, no matter how long it's been since they've had a nip. I know from experience - My two uncles are drunks (well, the one who's still alive is, anyway) their father was a drunk, as was their grandfather and one uncle. Relapse is common, as it is with most addictions. To think that his sobriety will be something that his friends or family will be able to monitor is a bit of a fallacy, when you have an addiction you WILL find ways to feed it. And that's where my post above comes in. He plays nice, makes sure that he's a good boy so the family will get off his back (and this is almost assuredly how he'll look at it, given his already agressive outlook on family) and when he satisfies them that he's been a good boy and gets his guns back he'll feel free to go back to doing what he wants. Why should he continue to be good? He's convinced the family he's straightened his life out, they're leaving him alone, he has his property again. Then comes the violence.

If he's judged unfit to own guns by a court, then he's barred. Period. That still may not stop him, but it's a damn sight better than the family holding it over his head (again, likely how he'll view it) and it's a sure bet that johnny law will punish him harder than the fam will.

June 12, 2007, 05:03 AM
He threatens to kill his wife and himself. He has gotten guns out of the safe and threatened her with them.

She should have killed him then, and resolved the issue. Hopefully she's at least brought a DVRO proceeding. The magistrate can remove his firearms by court order. There's no RKBA issue here, since that right like many others can be lost by individual misconduct and abuse.

June 12, 2007, 07:21 AM
There are a lot of folks here that feel very strongly about this, but I can't pretend to understand the severity of the situation. None of us really know what is going on.

But maybe you and your pops should go over there and explain how concerned you are. And then suggest he let you take his guns until he has his problem under control. I wouldn't want my family to end up in prison, if you can fix this without his freedom coming into jeopardy, I think that would be most ideal.

Make sure his wife knows where to go when he starts to get rough. I think it's wrong to assume the man is a murderer, and get him in trouble His family should be looking out for him.

June 12, 2007, 07:43 AM
Taking his guns away and leaving the spouse in the home is no answer. People kill each other all kinds of ways and he would just go and buy another gun and hide it anyway.

If he is as violent as you say he will require some serious cleaning up before the home is safe. The actions you have described require an immediate intervention. The nature of that intervention is up to you and your family to decide. To sit by and do nothing might be a little hard to live with when things reach a likely tragic conclusion.

June 12, 2007, 07:45 AM
Most seem to address this issue from the wrong side. As woodci said so well, taking away his guns will only force him to employ some other tool to use for abuse... ie kitchen knife, baseball bat, fist, foot. You can never take away all of the "weapons".

The best solution in my opinion is to take the wife to the gun shop and set her up with the means to defend herself. Take her to the range to practice... give her instruction in armed self defense... Make sure she is always carrying and he does not need to know.

Putting the guy in jail is not a permanent solution, (not that it should not be done) Eventually he will be out to threaten again. She needs to know how to stop him if needed. She is not helpless here... give her the tools to solve this problem.

June 12, 2007, 08:34 AM
I was a violent drunk, my father was a violent drunk , both of my grandfathers, one grandmother and all the uncles I know are violent drunks, so I have some experience in the matter

Interventions are nice plots for Lifetime movies but in real life they seldom work and often escalate the problem

When you leave with your sense of accomplishment and he leaves to go to the bar guess who he is going to blame for your interference

Drunks are experts at lying and fixing blame on others for our shortcomings

June 12, 2007, 09:00 AM
Leave the guns, take the man into custody. But first make sure you have the cooperation of the wife. If she isn't sure she wants out of the relationship, there is nothing you can do. If she refuses to testify or changes her story, he is going to stay out of prison. He will be back, he will be armed and he will probably be pissed at you for ratting him out.

And no, it doesn't matter that you know she is telling the truth now. You can't testify about what she said earlier about what he was doing. Hearsay.

You guys who are saying the guns should be confiscated need to have your heads checked and maybe make sure you are logged on to the right forum. This isn't If the guy is really set on hurting his wife, he can always use a knife, poison, a blunt instrument or his bare hands. Taking away the guns doesn't do a damn thing beyond insuring that he will kill her quietly.

June 12, 2007, 09:21 AM
Tough situation.

My wife had a girlfriend whose husband was JPN ("Just Plain Nuts") and we were convinced that he was going to kill her and the kids. We tried many times to get her help and to get her away from him. However, each time she went crawling back to him because "I love him" (never mind that his idea of love was to smack her around.) Finally we lost contact with her, and I wonder to this day if she is still subject to his abuse.

In other words, if she doesn't want her situation to change there isn't a whole lot that you can do. Also, make sure that he doesn't have an opportunity to bring charges against you for "stealing" his weapons.

June 12, 2007, 09:40 AM
My reaction would depend on just who the relative is. If it was my brother, father, grandfather, etc., I would just go into his house and take the guns myself, even if I have to take the whole darned safe. I don't want to see any of them get into trouble. I would then take them to an inpatient rehab facility to get cleaned up. I'd send my grandmother or mother away for a week or two until he had some time to get his mind straight.

Now if the person is not someone that I care to take great pains to protect, I would get the wife and kids to a battered women's shelter STAT. They have protections in place that grandma's house simply doesn't have. No, they aren't the greatest places on earth, but they are certainly better than a casket.

I would then contact the police to get the paperwork flowing and let them do their jobs.

I should add that if the guy married into the family and the wife was my family member, the guy would have some trouble that I care not to discuss on this forum.

June 12, 2007, 09:43 AM
Um,, do you know for sure he did this? I would think the police should have been called right away if he had.

Art Eatman
June 12, 2007, 09:50 AM
Rather than talking about it on the Internet, I suggest going to some public service agency which deals with domestic violence. Professional advice is far better than Internet opinion.

While getting guns away is possibly helpful, just because his first thought has been "guns" doesn't mean his next thought might not be "knife" or "baseball bat". The violent thought is the problem, and we can't help you with that.

Whatever, taking action today is far better than dithering at a keyboard.


June 12, 2007, 09:52 AM
You got bigger problems than just the guns.


June 12, 2007, 09:57 AM
Um,, do you know for sure he did this? I would think the police should have been called right away if he had.

Not usually. It's called battered wife syndrome.

As for a suggestion, if the guy is violent (presents a danger to self and others) he needs to be removed from the situation. Take away his "toys" he'll find another way. Take -him- out of the situation and there is NO situation.

Focus on the criminal not the tools.

Contact the authorities and have them do their job. Be prepared for the wife to hate you and yours as much or more thant the guy will (at least for a while).

June 12, 2007, 09:59 AM
Thanks for the replies.

Intervention is underway. Unfortunately this is all happening in a different state so anything direct or hands on by us is difficult to arrange. First step is to get her out of that house and somewhere safe.

I believe this is more than an alcohol problem. The guy has rage problems in general. In this most recent incident he got crazy first then got drunk second. The alcohol certainly isn't helping but it isn't the root of the problem.

Romma: I suppose nobody ever knows anything for certain. Maybe she is actually a space alien, who is getting inside his head and making him do strange things with a mind control ray. But there is enough history in this situation that this is certainly consistent (though an escalation) of what has happened before. Sometimes women are reluctant to call the police even in very extreme circumstances, for a variety of reasons.

June 12, 2007, 10:26 AM
Maybe she is actually a space alien, who is getting inside his head and making him do strange things with a mind control ray.

Oh, okay that settles it then...

My point is that if this guy has a history like this, then I would get her away first, then let the police do their job... It helps having some documentation to do what needs to be done.

Be it removing his firearms, or getting a protective order, or having him arrested for threatening her.

June 12, 2007, 10:32 AM
Have you witnessed this, personally?

I'm not trying to belittle the situation, but if the man's wife thinks she's in danger, she needs to contact the police and get the protection from abuse order.

It's great to be proactive, but unless you witness this behavior yourself, you really don't know if it's serious. If you interfere without personally affirming the will be the bad guy.
What you can do is counsel the wife...or better yet, have her get to counseling. Maybe the truth (one way or the other) will come out.

There was a post a short time ago concerning a person calling the police because a man walked into a building with a rifle. This was in Harrisburg, PA if I recall. Turns out it was a BB gun and all the posts berated the "Good Samaritan" for being a nosy busy body.
Are you sure you're not in the same situation?

June 12, 2007, 11:38 AM
A friend and her hubby are going through a divorce... Hubby is bipolar and owned 3 guns, a Security Six, SW 36 and a Benelli M1. Hubby realized what he was doing and asked me to sell his guns for him. That one worked out well.

June 12, 2007, 12:11 PM
+2 (the wife is readin over my shoulder)

You're definitely at, actually past, the time to act. Get to it.

June 12, 2007, 09:24 PM
If that is the only way, Yes. I hate to say it but there are times that the DV laws have their place.
No, they don't.

The Lautenberg amendment isn't necessary here--"He has gotten guns out of the safe and threatened her with them." That would be Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and sufficient grounds in and of itself to throw his sorry butt in jail.

We don't need more crap like Lautenberg to deal with what's already illegal.

June 12, 2007, 09:26 PM
Launtenberg isn't a DV law. It's just federal gun control hiding under the skirts of DV law.

June 12, 2007, 09:37 PM
His right TKBA ended when he threatened an innocent person with them. Rule number one of owning a gun: Never use them in a threatening manner unless that person has done something serious enough to deserve it. And you DAMN well better have a good reason for doing so.

If you can, try to help the woman get out of the situation. No one deserves to go through what she has experienced.

June 12, 2007, 10:44 PM
Get her out of the home and the situation.
Get his weapons if possible and store them safely out of his reach and the reach of the state.
Assume he has weapons no one knows about somewhere else, or can get them.

Get her out. 1st priority. Place to live with family/ friends support.

The real question is how much risk/effort are you wanting to put into salvaging him? If you throw him to the state, he will be safely in their system. Family is family--you have to decide.

June 12, 2007, 11:05 PM
Here's a thought
Just get her out
Maybe he will put the gun to better use on a more convenient target

June 13, 2007, 06:44 AM
there's something in him that is not going to just go to sleep if he's unable to drink.

Not drinking is just the beginning, with God (and Jesus in my case)
All things are possible:)

If he is serious about getting sober and leading a life focused on service in recovery then he, like countless others in AA can go on to be productive members of society.

To deny a man his rights forever is a sin, unless he is in prison, a person should have all his rights.

I can't say what I really think about Lautenberg on the high road, but I will never cooperate with his silly feel good oppressive unconstitutional laws.

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