Editorial: Orders aren’t worth much

April 18, 2014 

Last week’s tragic shooting in Wendell highlights, once again, our society’s failure to protect people from those intent on harming others.

This isn’t a first. There is a litany of victims of domestic violence who, despite their best efforts, weren’t able to protect themselves from former spouses who were so angry that no other revenge than death would be sufficient.

In the Wendell case, Nathan Holden stands accused of killing his mother-in-law and father-in-law and shooting his estranged wife who, as of this writing, remains in criticial condition in a Raleigh hospital.

There is no sense that court officers make domestic violence orders difficult to get. Latonya Holden had one. It didn’t help. Domestic violence support advocates seem nonplussed by the repeated stories of domestic situations turning violent, but they don’t seem to have any answers either.

The court orders promise violators stiff penalties if they cross the line. But too often, when they cross the line, the havoc they wreak is permanent and irreversible.

There aren’t enough police officers and sheriff’s deputies on the payroll to stand guard over everyone who takes out a domestic violence order against a spouse.

Sadly this kind of violence will continue until we come to the understanding that there are better ways to settle our disputes. We just don’t see that time coming.

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