How Politics & Culture Collaborate with Killers by Gun Control

Restraining orders show that killers rule.

Amber Fernald

This story showed up in my Facebook feed yesterday: “Torres sentenced for murder of Amber Fernald.”

Alexis Torres arrived in court on Thursday morning to learn his punishment for the murder of a mother of three on June 10.

In November, Torres pleaded guilty to the murder of 33-year-old Amber Fernald in her Sixth Avenue Lansingburgh apartment.

Fernald’s children were in court on Thursday — authorities say they witnessed their mother being stabbed by Torres.

“Not only did he kill Amber, He broke in, chased her down as she ran into her room to protect her children. And he repeatedly plunged  by butcher knife into her body in front of her kids,” said Shane Hug, Assistant District Attorney.


“Her daughter turned 12 that morning as she watched her mother die. Her 3-year-old child shielded himself with a blanket, hoping not to be seen,” said Hug.

I heard that Fernald had a restraining order placed on Torres before he killed her. A search of google news confirms that fact. This was mentioned as a reason to argue that the killer’s sentence was too light. He obviously had premeditated this attack because he had been threatening her before.

I think the restraining order shows something else: that every law and every media and cultural input that made it more difficult for Amber to acquire and carry a firearm collaborated with her killer.

What good is a restraining order? Instead of a restraining order, Amber should have been indefinitely loaned an appropriate sidearm. If we are supposed to get protection from the police, then they should have given her some training.

What was the point of giving her an unenforceable piece of paper?

People act like guns are the cause of crime but they aren’t considering the real facts. Every single story of a big man attacking a woman is a story about how the absence of a gun victimized a woman. Every single story about a knife-wielding attacker cutting an unarmed victim is the story of how the absence of a gun caused harm.

A culture without cheap, readily available firearms is a culture where the stronger get to attack the weaker with impunity. Every culture that discourages or discounts gun ownership is a culture where women are trained to be sacrificed to violent men.

It is an evil and sick world.

[See also, “No Gun Permit Unless You Give Up Your Facebook Password.”]

Yes, sometimes a gun-wielding criminal will take his chances against an armed person, but it is relatively rare. The risks to the criminal are far greater. So, if everyone is armed, crime drops because criminals know they are less likely to survive the encounter.

But a world in which most people are disarmed, because guns are downplayed or are two expensive, is a world in which violent men get to slaughter mothers in front of their children.

Liberals commonly act like a gun owner’s home is a danger to his children. If they want to discourage gun ownership then they ought to make it easier to quickly acquire a firearm. If I know that I can go buy a weapon any time I might need one, then I am more likely to not worry about investing in a firearm in order to be ready in case that time comes. Amber knew she was in danger. Everyone should have told her to arm herself for her own sake and for the sake of her children.

But no one even allows for such shifting circumstances. People who are against gun ownership are against it for all people in all circumstances. They talk as if the question of whether to buy a gun is a timeless one that doesn’t change when one’s situation changes.

That attitude left Amber vulnerable. It help bring about the moment where her daughter will never be able to celebrate her birthday again without flashing back to her mother being stabbed to death in front of her.