I am writing this as the city of Plymouth, in the UK, reels from the latest mass shooting. The shooter appears to have been a fully licensed gun owner who apparently had his licence suspended last year because of an allegation of assault. However, he was allowed to have his licence and gun returned and there seems to have been very little other background checks done.
Having experienced the police arriving at our house three weeks after I reported William’s attempted rape of me, I still remember the further trauma, with a shudder.
As I had made an allegation the police requested that we surrender our guns and licences as a precaution. At the time the police gave William the option of moving out and going to live at his mother’s house. Had he agreed he could have taken his gun and licence and I could have continued to keep my gun and licence at the farm. Of course that was not what William wanted. Had he moved out of the house he could not have continued to exert so much control over me, so he refused the police offer.
Five years on from our divorce and four years after selling our house and living separately, I am still struggling to get my gun and certificate returned to me. Unlike the Plymouth case and despite giving several doctor’s reports to the police, confirming my mental and emotional health, each time I request a return I am thwarted by William.
It appears that every time I apply, the police ask William for his opinion. Of course William is delighted at yet another opportunity to exercise his control over my life. Each time he spins another tale of how bad tempered I am or how our finances are not sorted and that giving me a gun might be the end of him!
I am tired of the spin and really don’t have a need for my gun any more. However, there is a principle here and I am sick and tired of my side of the story being ignored. I will hang in and keep trying to get my gun returned so that I can be in charge of selling it as and when I want, rather than William.
However, I have to say that there seems to be considerable disparity between cases where guns and licences are returned to holders. There must be a better way to ensure that guns are in the hands of the responsible and emotionally balanced. I do wonder if I manage to ever get mine back, whether the police will consider returning William’s to him. The police don’t ever seem to have considered my thoughts regarding his mental health, but give regard to any story William chooses to fabricate.