Social Circle: Do restraining orders work?
Welcome to a weekly segment called "Social Circle." It's a group effort between readers, social networkers and the OnMilwaukee.com editors. Every Monday, we ask a question via Facebook and Twitter and then post the responses from our Facebook "likers" and Twitter followers in this column. Well-known Milwaukee movers and shakers will contribute, too.
Sunday's tragedy in a Brookfield salon poses a lot of questions, some of which Bobby Tanzilo asks in his recent blog.
The question of whether or not restraining orders are effective is also one that many are contemplating. After all, there was a restraining order in place preventing the shooter, Radcliffe Franklin Haughton Jr., from coming into contact with his estranged wife, Zina, who was an employee at the salon. Haughton shot and killed two other employees as well.
Members of the Social Circle, for the first time, unanimously agreed on an answer to a question. According to them, restraining orders do not work. But what are your thoughts on this issue? Voice them via the Talkback feature.
Matt Baran: "The answer is not conceal carry. It's not open carry. It's ultimate carry. Gun helmets. Laser-guided, fired by winking. This never would've happened if everyone wore gun-helmets. Not least because there's no point in going to a hair salon with one on."
Felipe Betran: "The answer is more gun control."
Christopher Corona: "They are a joke and (Sunday) is proof of it."
Monica Freitag: "Nope. Especially when there's kids involved and placement issues, drop off / pick up. It becomes a huge mess. And most people don't even follow it. So you show up and your ex shows up, you call the cops, your ex leaves ... Then it's whatever."
Bill Halmo: "HELL NO, they don't work. When are the courts going to start doing the right thing? What do we pay these nobs for?"
Craig Harnack: "Clearly not. Short of arming oneself for defense in anticipation of a loony trying something like this, I don't know what the answer is."
Deone Jahnke: "Clearly, no. When will domestic violence be moved to the forefront as an important issue? Oh, I forgot – it's about women, so that answer is: never."
Brad Johnson: "No, because there are other monitoring systems like an electronic bracelet. A piece of paper can't stop craziness."
Cathy Laurenzi: "No. There is no way to monitor the actions of the restrained until it's too late."
Julie Wezyk Liotta: "Not really; they only work after the fact. It's only a tool to try to make the restrained person afraid to break the law; however, if the person wants to hurt someone, they will."
Hannah Medrow: "I think that like most legal instruments, they work for people who already mostly follow rules. Hard to enforce, though, it seems."
Michele Berg Pavlovic: "I filed one once. Didn't work. I could never prove he broke it because we never had phones and video like today. I am blessed that mine never ended in tragedy."
Kimberly Rykowski Pedersen: "No, they don't. And authorities don't do much to help victims. They truly need to run and disappear to escape their abuser.
Jonathan Poppe: "No. A more proactive approach to monitoring should be taken, such as GPS bracelets that alert officials if the restrained gets too close to the person they are supposed to stay away from. A piece of paper is too casual."
Jen Skladanek: "In some cases yes. But I think not. Obviously. This event as well as many others are tragic and sad. And if the guy was going to kill himself anyway, why not leave the innocent out of it?"
Cheyenne Therkildsen: "I agree that they don't tend to work – more often than not in these situations, the person with the restraint order against them usually feels above the law. No piece of paper is going to tell them who they can see or what they can do. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those at the salon yesterday as well as those who responded to the emergency."
Donna Tipton: "The only way to enforce a restraining order is to have that person(s) go into a shelter, relocate, change jobs, essentially disappear. The sheriff could escort the person to turn in their weapons, but truth is, that if they want to they will find something on the street or black market or choose a different type of weapon."
Mitchell Wakefield: "No, they obviously don't. But concealed carry does and would've in this situation."
Ruth Weill: "Maybe the courts should start assigning a social worker to the restraining order for follow up etc. I know that would be super expensive but we can never quantify the value of life. Obviously, in severe cases like this nothing might have stopped his rampage but that doesn't mean we should not try."
Michael Zehner: "Restraining orders are a complete and absolute joke! It offers a false sense of security, it should come with a trained / armed 24 / 7 bodyguard until the court date arrives."
The salon had a 'No Guns' sign posted. Clearly that worked well. No one in there had a chance. When will people realize that there is no law that will stop someone determined to hurt another person or kill them?
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