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To shoot or not? Advocates frustrated over comments

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BATON ROUGE - Domestic violence advocates urged caution Wednesday, two days after an area sheriff told women to arm themselves during a frustrating interview following the murder of a woman allegedly at the hands of her estranged husband.

"The reality is, it should never have gotten to the point where we're debating how she's going to physically defend herself," advocate Beth Meeks said.

Monday, Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley said he would have rather been doing an interview about how a woman who shot a man instead of releasing information about a husband accused of bludgeoning his wife to death with a bat.

"For a woman, who is a victim and a repeat victim and fears for her life, go get a concealed weapon permit, find you a safe gun and learn how to use it," he said.

"In homes, in relationships where firearms are present, the risk of homicide is five-times greater, it increases five-fold," Meeks, with the Statewide Coalition Against Domestic Violence responded.

The sheriff argues his office did everything in its power related to the domestic case involving Monica Johnson and her husband, David. Johnson had a restraining order against him.

Following the sheriff's comments Monday, Precision Firearms said it was offering free conceal and carry classes for women who have a restraining order.

Meeks said women need to realize the trauma that comes with firing a weapon, and potentially killing someone.

"I've supported women who have done that in the past, but that person still lives with some really deep, serious emotional trauma," she said.

Click HERE to read the sheriff's entire statement on this issue.

Also Wednesday, co-workers spoke about the woman who was killed.  Click HERE to read more.



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