The trials of Job are not limited to biblical sheepherders. Many PUMAs know Betty Jean Kling, a tireless Hillary Clinton supporter who had a passion for healthcare reform. Betty Jean’s son died of cancer and her daughter Denise is living with advanced ovarian cancer. Betty Jean’s heart’s desire was to see that her daughter, and all those affected by serious disease, get the treatment they need.
But an evil genius works against Betty Jean. Last June, Denise was attacked in her sleep by her estranged lover, George Hartwig. He hit her in the head with a hammer. He was sentenced to 3 months in prison for the attack and released. Monday night, as Betty Jean attended a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in New York City to help her pay off her remaining debt, Hartwig struck again. He shot Denise’s sister, Louisa, in the face when she got in the way. Louisa is now in critical condition in a New Jersey hospital. (One of our commenters reports that Louisa has lost an eye and may suffer brain damage if she survives.) You can read about the attack here, here and here. This has been devastating to Betty Jean who is now dealing with two daughters who are fighting for their lives.
Domestic violence is a sensitive subject for many people. I don’t know why it should be. You shouldn’t be allowed to commit violent acts against another human being no matter what degree of relationship exists but violence is often tolerated in marital situations. Still, it is imcomprehensible that an attacker would be allowed to roam free after he heartlessly attacked a cancer patient with a hammer. That this man had the ability to shoot her sister with a shotgun is simply unbelievable. Where were the local police? The New Jersey justice system? How can targets of domestic violence sleep easily if their predators are not actually restrained? The attackers in instances such as these seem to be operating with a single minded obsession, as if they are determined to remove a weed from their garden. It’s irrational anger projected onto a hapless target. If the crazy worldview of the attacker can’t be changed, the attacker himself needs to be locked up.
We need a Louisa’s Law that will prevent the release of these attackers who, like pedophiles, have a habit of being repeat offenders. They need an attitude adjustment that only a lot of time with a prison psychologist can accomplish, along with restraining orders, ankle bracelet monitoring systems and no legal access to firearms. Of course, that doesn’t prevent the abuser from using hammers so maybe locking them up and strapping a GPS device to them when they’re released until they get the point is the only way. Worldviews are very difficult to change unless the person sees there is really no alternative and that society will simply not allow them to act on their murderous rage.
If you want to help Betty Jean advocate for a new Louisa’s Law, please contact her at Free Us Now. NJ Senator Menendez sponsored legislation to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. You might want to drop him a line if you agree with him or contact your own senators. NJ Senator Lautenberg wrote the Domestic Violence Gun Ban and Brady Law. Both of these Democrats know how serious this issue is but they have faced a tough fight from the NRA in recent years. It is time we focus our attention on the risk that Domestic Violence poses to their victims and others who get in the way.
The New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women has many services for women who are facing domestic abuse but surprisingly little on their legislation page. If you are a lawyer or advocate in this area, or have experience lobbying for legislation, let them know you want to help.
Finally, there will be a hearing on the arraignment of George Hartwig. The Honorable Judge Harry Carroll will preside. His contact numbers are voice: 201-527-2460, fax: 201-752-4109 if you would like to politely urge him to keep Hatwig behind bars until his trial.
We send our positivc thoughts to Betty Jean. The Trial of Job didn’t last forever. It ended well.