No significant updates have been reported on last Friday’s shooting in my town. As far as I know, Cynthia Bloomquist is still in the hospital. It now appears that Kenneth Bloomquist broke into the house carrying both a rifle and a pistol, and that the pistol jammed when he fired it at his estranged wife. Were these the only two weapons involved in the incident? I don’t know.
A story posted Saturday to Cape Cod Online.com, the website of the Cape Cod Times, reported on an interview with Ms. Bloomquist’s parents. Said Elsbeth Helgerson, her mother, after a phone conversation with her daughter: “Cynthia doesn’t remember all of it, because when you’re fighting for your life, you’re not thinking about how many shots went off.”
No surprise there.
According to the Cape Cod Times story, Elsbeth and Carl Helgerson “said they worried about their son-in-law’s volatility after he threatened their daughter multiple times. On one occasion a few years ago, Elsbeth Helgerson said, Kenneth Bloomquist threatened his wife with a rifle at their former home in Harvard.”
No surprise there either, at least not to me, and not, I suspect, to most of the women I know.
I’ve been following the comments on the various news stories about the shooting, mainly on the Martha’s Vineyard Times website but also on the Vineyard Gazette and Martha’s Vineyard Patchsites, on Facebook, and (of course) on my earlier blog. A significant number focus on the role of firearms in the incident. These range from the Johnny One-Notes (such as “I wonder if all the gun-control whackos still think the Second Amendment is a bad idea?” and “Why after every shooting do the left wing liberals think guns should be outlawed? Thank GOD she had a gun or she would be DEAD!”) to speculation about how the story might have developed had no guns been involved to admiration of Cynthia Bloomquist’s evident ability to keep her head under extraordinary circumstances.
A significant number also address Ms. Bloomquist’s attempt to get a restraining order and the judge’s refusal to grant one. Most commenters think one should have been issued, even if it might not have prevented the shooting. One fellow, however, said this: “A judge won’t institute an order of protection based on one request and shouldn’t. That would lead to such an overused mismanagement of power it would be sickening. The judge will have nothing to answer for unless there has been a trail of recorded police reports for domestic issues.” (The comment was posted with a gender-neutral pseudonym, but if a woman wrote it, I’ll eat all my hats and the wool sweater I brought home from Norway.)
I and quite a few women I know aren’t likely to seek a restraining order till it’s clear that nothing else is working. Who cares what this anonymous guy thinks? Not me — but the possibility that Judge Kane denied Cynthia Bloomquist a restraining order for similar reasons is a strong argument for obtaining a permit and a gun and taking some serious target practice if you suspect your current or soon-to-be-ex partner might be somewhat volatile.