Lisa Bianco and Angela Miller Warnock

Dateline: Thu 25 Jun 2009

Lisa Bianco was murdered in 1989, by her ex-husband, Alan Matheney. He was serving time in Pendleton Correctional Facility for battery and confinement of Bianco, when he was granted an eight-hour prison release.

He spent those eight hours driving to Bianco's home, where he chased her down the street and beat her to death with a shotgun. His two daughters and neighbors were witnesses.

Check it out; it's in Wikipedia. (Matheny was executed in 2005).

I think of Lisa Bianco -- and how shocked we all were by her victimization and slaughter, including then-Gov. Evan Bayh -- every time I read a story in the Star about another woman murdered by a raging, jealous, crazed, violent man. I'm talking about what the cops and the counselors call "a domestic situation," meaning the man and woman typically are or were married and are in the process of a separation or divorce, initiated by the woman.

I thought of Lisa again today, as I read the sorrowful obituary of Angela Miller Warnock, 38, a beautiful woman in every regard, it seems, who was stabbed in her Brownsburg home Sunday. Her husband Joseph Warnock has been charged in her murder. Once again, two little girls, their daughters, were present when the crime was commited.

These stories are so disturbing, and there is such a pervasive theme to them -- woman goes to court, gets protective order, man ignores legal process and slays her -- that years ago, I wrote a column at the Star, in the wake of yet another such tragedy. In that space, I urged women to arm themselves.

A woman who has a crazed man stalking and threatening her needs to get the biggest piece she can find and carry it with her at all times. Brothers and dads and friends of the woman, and other women for that matter, need to arm themselves as well. They should form a protective posse around this woman. The courts are clearly unable to offer real protection, not, at least, against a man who chooses violence and self-will.

In Angela's case, Joseph Warnock, 41, apparently told the courts that he would never hurt her, according to today's Star story by Bruce Smith. It is obvious from reading the story that she had stuck by him during his addictions (coke and other drugs). She was on such a higher plane, emotionally, spiritually, that she probably was unable to envision that he'd be capable of murder.

But women need to think like men in these sorts of situations, and counselors and cops should advise them of that strategy, however boldly or subtly. Women need to -- as a friend used to say -- "strap on their leather balls" and go to work, protecting themselves and their children.

Legal gun ownership remains a right. Buy the weapon, register it, carry it and be prepared to defend yourself.

That's what this is about: self defense.

When I wrote similar words in a column for the Star some years back, I received a lifetime membership award card and a glowing letter from the National Rifle Association. They get it. I didn't care at all about the "award" -- it was a source of much joking -- but I did appreciate that the NRA stands behind our right to defend ourselves.

And I hope women, and anyone who is vulnerable, will take the power that is our right.


Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Good advice, Ruthie.
A concealed carry permit is not that hard to obtain, assuming one has no record. The only fault with Indiana's carry law is that it does not require training.

People are entitled to defend themselves with firearms.

2009-06-25 08:53:57

kaballah38 [Member] said:

Illegal guns is an example of cities leading where Washington has not. Those in Washington prefer talk to action. On illegal guns, they extol the virtues of the Second Amendment, but let’s get serious: protecting the Second Amendment does not stop you from keeping illegal guns out of the hands of criminals. It’s just a political duck-and-cover that allows legislators to escape responsibility for fixing a serious problem and innocent people--and police officers--are dying as a result.

I don’t know why people carry guns. Guns kill people.

Every day, nearly 30 people are murdered in the US. We ask ourselves, what can be done to stop this kind of gun violence? As mayor of New York City, Mike Bloomberg, has asked himself that question many times. In NYC, they’ve cut murders by 40%. The fact is that most crimes are committed with illegal weapons--and that is where the new gun debate is, or at least should be, centered. In New York, they aggressively go after these guns, but no city can stop the flow of illegal firearms alone. These are national problems that require national leadership.

Bloomberg supports gun control, backs same-sex marriage and signed a law banning the use of trans fats in fast-food restaurants. The mayor once filed suit on behalf of the city against two dozen gun dealers.

We don't need any guns, we need G-D in our lives.

We need faith.

2009-06-25 11:09:21

Ellen McKinney [unverified] said:

the real problem is that men think they OWN women and children, and the culture does not teach them otherwise.

parents, please teach your sons and daughters that no human being owns another: your child is "yours" because dna links you and, hopefully, love also does. your spouse is "yours" only because s/he CHOOSES to be "yours." neither of these conditions gives anyone the right to OWN another human.

until the courts treat violence against intimate partners (usually against women, but not always) as serious CRIMES rather than less important than bar fights, perpetrators will go right on treating women and children as objects they can dispose of at will.

just as enforcement of laws against petty offenses (the "broken window" theory) helped to cut new york city's crime rate, enforcing the laws against assault and battery involving intimate partners will reduce this sort of crime.

conversely, letting a 300-pound creep hit his 120-pound wife and doing nothing about it leaves him free to hurt her again and then, when she breaks free, to shove his new girlfriend's children around and slap his new girlfriend. and unless she grows a backbone and calls 911, the violence will simply escalate. if the creep does time, he may or may not learn that hitting women and children is a bad idea, but at least for the duration of his sentence he won't be hitting women or children.

self-defense by firearm sounds like a great idea, and probably would take out a few dirtbags every year, but given how seldom battered women who defend themselves are acquitted (or not charged at all), it's a risky strategy, even if the woman has what it takes to blow the dirtbag away. and there's always the risk that the dirtbag will grab the gun and use it on her and the kids.

2009-06-25 22:29:44

Brian Murrey [unverified] said:

If you are legally qualified, then buy a firearm. Learn to use it. Know the safety features. Practice with it at least every few moths. Get a permit to carry it, but remember you don't have to carry it just because you have a permit. Most domestic violence takes place in the home (it sounds stupid to stay that) but the home is where you will need your firearm for defense in most cases.

2009-06-26 11:35:20

Joanna [unverified] said:

kaballah38: Ever heard the saying "Pray to God and row for shore"?

God is the single most important thing in my life, and you know what? I own a gun. I don't own a gun because I think God won't take care of me; I own a gun because he expects me to hold up my end of the bargain. Sitting in a rowboat crying and praying with two perfectly good oars next to you is not only stupid, it's downright insulting to the Almighty. He is a god who expects us to stand up and behave like responsible adults. If that means carrying a weapon to defend myself against all comers, then you better believe I'll carry it. Slings kill people, too; I don't see you complaining about David.

2009-06-26 11:49:25

IndyRez [unverified] said:

Thanks for this post, Ruth.
I was just talking today with a friend about some of the domestic violence patterns that I learned about in a training by the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( The sad thing is the abusers can be so manipulative (think: Eddie Haskell nice) to the victims family/members of their support system that no one outside of the couple's situation may even know about what the victim is going through or they may think the victim is at fault for their disagreements. Not to mention the stigmas about it and threats from the abuser that make victims afraid to tell others.
That aside, I've never been a victim and don't own a gun but I know others who do and was surprised when they "came out" to me about having them in their homes for protection. :) But the more I learn, the more I agree that IF someone is trained and licensed to carry a weapon for protective reasons – why not? Or if they're afraid of someone coming to get them other than in their home, they should (get authorization to) carry a piece in their car or on their person because if one is being victimized, it's near impossible to know if, when, or how they'll be attacked.

2009-06-26 12:32:01

whosear [Member] said:

As I wrote my post, I found I was writing an essay. Not good for comments.

The issue of guns is problematic to my thinking. I own two shotguns and a handgun, but haven't fired any in several years. Safety is a major concern. Keep them loaded in the home as a prophylactic concern, and one day with a 5 year old discovers it....well.

But as part of a generation that thought that the policy of retreating to the farthest part of your home during a breakin was sound, I understand the rancor. Suffice it to say that the police can have programs that defer crime, but the likelyhood of them rolling up or arriving in the nick of time is unlikely.

So, if danger lurks, be prepared. And Ruth is right, we do need to do whatever is possible to give women in these situations the steel to protect themselves. If innocents such as the infirm, children, or elderly are involved, then we must step in if she is unable or unwilling to protect them and herself.

2009-06-27 10:44:13

Roberta X [unverified] said:

I'm happy to read this! Good Hoosier common sense.

A woman ready, willing and able to defend herself may find simply being ready is sufficient deterrent; some surveys suggest 90% of defensive gun use doesn't involve firing a shot. Somehow this statistic never gets mentioned by the people who'd rather keep us defenseless.

Realistically, the only chance I'd have against a typical male if he was determined to do me harm is a firearm.

In Indiana, there is no gun registration and no permit is required to to buy a handgun, rifle or shotgun and keep it in your home. To carry a handgun, residents can apply for a License To Carry handgun at their local police headquarters (or online in some counties) and it will be once you pass a criminal background check. While there is no requirement for training, affordable training classes are widely available at most shooting ranges and gun stores. If you buy a gun, please learn how to use it; you will bne safer. Indiana honors "carry permits" from all other U. S. States and foreign countries.

2009-06-27 11:47:30

Comments are closed.


or Register


Syndicate Blog