He just got slapped with a 12 month domestic violence restraining order:
A North Carolina legislator committed domestic violence against his estranged wife, a judge found Tuesday during a civil proceeding, awarding her a yearlong domestic violence protection order. After a Tuesday court hearing lasting several hours at the Transylvania County courthouse in Brevard, Judge Fritz Mercer ruled in favor of Kelsey Henson, wife of state Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania.
“After multiple, multiple, multiple times, I asked him to stop,” she told Carolina Public Press after the hearing. “He continued and refused to have any regard for my boundaries or well-being.”
A few things to contemplate: If Henson had misappropriated government funds, or bought a bunch of fancy ties with campaign donor money, he would probably have already been shamed out of office. Even by his own party. But domestic violence, cyber-stalking his ex-wife? Crickets. When abusing money is more unforgivable than abusing women, there is something desperately wrong with our system of values. And while I applaud this judge for having the guts to issue this order, stopping short of confiscating Henson's firearms could be a deadly mistake:
The order of protection requires the legislator to refrain from domestic violence. However, domestic violence is already illegal, and Henson is already under investigation for related criminal allegations.
The Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a complaint involving the legislator, Sheriff David Mahoney told CPP earlier this month. Sheriff’s Office records indicate that this is a cyberstalking complaint from Kelsey Henson.
While granting the order, Judge Mercer had the option of requiring Rep. Henson to give up firearms while the order is in effect. The judge chose not to do this in Henson’s case. During one of several phone calls Kesley Henson made to 911 about issues with Rep. Henson, she told responders that he did have access to guns.
Again, our twisted priorities are on display. Henson's right to defend himself (against imaginary assailants) trumps his ex-wife's right to not be shot by her delusional ex-husband. The latter is not an imaginary threat, it's a statistical fact:
On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.9
The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.10
A study of intimate partner homicides found that 20% of victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders.3
72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female.8
Frankly, judges should not be given the option to make that decision. The graveyards are full of women (and men) who wouldn't be there if DV perpetrators had been denied access to deadly firearms, but we've allowed the gun-nuts to intimidate elected officials to the point they're afraid to take even the most moderate, common-sense steps in gun regulation.
And as usual, women pay the price for that cowardice.