Some laws do make us safer, when they’re enforced.

April 11, 2013

Seal of Lewis and Clark County, Montana

I’m going to assume I have the right to discuss this situation, because I haven‘t been told otherwise, at least not yet.

In Montana, you don’t actually have to physically harm someone to be charged with the offense of assault.

MCA 45-5-201

(1) A person commit’s the offense of assault if the person;

(d) purposely or knowingly causes reasonable apprehension of bodily injury in another.

(2) A person convicted of assault shall be fined not to exceed $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for any term not to exceed 6 months, or both.

In my opinion, this law is very reasonable, but also very necessary. Here’s why.

Most people who commit serious violent offenses, don’t start out with a capital crime. I don’t need to look up any statistics to know, violence is usually a developed habit.

I’ll debate anybody who might try to tell me this law has any purpose, other than to address less severe instances of violence, in the hopes of discouraging more severe incidents.

You see, the human brain is actually a very efficient machine. Even after maturity, our brains continue to develop new pathways, to increase efficiency. Every time a human being gets angry, they react in some way. If that reaction results in a feeling of satisfaction, or relief, our brains will recognize that, and start building a pathway, so that type of reaction occurs faster next time.

If a person gets angry and reacts by deliberately causing the person who angered them, to feel fear, and there are no negative consequences, that person is likely to do the same thing the next time they get angry. Here’s the problem though. If a person is use to feeling satisfaction from causing fear when they’re angry, by yelling or threatening, what happens when just yelling or threatening, doesn’t cause enough fear in another person, to be satisfying? There’s never a guarantee, but that is definitely a good set up for physical violence.

Sounds pretty reasonable right? This law doesn’t impose any sort of life altering consequences, but it does offer enough discomfort, to encourage a person to learn to react to anger, in a more civilized manner.

Just knowing our lawmakers, put this much thought into the issue of violence prevention, would give me a little better sense of security, if this law were being enforced.

Sorry to break the bad news folks, but if you live in Lewis and Clark county, don’t count on it.

You see, my wife is 4 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 110 pounds. In October of 2012 a young lady threatened her with a severe beating. My wife hid at her aunts house while she waited for law enforcement. After everything was said and done, a deputy conveyed to my wife that this young lady was registered as a lethal weapon because she is a professional MMA fighter. The deputy also conveyed that the young lady very proudly acknowledged having made the threat. My wife was terrified, but there were no charges of any kind. The incident was just passed onto the county attorney’s office. We made several phone calls, but they refused to press charges. Even with the confession, they just couldn’t be bothered. So we let it go, until it happened again.

On the 21st of March 2013, the tenants in one of the units my wife and I manage for my father, invited my wife over to finish up some paperwork. When she got over there, and was all the way inside the house, the gentleman, backed her up against the door and screamed in her face. He made a deliberate attempt to intimidate her into accepting demands of a financial nature. He only backed off when she pulled her phone, which was already opened and connecting, out of her pocket. He thought she’d called the police, but she just opened it and pushed send, while it was still in her pocket, and actually called me. Of course she took the opportunity, and got out of the house and came home.

When my wife got home, she was shaking so bad she couldn’t even talk. I called the sheriffs department. A deputy came out, talked to us and the other guy, and again, the aggressor acknowledged exactly what he had done. The deputy said he even tried to apologize. The deputy of course told him it doesn’t matter, you just can’t be doing that kind of thing, but again, no charges. This isn’t the deputies fault. I could tell he wanted to charge him, but he didn’t, because the county attorney’s office wont prosecute.

I called my private lawyer, to see if he could put some pressure on the county attorney’s office for me, and he said the same thing. For some reason they just wont do it.

On the 27th of March, the state attorney generals office received a letter from me. April 4th I received a letter that indicates they’re looking into it.

I have written this article with a specific purpose. I’m asking my fellow citizens in Lewis and Clark county to take action. If you have experienced a similar incident in the past year or so, now would be a good time to write to the attorney general.

Attorney General Tim Fox

Department of Justice

P.O. Box 201401

Helena, MT 59620-1401

Glenn W. Uncles Jr.

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