Calling 9-1-1: Staying Calm Can Be Hazardous

Sometimes it pays to lose your cool.

Take the case of Lenona Suggs, age thirteen. Lenona was raised as a single child by a single parent who worked by day and mothered by night. She dreamt one day of becoming a lawyer and prayed that she would makes grades that would earn a scholarship. She was an attractive child, wire thin, with smooth chocolate skin and slanted eyes which suggested a hint of Asia somewhere in her bloodline.

Mama had been married once but her man vanished one day after a night out with the boys when Lenona was only a year old. Mama worked the next twelve years cleaning white people’s homes in upscale neighborhoods. A devoted mother, indeed, Mama would make sure her daughter would never suffer the same foolish fate, marrying a loser, then having no other skills than scrubbing toilets and floors on bended knees. She read stories to Lenona at night, helped her with homework and spoke openly about sex, drugs and violence and the rigors of life.

She often left Lenona home alone during late afternoons while she worked beyond rush hour. She covered those bases also. “If you’re ever real sick or you’re hurt, or you’re afraid, be sure and call 9-1-1,” she said. “They will be at the house in seconds. And whenever you talk to the police, try and be real calm and speak clearly so they can understand you.”

“Okay, Mama.”

One bright Thursday afternoon, while Lenona was working on her algebra homework, she heard a rap at the window. There was Darryl Ray Stiles, a 15 year-old boy she knew from school, a boy who had often made advances for her attention to no avail, a boy who had failed the seventh grade and then the eighth. Lenona waved him off. “Go away!”

But Darryl was persistent. He beat on the window, then went to the front door. “Let me in,” he shouted.

“Go away! Please.” Lenona scampered from door to door making sure bolts and latches were in place. Then she peered out the windows following his motion as he circled the house. She could see that he was wired, intense, determined.

As he pounded on the door, she was afraid he’d break the locks. Petrified, she lifted the phone and called 9-1-1. Her mother’s words echoed through her brain. “When you talk to the police, try to be real calm….”

     Lenona: “Hello, my name is Lenona Suggs. I’m thirteen, and I’m alone, and there is a boy trying to break into my house. He’s outside right now, please send someone.”

     Officer: “I see. Give me your address young lady.”

     Lenona: “It’s 3640 Northwest 77th street. Please, he trying to get inside.”

     Officer: “I see. Do you know this boy?”

     Lenona: “Yes, his name is Darryl. I know him.”

     Officer: “Uh huh. And how do you know this boy, Miss Suggs?”

    Lenona: “He be after me all the time in school. Please, could you send someone out here. He’s trying to get into my house.”

     Officer: “Sure. Just stay right there, and we’ll get someone out there as soon as we can.”

And so it went. Judging by her quiet and deliberate manner, the complaint officer logged the call as a domestic dispute between schoolmates and lay it in the “non-emergency” stack. Police would be dispatched only after other more pressing calls were answered.

A two-man cruiser arrived thirty-five minutes later where they found the rear kitchen door ajar and windows broken with shards of glass strewn about the floor. Inside, Lenona Suggs lay on the bedroom carpet agaze at the ceiling in a pool of crimson blood, her clothes ripped from her body and a screwdriver impaled into her heart. Lenona’s dream of becoming a lawyer was forever terminated by a young lunatic and his rock of crack cocaine.

No one will ever know, for certain, if Lenona’s life would have been saved had the police rushed there in emergency mode. But we do know that these split-second decisions are often guided by the emotional pitch of the moment. In this case, Mama’s good advice backfired.

Sure, Darryl Ray Stiles was arrested, tried as an adult, and sentenced to life in prison. But so what? Nothing could bring Lenona back.

Unconsoled by good detective work and a fine prosecution, Mama went into depression and ultimately disappeared from the face of the earth, just like Lenona’s father.

The Complaint Officer? Handicapped and wheelchair bound, this congenial old man simply thought it was a domestic squabble and no emergency, because the girl didn’t sound like she was in peril. He wished the caller had been more hysterical.

No discipline was administered to the gentleman, but it didn’t matter. He’ll live with it for a lifetime.

Yes, this is a true story…from the annals of Miami-Dade P.D. It could happen anywhere.

33 Responses to Calling 9-1-1: Staying Calm Can Be Hazardous

  1. Rich Moore April 12, 2008 at 8:48 pm #

    I am sure that the fact that the caller was black played a huge role in this…lets be real. If a white 13 year old called demanding service she would get it, or the dispatcher would be facing an angry mob…of lawyers. Typical response to an inner city system, and more than typical of the attitude of most LEO types.

    I wish the story ended with a hige jury award for the family, but as they no doubt could not afford a lawyer, they ‘ disappeared’ all right…just like 99% of those that are mistreated by the LEO system.Sickening..

  2. Rich Moore April 12, 2008 at 8:49 pm #

    er..Hope, about that number….

  3. Renay April 12, 2008 at 10:06 pm #

    Reading Rich Moore’s answer – was wondering what is an LEO system?
    As for the story – I can only imagine the pain the Mother must have suffered. Was
    any support provided for her to cope with her loss?

  4. Ellen April 12, 2008 at 10:39 pm #

    I, too, wondered what an “LEO” type is? I’ve never seen that acronym used …perhaps Rich means…Law Enforcement Officer. I’ve never known Law Enforcement officers to be just white. I’ve seen them in all sizes, colors and both genders.

    Sad that Rich has taken a story of tragedy in human error, that has happen in all professions, and twisted it into a racial slur

    Peace be to dear Leona,and peace be to the complaint officer that made the mistake.

  5. Fran Hockemeyer April 13, 2008 at 4:18 am #

    We just had a similar incident here in Charlotte county, FL. The police were looking for the woman, who had been abducted, and her father was a police officer!
    There were 3 calls to 911 from people who had spotted her in this abductors car! The 911 operators “forgot” to give the info to the police officers so they could check it out.
    One citizen even followed the car for quite some distance, giving the license plate #, and telling them the woman was in the back seat begging for help, etc.
    She was found a few days later . . . dead! Had 2 small children, husband, etc.

  6. Kathleen Wattles April 13, 2008 at 7:13 am #

    Ho sad, that makes my heart hurt. It seems as if we live in a damned if you do and damned if you don’t world sometimes. My foster daughter is a law officer and there are so mnay times that “wrong” “right” and “justice” seem to be co-mingled. I know there are times that a panic 911 call can not be understood and precious time wasted trying to obtain information or give immediate help. It certainly seemed that Leona’s Mother gave her excellent advise.

  7. 40 Charley April 13, 2008 at 7:17 am #

    I guess the alternative is to send our limited patrol cars to every call in emergency mode. That may solve the probelm.

    When I was on patrol in The South Bronx, my precint has 12 cars for 100,000 residents (and occasionally two on the late tour). The first twelve “Past burglary” and “Domestic” calls got the attention. Then the community just waited.

    Hindsight is great.

    40 Charley

  8. 40 Charley April 13, 2008 at 7:18 am #

    Make that precinct, sorry.

  9. Frank April 13, 2008 at 8:04 am #

    I am so happy that Rich has never made a mistake in his life…sounds like a frustrated wanna be who flunked out of the LEO Academy somewhere. Sorry he had to inject race into a tragic situation that could happen anytime, anywhere. Dispatchers are human beings and are not perfect, as Rich must be.

    Sad story, tragic ending, and I remember it well Marshall.

  10. Tom April 13, 2008 at 10:39 am #

    As we get older we tend to have a different attitude as to what is a problem and what is a minor conflict. I can be compassionate with respect to the older gentleman and wonder what I may have done under similar circumstances. I know I no longer have the quick responsive mind I once had.

    As to the comment about sueing. I wish more people would consider what the real problems are and quit thinking money can solve them. Suites make attorneys wealthy and rarely help the individual conned into making the suit since it cannot replace the person lost nor a problem gone wrong.

  11. phyllis April 13, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    with the crime rate going up and the cost of living going up we can expect more and more unfortunate things happening. i only wish there was a simple answer.

  12. Jerry Reichardt April 13, 2008 at 12:41 pm #

    Just another police horror story that everyone wishes had turned out differently. There has been a story in the Denver papers from time to time about a female DUI that caused an accident. She was transported to a local ER where she was checked out then released to the police. At the jail she said that she was in pain. She was booked and placed in a cell. All the time crying and saying she was in pain which was getting worse. She fell on her cell floor as other inmates called the guards. The guards were advised by the concerned cellmates that the woman should be checked out again. The guards disagreed. The woman died on the cell floor. It was learned that she had a ruptured spleen, a lecerated liver, and other internal injuries. After alot of finger pointing & an internal investigation no one was found at fault. Go figure.

  13. Grace Urrows April 13, 2008 at 1:54 pm #

    Chances are the address had something to do with the response. Likely people calling from upscale neighborhoods get more and quicker attention than the poor. Generally in the U.
    S. the greatest sin is to be poor. Discrimination in area of every kind follow.As they say in the real estate business: “Location,location, location!”In the richest nation in the world, there shouldn’t be any poor. Can we all work toward that, folks?

  14. KAY Williamson April 13, 2008 at 3:24 pm #

    So very sad…I’ve seen the same kind of responses on TV and the person receiving the calls keeps asking unrelated ( to me, anyway)questions while the person on the phone gets more hysterical!
    Just not enough policeman, according to the paper, and thanks to our governor’s tax cuts we’re going to loose even more policemen and firemen. So frustrating.

  15. Joe Haymes April 13, 2008 at 3:42 pm #

    I understand the mother’s giving the advice she gave her daughter, and I understand and applaud Lenona’s following that advice to be sure the police understood her. I do not think the officer should have hung us so quickly if he did not plan to take immediate action. He should have asked questions like “Is he threatening to break out a window?”

    By the way, Marshall, you should know this: In a large city would patrol cars have been cruising in various neighborhoods during the night, so that one would probably be in the general vicinity of the address of the trouble, and could have responded with no great touble, and perhaps life-saving results?

  16. Bill Bell April 13, 2008 at 8:45 pm #

    Extremely sad story. I think about the mother who was teaching her child the best she knew how “Speak calmly and clearly so they’ll understand you” Perfectly good advice, and look at the result! Sometimes there’s just no justic. Would it have brought the polic any sooner if she had spoken fast and extitedly, crying for help? The desk sergent might have shrugged and thought “just another scared kid” and failed to respond. Who knows? Regards, Bill

  17. Gypsy Marie Roberts April 14, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    One should never take a chance when it comes to the possibility of saving a life. The situation should have been checked out. I would rather err by sending a car to a false report than to err by not sending help when needed. Every minute and a half someone (female) is being abused in this country (according to national police reports), and then there are those incidents that are not being reported because of fear. This stat alone indicates that all calls for help should be considered legit until proven otherwise.
    A few years ago the reported incidents were every three minutes that a woman in this country was being abused. I used to sit at red lights wondering what helpless woman or child was being abused while I sat there, helpless to do anything. Abuse is on the rise, obviously, and much more needs to be done to obviate this rise in terrorism. Ask an abused child, for example, if it were not terrified when a grown male (I will not refer, as you know, Marshall, to this trash as being men) was abusing and scaring the hell out of it. These people even rape babies! Check out the pedophiles who hide behind the “skirts of religion”, using women to birth children who they rape, beat and keep imprisoned in order to satisfy their sick lust. These are the weakest males in any society. My question, as usual, is where in the hell are all the men and women who could be rescuing these helpless victims? Belatedly, they are now doing something in Texas that should have been done from the outset–which, simply is–to never have allowed this behavior to take hold and flourish. Sexism via brainwashing is extremely effective. I contribute to a haven for abused women and children, but I never feel that I am doing enough. This is the reason I am writing a novel about the abuse of women and children. I have nearly finished. I chose fiction, rather than researched documentation, although I researched the subject in order to give verisimilitude to the situations and my characters. I feel fiction will appeal to a wider audience.
    Take every opportunity you have to speak out against this vile element in any society which allows perps to disguise their motivations by using religion. And never make the mistake of not reporting suspicious incidents involving possible abuse. I realize that sometimes one will be confronted by political allies or even the perp’s cronies when attempting to get help for the victims. My students and myself have experienced this problem, and it can be, I know, dangerous. But what about the victims? They are in imminent danger. We all make mistakes, but this kind of mistake is too costly.
    You know how I feel about this, Marshall, as we have previously discussed it.

  18. Dale April 14, 2008 at 11:50 am #

    A sad story made even worse by injecting race into the issue. Like so many writers there seems to be the assumption that because the mother was cleaning the “homes of white people in exclusive neighborhoods” she was a victim of racism.
    I’m sure that the mother was glad to get these jobs and was more than likely paid and treated well.
    Why must we always assume that white people are evil and the basis for problems. Where I live in Carolina we have a house keeper that comes every two weeks. She is white and takes pride in what she does. She makes very good money and we always tip her and give her gifts to help her out.
    Could this have been the case in this matter? Could the “exclusive whites” have been very good to the mother, helping her out and being sensitive to her problems?
    Or, must we assume, as the article seems to indicate, that because she was a single parent black woman the evil whites were taking advantage of her and treating her in a manner befitting a dog.

  19. Ed Hensley April 14, 2008 at 1:42 pm #

    Frankly put, in not so polite words,
    “Shit Happens!” I have been at a loss for
    words, to comment on this blog, for at 69,
    I survive a baby son, a baby brother, an
    older brother, both parents and a nephew.

    So, I am no stranger to grief, including past unresolved grief, with clinical depression. It took help from peer grief
    support groups, under professional guidance, for me to reach a healthy level of acceptance, of my loss of loved ones.

    NOTE: I did not get over burying my own son. I learned to accept it by sharing
    that grief with others. Life is good again.

    I accepted my losses years ago and resumed
    living. Sadly, this does not appear likely
    to happen, for the mother who lost this child to murder. I will pray for her and the sick little crack head now doing a fully earned life in prison. I do hope his
    dealer and the dealer’s distrubtor were also
    brought to justice by now.

    Thus, my felt sorrow for this dear innocent
    13 year old girl’s loss of life, to a young
    crack head and the apparent destruction of
    her mother’s life caused by this murder made me color blind. My loss of words here
    though, relates not to grief, but my need to
    avoid a knee-jerk reaction to Rich Moore’s
    lead comment to this blog. So, have a nice
    day Rich; I’d much rather talk with Gypsie
    Marie about this heart breakingly sad blog.

    Ms. Roberts, – All that you say is true, as
    far as it goes and if only we had a more perfect world, competition for 911 Service
    in major cities would not be so intense.

    The fact remains, there will never be enough
    police to answer all calls in time. And, it
    is a 911 dispatcher’s job to prioritize.

    I can not fault either the 911 dispatcher,
    the mother or the murdered girl. I fault
    the crack head teen killer and his dealer.
    That is the end of my finger pointing here.

    I speak from substantial experience in calling 911, during a 2nd career as an
    armed private secuity guard/supervisor in
    Los Angeles, CA. In the late 1980’s in
    Rampart, Central LA & East LA PD Districts,
    it was not uncommon, late at night, to get a
    recorded message, from 911:

    “YOU HAVE REACHED 911 EMERGENCY. ALL OUR
    CIRCUTS ARE BUSY. DO NOT HANG UP! THE NEXT
    AVAILABLE EMERGENCY OPERATOR WILL BE WITH
    YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.”

    While 911 Service in LA, CA is much improved
    it remains troubled by uninformed persons
    dailing 911, for non-emergency problems. It
    may not be nice, but it is: that when you
    dial 911 in a major city, you must compete
    with others crying for help, to determine
    who best get’s the dispatcher’s ear & help.

    To the extent that may teach young girls to
    speak clearly with terror still dicernable
    in their voice, on any life threat 911 call,
    you will help guard against future tragedy’s
    such as the murder of 13 year old Leona.

    But, it may not be enough to speak clearly with fear still apparent. The dispatcher must be made fully aware of the level of
    immediate danger. While Leona did report
    she was alone and Darryl was trying to break
    into her house, she did not report he was
    doing so with a screwdriver (deadly weapon).

    I don’t mean to 2nd guess the victim. She
    did as her Mother taught her. I do wish her
    Mama had also taught her to keep calling 911
    when still in danger, or to flee the house,
    if an avenue of escape was available.

    Gosh, I guess I found too many words, so let
    me wind it down with the suggestion that
    community and school efforts to educate kids, parents and the public in general on
    effective 911 communications & home security
    could likely stand an upgrade in most areas.

  20. Mary Holland April 14, 2008 at 9:14 pm #

    I have been very fortunate as I have only had to make two 911 calls in my life – both for medical support due to an accident at home. Both times were handled, I believe, quite well by the dispatcher and help arrived as quickly as I could have expected given the rural environment where we live. We all make mistakes in judgement, it is a tradegy when it results in the loss of life. Unfortunately we live in an imperfect world and sometimes the system works well, and sometimes it doesn’t.

  21. Rich Moore April 15, 2008 at 9:35 am #

    I will bet 100 dollars right now that the dispatcher was NOT black, and the girl was. Any takers? And to those who tried to make this personal against me, I graduated from the POLICE academy at Miami dade Jr. College in the early 70’s, and was a sworn officer with the City of Miami Police as a reserve officer. I headed a security detail for many years in Miami and come from a cop family. I have seen it all and know the real deal. I grew up at my Dad’s knee in the Miami Shores Police station, where he was for over 20 years after transferring from Metro.

    Sure, stuff happens..all the time. But why does it usually seem to be the case that it is a minority that ends up with the crappy end of the stick 9 times out of 10? just coincidence, I suppose…right? What it is is typical inner city prioritizing at the hands of someone who does not taake one race as seriously as another…sad but true. That dispatcher didn’t care if someone was trying to break into the house of a young female all alone and desperate….rather he decided that it was school kid stuff and now the girl lays in a cold grave and many here would just say ” Well, no one is perfect”.

    I am sure that the parents of that dead child would get little comfort from that attitude…maybe if a few of us white and middle class folks got treated like that we would have more sympathy…but the fact is that when a white woman calls for the same thing the cop’s would go berserk trying to get there….I wonder how many petty calls were handled before they got there and found her body? I hope that dispatcher has a conscience and does not simply write this off as ‘ training’.

  22. Rich Moore April 15, 2008 at 9:41 am #

    Ed Hensley: Are you serious? You are blaming the girl because she didn’t tell the dispatcher that the attacker had a screwdriver? If she had, the dispatcher probably would have said ” Well, honey, is it a Phillips head or a flat one?” and the result would have been the same…if a breaking and entering with a scared girl on the phone is not enough to get service, what would? Should she have lied and said ” He has a gun and look’s like an Arab terrorist ” so she could be taken seriously?

    How forgiving of you all to be so understanding!! Since it was not YOUR kid it is just all some grand error that could not be prevented..right? Unreal..just unreal. By the way…LEO means Law Enforcement…a general term..I thought everyone knew that.

  23. Ellen April 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    Well Rich you are the one that turned this article of tragedy due to human error, into,as you said…quote…”typical attitude of LEO types” and a racial debate. By the way I think your daddy could have served Miami Shores Police Department better without you on his knees for twenty years. I bet Chief Fletcher would have appreciated you not being there, too.

    Now back to the original point of this story. Should we teach our children to show more emotion in a emergency situation. Just how does one teach a child to use 911? What is a true emergency and what are the the dangers of crying wolf? How do we teach our children to be more effective in adult situations. All departments have limited resources so screening is an absolute necessity. Emergency signals endanger the police officer and citizens.

  24. Nick Sorak April 15, 2008 at 4:33 pm #

    The telephone service is becoming more and more useless as the time goes on. I would not be surprised that we are going to have 911 with the menu to select by pressing 1, for espagnol 2 for that and 3 for this.

    “Please stay on the line. Your call is important but not as important to hire another person to answer it right away.”

    Sad.

  25. Ed Hensley April 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    Rich, – As a student of M & P matters for
    over 50 years, I have often seen LE, as an
    abbreviation for Law Enforcement. You are
    the first “Know it All” I have seen use an
    LEO abbreviation for LE. While LEO could
    stand for Law Enforcement Officer, it is not
    in common usage and LE is widely used for
    Law Enforcement. Your original post here
    uses LEO in the context of LE, so I can
    only guess report writing was not you strong suit, as a Reserve Police Officer.

    That you could construe (or twist) my post
    into my blaming the victim does not say
    much for your reading comprehension either.
    Here again, are the two pertinent points of
    my post:

    1. “The fact remains, there will never be enough police to answer all calls in time. And, it is a 911 dispatcher’s job to prioritize.”

    2. “I can not fault either the 911 dispatcher, the mother or the murdered girl. I fault the crack head teen killer and his dealer.”

    I leave it to you to play the “Blame Game”
    Rich, as you sure seek to place heavy blame
    on this 911 dispatcher & Mean White America.

  26. Rich Moore April 18, 2008 at 12:34 pm #

    Hey Ellen..I remember watching John Fletcher sleep at the desk while going to school so he could move up in th world. I was there when he made Sgt. ( at my Dad’s request ) and when my Uncle,Stu Senneff, retired they gave the Chiefs job to a crook and phony named Jeff Fowler that lasted a year and was shamed out of office and then Fletcher got it. Fletcher was lazy but smart, I will give him that..and shrewd..funny, those were not traits I associated wit professional policing…it took a politician to do that job in the Shores..being a cop was secondary.So Fletcher was a perfect fit.

    Funny Ellen, how you do not refute my remarks in any way, but attack me personally. Bereft of ideas or just being snide? I know the Shores better than most, I am sure.

    We can all agree to disagree, but the fact remains that a white girl calling for help in a similar situation would PROBABLY have been taken more seriously, and that is all I am saying. That needs to change. If you do not think that neds to change, then shame on you and tell us why.

    Ed, you win the semantics game..I really don’t want to play. Who cares about LEO or LO or whatever? We all know what it is in reference to..jeeesh.

  27. Ellen April 19, 2008 at 5:28 am #

    My goodness, Rich…relax…then take a course in reading comprehension. There has been no attack on you like you have attacked many in your scatter shooting and emotional retorts.

    I suggest you attempt to stay on the point of this tragic story, perhaps even make some suggestions on being more effective in emergency situations. Please give us the benefit of your many life experiences. and vast knowledge of everything and “seeing it all”.

    Your mode of thought seems to be of attack…attack and not in the least interested in solving a problem. Please list for me the ways to solve this problem of being more effected in an emergency situation and I dare you to leave out , racial slurs,demeaning name calling and generalized type casting.

    I think for every fault you find in others, you should list one of your own. With your vast life experiences, I dare say you have made a mistake or two…Share with us, please YOUR mistakes so we may learn how to be as perfect and all knowing as you.

  28. Ellen April 19, 2008 at 5:33 am #

    Oh dear.. Rich.. I have made a MISTAKE, please correct the word “effected” to effective and call off the head removal squad. I ADMIT TO MY MISTAKE..perhaps it’s due to the lack of enough coffee.

  29. Rich Moore April 22, 2008 at 8:07 am #

    Ellen, sounds like you have a drug problem..that caffeine can be a real monkey on the back, eh? I recommend you not snap at me if you don’t want to be taken to task…you are like the majority of females …lot’s of yak and very little substance in the trenches..typical right wing silliness…Oh, have you called the station and awakened Fletcher lately to collect his check?

  30. Ellen April 22, 2008 at 5:23 pm #

    You didn’t complete you assignment, Rich, as I knew you’d not be able to do. I find you to be ignorant as well as a bigot .You are a total waste of time.

    Goodbye..

  31. Karen April 24, 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    Also, from Rich’s generalization about women, my guess is he’s single or has been intimite with rejection.

  32. Penny Olson April 29, 2008 at 7:46 pm #

    The only answer that would solve a situation like this would be to respond to any and all calls. At least a situation like this would not happen again through any fault of the department.

    Horribly sad.

    Perhaps installing a fine system for prank calls would reduce the number. We can certainly not take any chances when it comes to someone asking for help.

  33. CHARLES RUIZ May 21, 2008 at 11:59 pm #

    A sad story indeed, and a lesson to be learned. Big city or rural, it doesn’t matter. In this life you must be ready for anything, and teach your children so.
    Police responce time does vary, make it your busines to know yours. Yes call 9-1-1, but call a neighbor too. And have them call also. Have a plan. Be proactive. Use the words “in progress” demand a quick reaponse, be calm yes, but forseful too.
    Your first line of defence is between your ears, like a guns safety. Your second line of defence is double dead bolted doors,locked windows.
    Your third line of defence is an alarm system with under duress alarm capability-if you can afford one. Wether you can or can’t your fourth line of defence is a .45 caliber slug.
    I know these are harsh words but we can’t have a police officer on every corner, and even well trained emergency personel make mistakes like this one. Assume they will, and be prepaired to protect yourself. I have shot in pistol and rifle clubs for most of my life and come from a law enforcement family. I have met thirteen year old girls at the range I would’t want to come up against in a gun fight. Yes, owning and safely storing a firearm is a serious and grave responsibility. It’s not for everyone, and you must be trained and ready to fight for your life. Sad but true. I can’t help but wonder if Leona would be alive today if she had the means to defend herself and not rely on someone else. The perpetrator would have taken a screw driver to a gun fight. How come none of the other replies adress the issue of self defence? We live in a world of terrorism and violence and we must never forget that. We are at war. It’s only going to get worse. The person at fault here is the perpetrator, he should have gotten a 240 grain lead dose of instant justice.
    I’m sure my reply will be taken by some as inflamatory and perhaps irrisponsible, but think about it. Americans used to be self reliant and resourseful, now we want to dial a phone for help, or sit down and negotiate with terrorists. It may already be too late, weve gone soft. What do you tink?