Day by Day

Friday, December 05, 2003

And sometimes, not having that barrel can cause you untold amounts of grief.

KIOWA, Colo. - It took an hour and 10 minutes for a sheriff's deputy to reach the farm where a man had called 911, pleading for help after three pit bulls attacked and killed his partner, authorities said Wednesday.

Horse trainer Jennifer Brooke, 40, was attacked as she cared for her horses early Sunday on the farm southeast of Denver. Her partner, Bjorn Osmunsen, 24, was attacked after he went to look for her.

He called Johnette Curtis, who rents a home on the farm, and warned her about the animals. After she arrived to help search for Brooke, the two drove inside the horse barn and shut the doors against the snarling, barking dogs.

At that point, Osmunsen called 911.

"Bjorn asked, 'Is there anybody coming?' " Curtis said late Tuesday. "Then I heard him say, 'You mean there's nobody coming?' "

The sheriff's office said the 911 call came at the same time the lone deputy on patrol was responding to a domestic violence call.

I have had co-workers ask me (when they find out that I'm a gun advocate) "What does a person need with a {fill in the blank here} kind of weapon?" My first response always is "What right does anyone have to disarm a law-abiding citizen?" My second response always is "When the nearest law enforcement is half an hour away, how is someone supposed to defend themselves?" I guarantee, if Ms. Brooke had been carrying my .38 Special, those dogs would be dead, and she would be alive. Sadly, it didn't work out that way. I can tell you that my girlfriend is never going to be put into that situation. She always has her pepper spray on her, and she knows how to use every gun in the house. Kim du Toit has an extra set of rules that people should follow:

1) Carry a gun.
2) If the law says you can't carry a gun to save your life, tell the law to take a hike.
3) If a politician or policeman tells you not to use a gun, but to call 911, tell them to take a hike.
4) If your life is threatened by anything or anyone, shoot until the threat is removed.

Curtis told Osmunsen to hang up, and she called her daughter and son-in-law, Kristi and Brian Van Etten, and told them to bring guns. A short time later, Osmunsen found Brooke's body, broken and bloodied in the horse arena next to the barn.

Sadly it was too late. But the dogs were eventually shot. Look people, the law enforcement officials cannot protect you. Only YOU can protect you. Make sure that you're able to do so.

A gun is like a fire extinguisher. You hope that you never has to use it. But if you need it, and don't have it, your life is over.

Hat tip to Kim du Toit.

UPDATE: One of Kim's readers from Colorado emailed him an update about the dogs. Apparently, people were questioning how one person managed to avoid getting mauled by the dogs. A reader mailed an article from the Denver Post to Kim. Here's the meat of it:

"It did take a long time for the police to get here," Baker said. "For me, it was mostly a blur. Thank God my son was here or who knows what would have happened."

Baker's son Cody, 16, wounded the dogs with a 12-gauge shotgun, allowing his father to escape. Deputies killed the dogs when they arrived.

On of my SGT's always told me, "Have faith in the spread pattern, my son." A 12 gauge tucked under your arm, loaded with buckshot, will stop more problems than you can imagine.

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