Stalked: Girl Without A Gun

Jean Arthur without a gun.

Jean Arthur without a gun.

I am republishing this true life story from 2007 for the same reason I republished Jew Without a Gun, my nightmarish report of being trapped with my family, unarmed and defenseless, in the 1992 L.A. Riots.

This is another cautionary tale — not about the riots — but about one frightened and helpless young woman who was being stalked by an ex-boyfriend. I met her in a gun shop where she, a fragile, naive pacifist, ended up because there was nowhere else to turn. There was no choice for this young woman but seek to arm herself with a lethal weapon.

The Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre has sharpened the claws of the statist utopians, whose ultimate aim is not gun-control, but the complete disarming of law-abiding American citizens.

To the liberal/progressive/Democrat/collectivist, it’s perfectly natural to ban a 16 oz. cup of soda, mandate how your toilet flushes and set the water pressure of your shower head. And the crown jewel: Obamacare, wherein the state owns your body from cradle to grave. Naturally, it’s cool to abort a baby in the womb because, y’know, it’s mommy’s body and she has the right to choose… infanticide. But not so much with everybody else’s body. So the oh-so-sensitive and caring liberal/progressive rams through laws that make the state nanny to our children’s school diet. In short, they now have dominion over your child’s body and mind.

Orwell’s “1984” nightmare world where slavery is freedom has reached its apotheosis in the utopian programs of the American left.

But the greatest threat to the progressive totalitarian state is a free and armed citizen.

Fade In:

“Thing is, he’s going to kill me.”

“Have you gone to the police?”

“Yes, of course I have.”

“And what happened?”

She shakes her head from side to side, wraps spindly arms protectively around her chest.

“I got a restraining order against Ned — that’s my ex. But you know what good that is, don’t you?”

“Tell me.”

She inscribes a big zero in the air.

Five Minutes Earlier

It’s a crowded Sunday morning in the Martin B. Retting Gun Shop in Culver City.

There’s the usual cross-section of customers:

Two elderly black women, sisters who have been robbed countless times by drug-addicts. Ignored by the LAPD, they have no choice but to buy a gun for self-defense. The women wear colorful bonnets. Yup, they dressed up to go gun shopping.

There are a couple of hunters buying high-powered ammunition; they sound like Los Alamos scientists as they discuss the exquisite physics of various exotic slugs. It’s way beyond my comprehension.

Two Marines on leave are stocking up on rugged, combat-ready clips for their side-arms. Semper Fi.

There’s also a young Hispanic apartment manager who lives in a high-crime area. His wife just had a baby—mazal tov!—and he wants to protect his family from the local “desperadoes.”

I’m waiting my turn.

Protagonist

And so is a young woman who absolutely sticks out in the gun shop. She’s wearing a cream colored linen baby doll with blue grosgrain trim; on her feet, pink flip-flops that just pop off her white skin. Her hair is the color of Kansas wheat. In her mid-twenties, she’s an iconic all-American beauty. Flash of memory to my great childhood crush: Tuesday Weld in The Adventures of Dobie Gillis.

Tuesday Weld, my childhood crush.

Tuesday Weld

Looking as if she’s on the edge of a meltdown, she paces, glances nervously at the display cases lined with gleaming rows of pistols and revolvers. She makes a move to exit the gun shop, then returns, as if yanked by a fishing reel.

“Excuse me — do you — do you know about guns?”

She’s even got that vulnerable, tremulous Tuesday Weld voice.

And she is talking to yours truly.

“A bit.”

“I’m terrified of guns.”

I hold out my hands as if checking for rain.

“Sounds crazy, I know… thing is—do you think the salesmen are going to be much longer?”

“There’s tons of paperwork if you buy a gun.”

Her eyes dart about, then she just looks at me straight-on:

“Thing is, he’s going to kill me.”

Antagonist

That’s when she tells me about Ned, the evil, obsessive ex-boyfriend.

Ned is a stalker, a human virus who has infected every aspect of her life.

She speaks of restraining orders:

“The thing about them is that people like Ned always find a way around them. He’s there on my computer. He’s a computer guy, for Chrissakes. He knows when I start going out with a new dude and he makes sure to tell the new one all sorts of trash about me. And d’you think the dude sticks around? No one wants that level of drama. I’ve moved twice already and he always finds me. Ned’s always there. Sometimes I wake up at night, go to my window and I’m telling you he’s watching me. Hey, I’m sorry for unloading on you. You must think I’m such a loser chick.”

“It’s fine. I feel awful for you. But it’s good you’re taking steps to protect yourself. It’s admirable. Men like Ned count on women being scared and defenseless.”

She pauses. Looks down at the display of guns.

Conflict

“I can’t believe I’m here. I’ve been against guns and violence my whole life.”

I let this pass. Now is not the time for a self-righteous lecture.

Intertitle: UTOPIA IS THE OPIATE OF LIBERALS.

Do not mess with Gloria Grahame.

Do not mess with Gloria Grahame.

“Did Ned threaten you — physically, I mean?”

“Said I belong to him and no one else. That’s about it. But I know what he means.”

“What did the police say?”

“The last cop, as he was leaving, whispered to me to get a gun.”

I tell her that owning a gun isn’t sufficient. She has to take safety classes, self-defense classes. She has to know what she’s doing. From the counter, I grab a handful of NRA brochures and press them into her hands. I make her promise that she’ll sign up for instruction as soon as she gets her gun in ten days.

“Ten days?” she says.

Nodding, I explain:

“First you have to take a test, here in the store, a written test. They’ll give you a booklet to study. Then you get a certificate making you eligible to buy a weapon in California. After you purchase the gun, there’s a ten-day waiting period until you take possession.”

“But why?”

“Background check by the FBI. To make sure you’re not a felon, a psychopath, an illegal immigrant, a terrorist, a drug addict. It’s the law.”

Once again, she wraps her arms around her chest, as if trying to keep her heart inside her body.

“Ned’s really smart—but a psychozoid like you wouldn’t believe.”

Rising Tension

I do not ask her why she went out with Ned in the first place. The answer is obvious: psychopaths are clever at disguising their pathologies. Evil is seductive.

“You’re going to be okay. I know you are.”

She shrugs, scans a row of pistols.

“Are those good?”

She is tiny, barely five feet tall. Her fingers are like gossamer twigs. No muscle tone in her painfully thin arms. I doubt she could even rack a .45.

“Those are .45  automatics. Probably too much gun for you. I’d recommend a simple revolver. Something like a Smith & Wesson J frame, a .38. ”

She manages a thin smile, her first since I’ve met her.

“Cool.”

“One piece of advice, even before you buy a gun, and this is important.”

“Yeah?”

“Lose the flip-flops.”

She looks down at her feet. Her toes are lacquered a hot psychedelic pink.

“Huh?”

“You can’t run or maneuver in those things. Get in the habit of wearing a good solid pair of running shoes.”

“Oh, right, right. What was I thinking?”

I lead her to the glass case that holds the wheel guns, weapons that are simple to load, easy to handle, jam-proof. And, you better believe: lethal.

She scans the display. She seems overwhelmed, lost.

Finally, she looks up at me and says: “What’s to stop Ned from killing me in the next ten days?”

I have no answer.

Resolution: Not So Much, But This is Reality

Hours later, I tell my wife Karen about the conversation. In the background FOX Cable News is reporting the brutal murder of a pregnant woman. The chief suspect is her ex-boyfriend, an evil piece of human garbage with a history of stalking women.

“I’m terrified I’m going to wake up one day and see that she’s been murdered. Maybe I should have done more.”

“What more could you have done?”

Shrugging, I admit I have no idea.

But Ned is out there, obsessively dreaming, watching, waiting for the right moment — to make her his own.

Femme fatale Jane Greer deals lead in Out of the Past (1947).

Femme fatale with gun. Jane Greer in Out of the Past (1947).

Flash Forward to 2012: I never saw or heard from her again. I paid attention to the news and, thankfully, never saw her named as a stalker victim. I hope that she is all right. But she is just one of thousands of frightened women whose lives are made hell by violent stalkers.

The Cornered Cat is an excellent resource for women who wish to learn about self-defense and firearms. Highly recommended.

Seraphic Secret’s friend, Conservative psychiatrist-blogger Shrink Wrapped links to “Stalked” with a fine piece entitled Leveraging Suppressed Aggression. As Shrink Wrapped explains: “I linked to Stalked as an example of what happens to a pacifist when reality intrudes.”

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20 Comments

  1. kishke
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Check out this story of a boy who shoots a home invader with an AR-15.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  2. Paul47
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    “I tell her that owning a gun isn’t sufficient. She has to take safety classes, self-defense classes.”
    I don’t think this is quite right. The whole (revolutionary) point of firearms is that it is a simple, effective technology available to all. No need to be a master or devote years to learning skills! Let’s face it, there isn’t a whole lot to know about using a concealed-hammer revolver. Point and shoot – almost that simple.
    Bill’s comment is important however. She has to be able to pull the trigger to save her life. She has to work herself into the correct mindset. THAT is crucial.
    It’s not to say training is worthless, but a couple of range sessions with a knowledgable shooter (one who is careful not to confuse a neophyte) will put her miles ahead of the game. My objection is that there are already enough barriers to firearms ownership for such a person. Don’t add to them unnecessarily.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 12

    • LdCharles
      Posted December 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Actually, Paul, as a former Marine and owner of firearms, yes, there are things this girl, or anyone planning to use a gun for self-defense, needs very badly to learn. She needs to learn how to shoot the gun and hit what she shoots at, and to do so in a very short time, when scared for her very life. She needs to know how to reload it, what its safeties are and how they work, how to clean and care for it, so if (God forbid) she ever needs to use it for real, it will work like it’s supposed to.
      More than that she, like many people, needs to get into the mindset where she’ll be able to use it. The biggest drawback with any weapon is getting over the psychological hurdle of actually using it in anger against another human being. In the military this is done by constant practice, as realistic as it can be made, so that the act of shooting comes almost by reflex. If the woman in this story ever does have to fight off Ned, it won’t matter as much what weapon she uses, gun, knife, baseball bat, whatever, as it will matter that she have the will to pull that trigger the first time. Otherwise, she risks having him walk in while she waves her weapon at him, take it away and kill her with it.
      I think self-defense classes can be a big help in getting into that mindset that says “I CAN stop that S.O.B.!” I think she should get such training because she owes it to herself. I don’t think it should be required to buy the gun, but if you own a gun, and keep it for defense, the time to get determined to use it if needed is long before you ever HAVE to use it.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 0

    • charliebrown
      Posted January 3, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      To Paul47:  Partially agree, but realize this – the young woman in question has never touched a gun in her life.  As she can afford to, defense and shooting classes would really help…aware of her surroundings, not unnecessarily placing herself in dangerous/potentially dangerous environments, etc. 

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    • cyberwes
      Posted October 25, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Robert, you impressed with your recommendation. The concealed hammer J-Frame is considered to be the very best carry gun for most individuals (some call it the original “point–and-click” interface). I moved away from the Californian Utopia to a free State to the North. While both states are thick with enlightened progressives in power or seeking it, a remnant of the root word “liberty” must remain in their “liberal”…. enough to preclude (or delay) their desire to vilify and outlaw the only adequate self-defense tool…..a gun held by a would-be victim. In most of these United States, law abiding citizens (lacking fame, or party connections) can legally be permitted to carry said J-Frame concealed upon their person (which is good form in a society which wished to maintain the “pretense” of civility).
      Becoming skilled with the firearm one intends to wield is not a matter for debate. Within the home or legally carrying in urban jungle, it matters not. The 4 basic firearm rules apply, regardless.  Those universal safety rules can’t be ingrained without practice and repetition. They are: 1 – It’s AWAYS loaded (or treat it as if it is). 2 – Never point it at something you don’t want to utterly destroy. 3 – Keep your finger OFF THE TRIGGER (outside the trigger guard) until your sights are on your target.  4 – know your target and WHAT IS BEHIND IT.
      In the heat of the moment, these rules MUST have already become second nature. This can only be achieved with a little (more likely, a lot of) practice. Nothing beats the invited pressure of shooting against a timer or being corrected on the safety rules above by an RSO (Range Safety Officer) during a defensive pistol competition.
      If you wish to win a tennis match, you get to know how the racquet feels and performs. You practice by playing a little tennis match…. over and over. Some actually get joy from playing tennis. Pursuit of happiness…..think Walter Mitty. It helps to know the rules, too.  
       
      If you wish to defend yourself or others with a gun, practice a shoot-out, over and over.  Some actually get joy from shooting guns against a clock. Pursuit of happiness…..again think of Walter Mitty. Tennis racquets generally aren’t lethal to either opponent, so maybe you don’t need to take a lesson or hit any balls….ever, (unless you wish to win). If you lose the match you and you’re loved ones won’t be robbed, raped, maimed or killed, so it’s not all that pressing that you learn how to deftly wield that racquet.
       
       Surely guns are different and don’t require skill or preparation (or eye/ear protection for that matter). We already know how to handle them by watching TV. I mean, really,  how hard could it be?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. Barry
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Robert re Jean Arthur:
     
    In what…?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted December 27, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Barry:
      Don’t know which film, but it’s almost certainly one of her early silent films.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • Barry
        Posted December 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        Good deal. I will  try to figure it out.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        • Robert J. Avrech
          Posted December 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

          Good luck. Let me know if you find out. Maybe a Google image search would yield results.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          • Barry
            Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

            A Half-Way Good Guess:
             
            The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu from 1929.  Arthur’s earlier films do not seem to fit the bill. A lot of small parts and low level westerns. She did a second Fu Manchu film in 1931.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

            • Robert J. Avrech
              Posted December 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

              Yes, definitely could be. Thanks.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. rowerwet
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink
  5. Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    The full quote is “God made all men. Samuel Colt made them equal.” Women and a gun make equal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. AaronInLA
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Ah… stalked lefty women who finally took their own protection seriously must LOVE this news: 

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2012/12/gun-map-new-york-newspaper-westchester-rockland.html

    Ditto law enforcement as convicted perps are released and seek those who got them imprisoned.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Bill Brandt
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    One think important to remember – that if you have a weapon – and come to a life and death moment – is having the will to use it. If thqat moment comes and you don’t have the will it is worse than nothing.
     
    A book written by a female pistol expert for women – explianing the basics and how to get started is this
    http://www.amazon.com/Armed-Female-Twelve-Million-American/dp/0312951507/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1356544316&sr=8-2&keywords=armed+and+female
     
    It’s really a good book for anyone wanting to learn – semi autos vs revolvers, calibers…
     
    I think every woman should know how to shoot – something that was pretty much a given – at least in the west – 120 years ago…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  8. kishke
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    In the name of protecting children, lefties are prepared to trample a right enshrined in the Constitution. At the same time, they applaud the actual killing of tens of thousands of children each year to protect a different right, an invented one: that of women to choose.
    Clearly, it’s not about the children at all.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2

    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Kishke:

      So true. We need Liberal control, not gun control in order to save lives.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  9. sennacherib
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The first true feminist, Samuel Colt.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    • Robert J. Avrech
      Posted December 26, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      sennacherib:

      Good one, which I am going to repeat.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

3 Trackbacks

  • By Jew Without A Gun on August 12, 2014 at 8:26 am

    […] you enjoyed this post, you will probably want to read Stalked. In which I meet and young woman in a gun shop who is in fear of her life from an […]

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  • By Every woman should have a CPL « High Drag, Low Speed on December 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    [...] This is why. [...]

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  • By Jew Without a Gun on December 26, 2012 at 7:24 am

    [...] you enjoyed this post, you will probably want to read Stalked. In which I meet and young woman in a gun shop who is in fear of her life from an [...]

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