Who Will Tuck Them In Tonight?
Who Will Tuck Them In
Director, Operation Self Defense
Ranch Chief, Cody Express
May 22, 2002
you compared the actions taken by Ronyale White to the advice dispensed by the
Violence Policy Center and other similar organizations, you might think she took
exactly the right steps to protect herself.
Ronyale was a victim of domestic violence who
had been hit and threatened by her husband, Louis Drexel. Drexel had also made
threats against her three young children. In July 2001 and again in April of
this year, Ronyale did the “right” thing. She took the step victims of
domestic violence are repeatedly encouraged to take. She obtained a protective
order against Drexel. He was served with the second restraining order on April
22, 2002 and the two had been scheduled to appear in court on May 13.
As is often the case, the court’s protective
order did not serve as a deterrent to an individual determined to commit an act
of violence against another and it wasn’t long before Drexel showed up at
Ronyale’s home. Once again, Ronyale took the “right” steps -- the
correct procedures according to the anti-self-defense groups -- and dialed
Ronyale reported that her husband was in the
house, was violating a protective order and said she wanted him out. Her call
was given a Priority 1A ranking, which requires the 9-1-1 operator to dispatch
the information “as fast as possible,” but within 10 minutes after the call
is received. After asking follow-up questions about whether weapons,
alcohol or children were involved, a car was dispatched to Ronyale’s home.
(Fortunately, the three young children were with other family members that
Five minutes later, Ronyale made a second 9-1-1
call and reported that Drexel was outside puncturing the tires of her car and
again requested help.
Ten minutes after her first call, Ronyale made
a third call and, in a voice that was almost a whisper, advised that Drexel was
threatening her with a gun.
Seventeen minutes after her first call for
assistance, officers arrived to find Ronyale dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
Drexel was later apprehended at his mother’s home and has been charged with
Anti-rights, gun control proponents would be
quick to point out that Ronyale might have survived if we had more restrictive
gun laws or even an outright ban on guns. There are, however, a few
problems with that argument. One, this murder took place in Chicago where gun
laws are among the most restrictive in the nation. Second, restraining orders,
particularly in cases of domestic violence, typically forbid the subject of the
order to possess a firearm. Restrictive gun laws do not deter individuals from
violent acts or from obtaining firearms to commit those acts. Furthermore,
it isn’t the gun that is at fault, but the murderous intent of the attacker.
Many items commonly found in the average home would suffice to commit murder and
mayhem and often are used to those ends: hammers, axes, knives, baseball bats,
bottles, fireplace pokers, even cars. Ronyale’s husband was already in
violation of the law. It seems unlikely that even more restrictive laws would
have changed the outcome of this tragic story.
The greatest tragedy here, however, was
Ronyale’s reliance on others to protect her.
Women are repeatedly advised to obtain court
orders to protect them from potentially violent former partners and others who
may do them harm. But protective orders do not stop bullets, or knives, or
clubs, or any other implement that can inflict bodily harm. Protective
orders do not barricade windows and doors, nor do they prevent violent
individuals from entering a home. They don’t shield women (or men) from
physical attack. They are what they are -- pieces of paper.
Likewise, women are told to dial 9-1-1 when
danger is lurking. They are led to believe that authorities will arrive,
take charge and diffuse the situation before any substantial harm is inflicted.
It is shameful propaganda that costs innocent lives. Waiting on a response to a
call for help can literally take the rest of your life - as it did for Ronyale.
News accounts of deaths like Ronyale’s are
heart wrenching because they are, in many cases, preventable. All it takes is
good advice or instruction on how to protect one’s self under such
circumstances -- whether that protection be with a gun or by any of a large
number of self-defense tools and techniques. The disservice that is done by
encouraging women, and men for that matter, to rely on pieces of paper and
telephone lines as legitimate forms of protection from predators, known and
unknown, is reprehensible.
Once again, one has to wonder whether the
Violence Policy Center and other anti-self-defense, pro-gun control groups are
truly concerned about the safety of people who have, or will, become potential
targets of murderous predators. One has to wonder if saving lives is
really their foremost priority. Perhaps if these groups were as diligent in
dispensing advice on effective self-defense -- and that includes armed
self-defense - as they are in promoting a false sense of security through
dependence on others to come to the rescue, three young Chicago children would
still have a mother to tuck them in tonight.
Barbara Renner is the Director of Operation
Self Defense, an organized effort to locate and report on legitimate cases of
armed self defense. She also runs CodyExpress.com, where she writes under the penname "Annie" from her ranch in Wyoming.