A Tale Of Two Guns
It was March of last year when two different women were living in fear from their estranged husbands.
But while they shared the same fear, each of them sought out safety in two radically different ways.
Kathy Guillory was a young wife — only 30 years old. She went to the sheriff’s office in the city of Opelousas, Louisiana, to get a restraining order against her husband after he beat her severely.
Perhaps she breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that this order would now force the police to protect her from her violent husband.
Unfortunately, she was wrong.
Restraining order fails to restrain
Six days later, her husband, Bobby, went to her place of work at State Farm Insurance and dragged her outside.
He found a grassy lot next to the insurance agency where he used his .410 caliber shotgun to shoot his wife.
Because it was a single-shot, Bobby had to reload the gun twice more before he finally managed to kill her.
He then reloaded the firearm one last time and turned the gun on himself, inflicting a single gunshot wound to the chest.
Bobby was a violent man, of whom the police were well aware. But they were unable to get to Kathy in time to save her life.
Kathy’s mother recently filed a lawsuit against the sheriff’s office, saying the city police and deputies took no action to enforce the restraining order.
Unfortunately for her, she will probably discover the courts have long ruled that the police are not duty bound to protect individuals, only society at large — which means the police are frequently exonerated from any liability when they fail to save specific individuals from harm.
Police officer threatens his estranged wife
The same month Kathy was killed, another husband was busy terrorizing his wife in the southeast.
The victim was Josette Beck, 34, of West Palm Beach, Florida.
While pregnant, Josette had been attacked and brutally beaten by her husband, Robert, who worked as a police officer in Riviera Beach.
Not surprisingly, this beating led to divorce proceedings.
But Robert was not through with Josette, and he took to stalking her on several occasions.
He even broke into Josette’s home and threatened her and the baby with his department-issued Glock.
At this point, Josette made the decision to seek out safety with a friend.
Of course, this wasn’t just any friend. It was a friend with a gun.
After Josette and her four children fled to the friend’s apartment, Robert showed up soon afterwards. He pounded on the windows and doors, threatening the inhabitants inside.
This was a scene that had already played itself out several times during the previous week. Robert would show up wherever Josette was staying and would not leave until she called the police.
But Robert was always able to get away before the authorities arrived.
Josette was not left defenseless
As Robert returned to the apartment one last time, the police were nowhere in sight. He quietly approached the building and carefully slipped inside.
Ironically, the only police officer now in the apartment was the perpetrator, Robert Beck, who was armed with a loaded Glock and intent on committing harm.
But Josette was not unprotected.
Hearing a noise in the bedroom, the friend, Johnnie Rollins, grabbed his .22 caliber rifle and went to confront the intruder.
Johnnie saw Robert. He saw the Glock. He saw that they were all in grave danger.
Johnnie fired several shots, dropping Robert to the floor.
He died there, in a pool of blood, with his Glock laying at his side.
Deputies said they were treating the shooting as an act of self-defense.
Two guns. Two shootings. One simple lesson.
Restraining orders cannot protect you. The police are not required to defend you. Only you can protect yourself.
Thousands of people have already figured this out. As many as 7,000 people a day use a firearm to protect themselves from criminal harm.
It’s an often-quoted saying, but it remains quite true: Guns Save Lives.
Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America.