Question of the Day: Do You Worry About Unarmed Loved Ones?

Shrine at the scene of the crime: the murder of Cynthia and William Bennett (courtesy dcshrines.blogspot.com)

“It’s indescribable. You can’t put this crime into words. The photos show the brutality of this crime, the barbaric nature of this crime,” Jim Plowman, the commonwealth’s attorney for Loudoun County [Virginia], said in his closing statement Friday. “It’s one of the more horrific cases I’ve been involved with in my career. I’ve had some bad cases. But this is one of the worst I’ve had to deal with.” The wtop.com story doesn’t show the pictures, but it tells the tale. A D.C. couple taking an early morning walk, set upon by three gang bangers. The animals beat William Bennett (Lt. Col. U.S. Army, Ret.) to death and severely, permanently injured Cynthia Bennett. The attack was most likely a gang initiation. Obviously, it should have been a DGU (Defensive Gun Use). But it wasn’t. Do you worry about the safety of your unarmed (age of majority) children, parents, siblings, relative and/or friends who can’t or won’t tool up? Have you had “the talk” with them?

comments

  1. avatar Jon says:

    I worry about my son and wife everyday….its a cruel world we live in and if you don’t think violence can happen to you because you live in a nice area you are very very naive!!!

    1. avatar Mike says:

      I don`t worry since violent crime (and crime in general) has fallen massively since the 1980’s. No need to be paranoid.

  2. avatar Shire-man says:

    Yes I do. Everyday. She has a permit, has plenty of hours behind her gun, has daily stories of lunatics coming into her work and unacceptable police response times when called but she still wont carry because she’d have to change the way she dresses. Drives me nuts.

    1. avatar DJ says:

      Off body carry is better than not carrying at all.

  3. avatar LC Judas says:

    I teach everyone I love and I have given my loved ones tools after teaching them. Because one tragedy can shatter many lives and I’m far from omnipotent.

  4. avatar Pro-Liberty says:

    Nope, I don’t have any unarmed loved ones.

  5. avatar OldBenTurninginGrave says:

    I sat my two daughters (who are already comfortable with guns) down to read the story of the sub-human POS that shot a baby in the face in Georgia in front of his mother while the mother begged the thug not to shoot. Given that the issue received almost no press coverage, I felt the need to point it out to them. Now they both go to the range more frequently than they did before. Both are teens now, but both vow that if thugs threaten them, it won’t be their babies who get shot in the face. I worry a bit about other relatives like my moonbat sister, but she’s a grown-up and not my responsibility.

    1. avatar Michael says:

      Isn’t that whole situation under further investigation? I know they have arrested 2 suspects but the mother’s story keeps changing & the father is in jail on unrelated charges. I’d be careful of putting too much emphasis on it until more facts come out.

      1. avatar OldBenTurninginGrave says:

        Yes, I’ve heard that the mother has mental health issues. On the other hand, the accused shooter’s mother and aunt were charged with making false statements to the police regarding where he was that day, which is fishy as hell. Regardless, the evidence will show what it will show, and I’ll be the first to change my tune if the accused shooter is cleared on a reasonable doubt based on the evidence. If so, I don’t think I’ll have to look too hard to find another example or two to illustrate the need for self-defense.

  6. avatar vactor says:

    i have none of those worries. i live in chicago. no guns allowed 🙂

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Isn’t it comforting knowing that your loved ones will be safe should violent criminals — who couldn’t possibly have any guns because Chicago is “gun free” — ever attack?

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      Please note that the post above states clearly that “…three gang bangers…beat William Bennett (Lt. Col. U.S. Army, Ret.) to death and severely, permanently injured Cynthia Bennett.”

      Gun free does not mean “beat ’em to death” free.

  7. avatar Tim U says:

    I worry about my wife, who does not carry and only shoots some. I have a loaded handgun for her back at home, but what about when she isn’t at home?

    I’m slowly converting her….maybe I will succeed at some point and get her to carry.

  8. avatar Nathan.B says:

    Loudoun County is in VA, not DC, and is therefore in shall-issue rather than no-issue territory. I have to say, I’m surprised, Leesburg/Loudoun is usually pretty safe suburbia, I had no idea they had a gang issue.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      D’oh! Text amended.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        ROBERT! How could DC have a COUNTY in it!

        As you may glean from the photo, Loudon County has some serious money in it; one of the nation’s wealthiest counties, in fact. For those who have been through Dulles International Airport, Loudon begins just west of there. Rich, rolling piedmont country.

    2. avatar Jim R says:

      It’s probably bleeding over from DC.

    3. avatar Paul says:

      There are gangs pretty much everywhere.

    4. avatar jwm says:

      Nathan, just about everybody has a car and gas money. There’s no such thing as a safe neighberhood. Most people, even upscale hoods, live near a freeway or interstate or public transit.

      1. avatar Nathan.B says:

        Actually, this is exactly why Georgetown doesn’t want a metro station, to try to keep trouble out.

        Leesburg is approximately an hour outside of DC, it sounds like this is a home-grown gang issue rather than being DC transplants. On the other hand, one of the theaters I frequent always has multiple police officers and squad cars on site because it is the first theater on the metro from Southeast DC and PG county MD (read:bad parts of town).

        1. avatar jwm says:

          1 hour? Sounds like an easy ride for ambitious hoods that want fat easy pickings.

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          I’m pretty sure it’s home-grown gang violence also. From Leeburg, or who knows, even Purcellville.

  9. avatar jwm says:

    In Goergia, where my sisters live, it’s easy to carry a gun. And yet an older couple were killed by a dog pack. My sisters were raised around guns and yet they refuse to own one. One of my sisters is in a rascal scooter. She has victim written all over her. They both think no one should own a gun. On the plus side, neither has ever voted.

    1. avatar Peter says:

      Please continue to work on keeping them either unarmed or non-voters.

      I’ve got plenty of idiot friends and relatives. I’m content to listen to them spout off their nonsense so long as I know they aren’t actually voting their views.

      The other day, a college-aged cousin told me that socialism is a really good system if only some society were willing to give it a try. I just nodded slowly and took another deep sip of my bourbon.

      1. avatar Swobard says:

        Your story caused me to refresh my bourbon as well.

    2. avatar MW says:

      Fear not, I live in GA, carry at the dog park, and am a one issue voter.

  10. avatar Bob H says:

    Loudoun county is in northern Virginia.
    There is no excuse for being unarmed in the Commonwealth. Open carry is legal and a concealed carry permit is shall issue.

  11. avatar tdiinva says:

    My wife works on Captial Hill. She goes in very early in the morning and in winter comes home after dark. Yes, I worry that she can’t carry in DC.

  12. avatar Amagi says:

    I worry about myself and my loved ones considering virtually all of us live in either New Jersey, New York (City & state) or California. Most of my loved ones would never carry a gun, however.

  13. avatar BStacks says:

    Yes, but they are comfortable in Condition White and, let’s face it, will probably be fine. Until they aren’t.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Yeps, white folks be jes fine! Not to worry!

  14. avatar crzapy says:

    I worry about my mom since she does not conceal carry and is constantly going back to New Orleans every chance she gets. My Dad, my sister, and my wife all keep guns on or around them. That being said my sister owns a store in New Orleans so even though she has a CCW she is still a potential target.

  15. avatar KCK says:

    Son, CCW but a school teacher, can’t even carry on his way to work because “school grounds”.
    Daughter just got job offer in Canada, no hope there.
    My employer allows CCW so I’m 24/7, 16 on the hip, 8 on the night stand.
    Maybe the school thing will change.
    Wife is all in. CCW

  16. avatar Nathanael says:

    A bit, mostly for my wife, who is quite small and a much more attractive victim than I am. I did get her to apply for a carry permit in our new state, so that’s progress. However, she’ll be working in the state capitol complex, which unfortunately prohibits carrying while also having poor security.

  17. I try to convince my relatives to take responsibility for their own safety when I can, and I’ve made some in roads, but ultimately it’s their responsibility so I don’t worry about it.

    As a general rule I try not to worry about things I have no control over. Waste of energy.

  18. avatar AecDuck says:

    Had the talk with my adult younger brother who now has a family to be responsible for. “I don’t think a gun is the answer.” Heartbreaking, but not much else I can do except pray that he has a change of heart… and hopefully not due to a tragedy.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      HEY! He can tell his hatchet-wielding assailant, “I don’t think a hatchet is the answer!”

      Trouble is, the guy has a different question. Namely, “will you DIE for me?”

  19. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Dad’s good, he and mom are in their late 80’s, but he daily carries his G-19.
    Wife, not so much. She used to have a permit, but she let it lapse. I can’t even get her to carry pepper spray.
    Daughter? Bless her heart. She carries an AMK SERE (fully engraved) that I got her for a graduation present from USMC boot camp. She likes blades and long guns.

  20. avatar Wheelgun says:

    Folks make there own choices, my relatives/friends included, and live with the associated consequences. I can no more control that than I can the waves hitting the beach. Sometimes the results are sad, but ultimately that’s life. I believe (contrary to govt. thinking) that everyone is responsible for themselves. Just my .02.

    Wheelgun

  21. avatar ST says:

    Unfortunately, no. Even if my suburban Chicago family had access to a firearm, they’d not have the mental strength to use it. All of them are bought and paid believers in the bulls**t ideology that its morally superior to die a victim via nonviolence should evil come,because guns are “tools of oppression from the White Man”. Buying a gun -even in Illinois -is easy compared to repudiating that false god called Pacifism.

  22. avatar CA.Ben says:

    I worry all the time. Being in CA, we are virtually disarmed (other than knives) when we walk out the front door. Of course, if somebody tries to mess with us at home, they will instantly regret it.

  23. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Yes, I am concerned about unarmed loved ones. Nevertheless, I gave all of them the spiel and they are adults: they will make their proverbial bed and lie in it.

  24. avatar Bill says:

    I haven’t had “the talk” with anybody, I doubt I will. My family and friends all know my feelings on the matter, but I am not their guardian. If they want to take their safety seriously, it is their own responsibility, not mine. I completely disagree with sheepdog concept. I do not carry to protect all that is fair and just in the world, I carry to protect myself and those in my charge. If my sister or friends don’t want to CCW, fine. It is not my problem, they know better than to do that.

  25. avatar PNG says:

    I have a brother who lives in NYC, anti-gun, and implied I was racist for agreeing with the Zimmerman verdict. He’s on his own AFAIC.

    Mom owns 2 handguns but won’t get CCW due to privacy concerns. Dad’s a hoplophobe. They’re divorced.

    I have relatives in NOLA, probably not pro-gun. I worry about them, I wouldn’t set foot there if I don’t have to.

  26. avatar Billiam says:

    I tried, but my sis absolutely hates guns. I leave mine in the car when I visit.

  27. avatar Aharon says:

    No worries at all. My unarmed sister and her worthless unarmed rabbi husband live in NYC where handguns are not allowed. If race riots sweep and burn NYC Bloomberg now has his own private army of police to protect my sister and her children. Her husband would probably run away.

    I have generally stopped worrying about relatives. It is out of my control. We all make our own life decisions.

  28. avatar jimmyjames says:

    Nope. I quit worrying (never really did anyway) about my unarmed mother, sister and wife. You can’t fix stupid. I love them dearly and would feel very vengeful should any harm come to them in such a way but I offered to teach them how to shoot and I offered to “facilitate” the acquisition of firearms for them and have been turned down numerous times. KMAGirlsYOYO.

  29. avatar In Memphis says:

    My mother keeps saying she wants a gun and to eventually get her carry permit. I would never deny her that but I cant even get a single of the four safety rules drilled in to her mind. Shes more worried about the royal baby and the weather or whtever the latest lies are in the MSM. If I tell her any of the four rules shes always like, “Nooooo really!?” as she has her finger on the trigger, flailing my (unloaded) Glock. I hostley dont believe shes remotley mature enough.

  30. avatar mediocrates says:

    I’ve started working on the wife to at least keep a weapon in the car, as that’s legal here in Georgia. I think she is open to getting her GWL, but hasn’t taken the initiative to get it done. I’ll keep at it. My son’s don’t carry. My oldest says he’s not all that crazy about weapons, and my youngest is not quite yet 21. I harp on them about staying situationally aware, and they’ll have to use the vigor of youth to escape potentially bad situations, for now.

  31. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

    After reading this site for the past two years, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m much more afraid of police officers blasting my family/dogs than neighborhood thugs and thieves any day of the week. That saddens me greatly. I worry for those I love who go through life armed with nothing more than their fists and no experience in the martial arts, but I will not force them to learn how to protect themselves. That is something they must learn to do on their own be it out of choice or, god forbid, horrible life experiences.

  32. avatar Adam says:

    I worry about my 15 year old daughter. She is blonde, pretty and has been blessed with some of her mothers more…. abundant features. Since she can’t legally carry, but she has pepper spray and a folding knife. At the moment it’s not a huge concern for me because she is generally always with us or friends, but she is getting her license soon which means a car and a job. She takes classes at the community college already so she will be alone walking on the campus there.

    Oh, the things that go through a fathers mind. I’ve already been researching weather open carry would be legal for her, but obviously there are some possible issues with that. I’m thinking about some sort of taser to go along with the pepper spray. I think if she ever had an encounter with LEO where it was discovered she had a taser and pepper spray (which I think she isn’t allowed to have as a minor) they would probably be OK with it considering.

    Arghhh, I still have one more daughter to go too. With my boys I’m not as worried because I know they can find ways to defend themselves before they can carry, and in reality they are less of a target then my girls. At least with the younger ones they are with my wife or I almost all of the time, so they will always have one or two armed defenders. But it’s that age between 15-21 where freedom is rampant but CCW is not always easy, or even possible.

    I am already looking at getting all of them, boys included, CCW from one of the 18yr old CCW states (Maine???) as soon as they are allowed.

    1. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Krav Maga and maybe some MCMAP if you can find it. The latter in particular has some neat sweeps, disarms and holds, and is also taught to both genders in the USMC. Maybe keep some lead weights in the purse as well, to make it a blackjack.

  33. avatar JaredFromTampa says:

    I’m not too worried, my wife has her CWL, and uses it. She also just got promoted to third dan in Judo (much better than me; she can pin me easily and I’ve got 80lbs on her). I think she can handle herself. My father is retired Air Force and carries a snubby J-frame everywhere, my mom works for the state unemployment commission where carrying a weapon is verboten, but still carries a Kel-Tec P3AT. My family is pretty much set I think.

    The only unarmed loved one I have is my crazy ass little sister who had her um, constitutional right to bear arms (among others) revoked due to numerous felonious adventures with her drug addict boyfriend. I worry about her.

  34. avatar Tom says:

    What’s really sad, is that the man killed in this story, William Bennett, had a concealed carry license (at least according to this article: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2009-03-24/news/36903189_1_simpson-lansdowne-white-fence). Where was his weapon?

    A stark reminder for all those times we say “I’m just running out to get milk” or “I’m just going for a walk around the neighborhood”.

    1. avatar S.CROCK says:

      or “I’m just in my own house”

  35. avatar JoshinGA says:

    My older brother recently moved from a gated, fairly secure apartment complex in downtown Atlanta to a non-gated, relatively non-secure apartment complex in a dicey part of town. He’s sort of a yuppie, but living in a bad area of town by oneself will do strange things to the brain. Luckily, one of his friends got him to the range already, so most of my work was done. He’s buying a Glock 19 within the week, and is taking a safety + defensive pistol class shortly thereafter.

  36. avatar Dave says:

    We live in NYC so self-protection is a challenge (i.e. impossible). In Suffolk county, where we have a weekend house, I have a carry license. My wife and older daughter think having a gun, let alone carrying one, is paranoid. Thank goodness my younger daughter has taken an interest and several days of training. She can’t formally train in NY state because she doesn’t have a pistol license but I’m relying on her to protect her mother and sister in the event of a home invasion if I’m away. (After which she and I would be indicted for illegal use of my handgun!)

  37. avatar tony says:

    I think if some bangers did this to my parents I would do some research and find where the gangs calls home and take a silenced high power rifle to a rooftop with a good view and have a little target practice.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      “where the gangs calls home”

      ROFL… THE STREETS, BABY!! How do you reckon you’re getting to the roof of a tenement with a suppressed rifle? And you’re just going to shoot ANYBODY? Somebody should take your guns away before you do something crazy!

  38. avatar knightofbob says:

    After my military time, I moved back in with my parents for a few years. The medium-small town they live in isn’t exactly a criminal hotbed, but bored teenagers can be as dangerous as anyone else. I’ve been there, luckily I never did anything that caused widespread damage.

    While I was living there, they had a new roof put on the house. It was long overdue, and took quite a while to finish. About a week after it was done, I was woken up by someone walking on the roof. Early afternoon. On a Monday. (I had the day off and tend to get jobs where I work later shifts, before anyone judges me.) Now, my car was in the shop and both my parents were at work, so the house looked empty. I knew no one was supposed to be up there, so I grabbed my new (ish) G-29 SF and chambered a round. Staying away from uncovered windows, I positioned myself in a central location. Then the dogs started barking. I heard the individual on the back deck who I didn’t know was there (but assumed was) make a break for it, I heard the ladder fall from the side of the house, and I heard the individual who was on the roof jump and/or fall off. We didn’t involve the police because I never made any visual contact, and my mother insisted that I misinterpreted what I heard.

    About a year after that, when I had moved out, my mom calls me to say that some strange woman (again, pretty small town, everyone knows everyone else) had knocked on the door claiming she was looking for her dog, but carrying a leash that still had the price tag on it, standing on her toes to try and look into the house, and trying to open the locked screen door. So yes, I worry sometimes.

    I don’t worry too much, though. After the roof incident, my father started taking his PHP into the bedroom at night. After the “lost dog” incident, he put the police barrel back on his 870. I’m not going to assume anything, but last time I was home, I found a couple speed loaders for the Highway Patrolman hidden in strategic locations. And I know my mother says she won’t pick up a gun, but I also know she can make a single slightly cloverleafed hole in a piece of paper with a model ten.

  39. avatar Nine says:

    Every.Single.Day.

    My Sister in laws live with their mother, who is quite anti-gun (in the sense that the media says it, she believes it) and refuses to let them near her.

    My Mother works in a school in a very bad neighborhood, and My Dad, while he doesn’t carry, I feel marginally better about him.

  40. avatar S.CROCK says:

    i have gotten 4 out of 6 family members to tool up. i think that is a pretty good job. one of the two i don’t really worry about. but the other one really needs to tool up. she needs it more than any of the other family members. she isn’t anti gun, but she is in the “I’ve lived this long and not needed a gun so why would i need one now?” category.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      I think that’s a really good job, man. You should feel good about it.

      As for the one with the normalcy bias, it can be a killer.

  41. avatar wvumounties8 says:

    My son has several long guns at his residence for protection and knows how to use them. My daughter knows how to use firearms, but I am installing a gun safe at her residence before she will get her firearm. My 2 young grandsons are the reason.

  42. avatar Carry.45 says:

    Of course I do. But only when I’ve got all my guns at the range with me.

  43. avatar Conway Redding says:

    Anybody know how old William Bennett was when he died? He was said to have been ex-Special Forces and, while even the most skilled street-fighter can be taken down, especially if attacked by surprise and with blunt objects, those vets are widely believed to be kick-ass kinds of guys. The story should reaffirms folks in their decision 1) to be armed at all times, and 2) to maintain situational awareness.

    1. avatar PeterZ in West Tennessee says:

      Bennett was 57.

      I worry about my daughter in Chicago. When IL starts issuing their permits I will probably give her the $340 for the permit and buy her a gun/holster.

  44. avatar Alan Rose says:

    Col. Bennett was also supposedly ex-CIA, and probably not an “analyst.” Either he had a serious “retiree” mentality or was overwhelmed. Sad.

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