According to tampabay.com. “On Friday, Vincente Fuillerat strapped on a bullet-resistant vest, broke into [Samara] Routenberg’s home and got into a shoot-out with both women. He fatally wounded both women with a shotgun before turning the gun on himself.
Mr. Fuillerat was enraged that his wife had left him for someone else: another woman. (Ms. Routenberg.) “I can’t compete with that” he reportedly said.
We don’t know if both women had firearms. We don’t know which firearms one or the other or both used for their defense. But we do know one critical indeed all-important fact: they lost the gun battle with Mr. Fuillerat.
Gun control advocates will undoubtedly use this incident to suggest that a defensive firearm is no use against a determined, armed domestic abuser. Well, in this case it wasn’t.
Then again, neither was the Florida court’s protective order of the sentence of 36 months probation doled out to Mr. Fuillerat for threatening his wife with a metal pipe. I digress . . .
Here are three critical lessons from this tragic story.
1. Maintain situational awareness
If you know there’s a threat against your life, the sooner you know about it the better. The more time you have to avoid an attack entirely, call 911, bring your firearm to bear and/or choose the best time, place and method to engage.
Don’t go through life in Condition White, oblivious to potential threats. Maintain situational awareness, raising it appropriately as needed; depending on your environment.
If there’s a specific threat against your life, take specific actions to be ready to defend yourself. Think like your potential attacker; where and how would you attack you? Also, simply, be ready to shoot. Most importantly . . .
2. Home carry
Again, we don’t know the specifics of this case. But it’s also true that a gun on your person is FAR more useful than a gun anywhere else.
The general rule of a gunfight: the first person to land shots on target generally wins. The faster you can get to your gun, the faster you can shoot someone posing an imminent, credible threat of death of grievous bodily harm, the better.
You spend a great deal of your life at home. Why wouldn’t you carry a gun there?
A lot of gun guys and gals focus on learning and refining armed self-defense techniques: marksmanship, getting off the X, drawing your gun, shooting and moving, seeking cover or concealment, reloading, aiming for the pelvic girdle (which would have helped here), etc. It’s all good stuff.
The more automatically you can perform these skills the better. That comes from repetition. Practice.
Armed self-defense practice has another benefit that has nothing to do with the techniques per se. It conditions you to accept the possibility that you may find yourself in a gunfight. So when you’re in one, it’s not completely uncharted territory.
Our condolences to the friends and family of Mrs. Fuillerat and Ms. Routenberg. If nothing else, let their deaths be a warning to us all. Bad things can happen to good people.