Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"John Wick didn't kill all those people because they broke his toaster." -MickAK

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Restraining Orders Are Made of Paper

They will not protect you against a former partner who is determined to kill you.
Donna Kristofak was terrified and letting the court know it. John S. Kristofak, who was her husband for 19 years, had been arrested six months earlier as he chased her in a Wal-Mart parking lot. In his car were a butcher’s knife and what police called “a suicide note.” ... Late Saturday morning, Kristofak allegedly entered the garage of his 48-year-old ex-wife’s East Cobb home and stabbed her once in the upper torso, according to a warrant. She died later at a hospital.
I'm not going to say that she'd be alive if she had a gun. Guns are not magical talismen and it is possible that she could have shot him four times and he still would have lived long enough to kill her.

But she had no chance at all without one.



CenterPuke88 said...

Several thoughts:

1: The system failed to protect her in a meaningful way. There was a failure to properly assess the threat to her by him, and that is likely a function of poor laws, hamstrung or ignorant judges and the destruction of the mental health system in this country.

2: She shouldn't have died in her garage. You should be in your car with doors locked before opening the garage and until it fully closes if you have any concerns. The old worry about carbon monoxide is overblown for a modern car running for 5 seconds after a garage door closes or before it opens. Note that it is not clear that he didn't force entry. If that's the case, any competently installed alarm should have warned her.

3: Guns require an individual to commit to their use and have the mental willingness to pull the trigger. Otherwise, it's a weapon to be used against you. Without knowing her willingness and mental state, this is simply an exercise in thought.

4: Defense with a gun also requires a level of awareness that this case suggests wasn't in place. Assuming she entered the garage, opened the door, and then proceeded to try to enter her vehicle, the attacker was likely too close for her to successfully draw and shot. She would have had to have had the gun in hand and have had the presence of mind to use it instantly, something very difficult for an untrained individual to do.

That being said, this is clearly a case where a properly aware and motivated individual could have made a difference...but four shots would have been enough? /(sarcasm on)Sounds like an argument for limiting high capacity magazines. /(sarcasm off)

On a more realistic level, it's scary stories like this that too often lead to poorly trained/educated individuals buying a weapon (any of several categories). Then later a tragedy happens when some other individual (child/ex/relative/etc) acquires the poorly stored item and commits some stupidity with it.

Comrade Misfit said...

Four shots might not have been enough. If she had fired fifteen shots into the bugger, fine.

As for high-cap magazines, as far as I'm concerned, the folks who are buying CJs and PC-12s can do with a P-Navajo or a 421. They don't need Shelby GT500 Mustangs or Ferrari F-12s, for that matter.

Old NFO said...

Excellent point, BUT if she had been carrying a pistol and knew how to use it, she'd still be here and the ex would be worm food...

Yogi said...

And had it at the ready, and knew that she was both ready and willing to pull the trigger before confirming that she was in danger, etc etc. Maybe that describes you, in which case I have to ask, how long did it take you to get to that point?

You know, I actually trained for this stuff and I don't believe that I could have saved myself in THIS situation. That's not to say that there aren't other situations where carrying is prudent. But just owning a weapon is not any sort of solution. Commitment to every other part of personal safety is. And she certainly COULD have owned a gun: there are no laws that I'm aware of preventing her. (It's not NYC, after all.)

CM, you spend a fair amount of time on the range, making sure you are proficient. I go maybe once every 3-4 years, and so I do not have loaded handguns in my house or on my person. (The alley sweeper in the bedroom is enough.)

My point is that someone who is afraid for their life needs to assess themselves and take action, not depend on a piece of paper. But just carrying a gun would likely not have saved her.

Comrade Misfit said...

BY, carrying a gun might not have saved her. But not having one and relying only on her ex-'s obeying a restraining order clearly did not.

If someone is trying to kill you and you fight and you lose, you're dead, true enough. But you are no deader than you would have been if you didn't resist.

Yogi said...

OK. But where does that logic lead you? "If she had learned Jeet Kin Do she would be alive. If she had installed a barbed-wire fence, she'd be alive. If she had worn a kevlar vest, if she had had a bodyguard, if she had believed in her heart that he would do anything he could do to harm her."
This was an assassination. Even RFK couldn't stop it. What she could have done (and this is what we teach and what CP88 is saying) is learn that safety is a mind-set, not a weapon. What would have saved her life was being prepared to defend herself: awareness and planning.
Unless you are prepared to use open carry, and actually have a hand on your weapon at all times, you can be easily taken down, either from in front or behind. Most women either use a purse holster or another concealed form of carry. It takes 3-5 seconds to actually get to the point of pulling the trigger, at which point the assailant is inside your reach, rendering your weapon ineffective. As John D MacDonald once said, "There's no form of martial art that prepares you for catching a 50 pound bag of cement falling on you."
I have no problem with CCW, must issue, open carry. I know how little use it would be for most people, that's all. And they wouldn't understand this.

Eck! said...

Sounds like a round of anything but a gun, and it will not help you because your not an expert.

First one has to have some degree of awareness. All too often the restraining order is like the law, it will protect us, and people buy into that and then were dead. Complacency kills. Once you decide your name isn't victim the game is changed, if you are already at that point the
game is yours. There is also one difference, as a woman I know there are
those that consider me prey, I am not. Do not project your mind on me.

On the other hand I can say that, I have been there and done that knowledge, and I now know that provoked I will not go quietly into the night. It's not about guns its the mind set. No its did not take many seconds to decide I will live.

As to RFK that is exactly what happens when you put your safety in others hands. I'm old enough to be around to see what happened to JFK. I'm old enough to know the police are never around when you need them. They are the last ones I'd call for my safety. Call fire as they are EMS and they arrive faster.


Eck! said...


1) The police have no responsibility to protect a person. Supreme court.

2) But she had the law behind her.. way behind her. Your right in that being in the car with the doors locked first then open the doors is a affirmative move when you are aware that the system means nothing. The alarm isn't free, I will assume she wasn't rich.

3) First to use a gun you have to have one. The whole issue is in many places that is difficult to impossible on a short time span.
In NYC it's generally impossible unless your
"someone". In many states it would have been inside the house as a carry permit may be harder to get if at all. The gun grabbers are working to make that harder or impossible.

The whole would they shoot is a red herring, as there was no gun. Limited opportunity to get one likely. They aren't free and despite what the gun grabbers say the NRA doesn't give them away. What we can say is there it is documented she was in fear for her life, and in that case she was already helpless or maybe the gun would have been the needed empowerment. We can never know, she is dead.

4) All training is shoot until the threat stops.
There are never enough cartridges till its over.

As to the poorly stored case, if its defensive it should be no further than on your body or at short reach. That is the definition of having the firearm under control. Otherwise it should
be secured and likely useless for the task of personal defense.


Comrade Misfit said...

She had a bad guy, a known bad guy, come at her with a knife.

"Fly the airplane as far into the crash as you can"-- ever heard that saying? So some guy comes after you, you're just going to lay down and let him whack you because the chances of successfully defending yourself are too low for your liking? Is that what you're saying? For that's what it sounds like to me.

Lie down and die if you wish. That's your choice. But don't foist your choice on me.

Yogi said...

PLease go ahead and put words into my mouth. Then argue with those.

Oh, wait, you already did that.

What I said, and I will stick by it, is in this case a gun would not have helped if she ALSO did not take the precautions of learning what to do, how to do it, and how to set herself up to be able to be safe. All of which has little to do with whether or not she had a gun, and everything to do with her being prepared to defend herself. Eck seems to have the right of it: She's PREPARED, and a PART of that is being armed.

Having had to sweep up the remains of someone who was effectively fed their own armory, I have a different view than most civilians.

Yogi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yogi said...

(sorry, had to edit)
Please put a gun onto your person, in the mode you would most likely carry it, and have someone time your draw and fire (obviously at a range.) Now do it with someone charging at you with a knife. You will find that you have under 4 seconds, and usually under 3, to draw, aim and fire. Maybe using those 3-4 seconds to get MORE TIME to draw would be of use to you. Which takes training. Which is what I'm advocating. Only someone with a serious agenda issue would believe that Im' advocating being a victim. But if that floats your boat, go for it.

Eck! said...


I had that tested with a drunk wielding a bat in a bar parking lot 3+ decades ago. I got to my .22 in the truck gun rack before he got to me. Even a .22
has a way of getting ones attention. Three seconds, 21 feet away.

But hey I don't know nothin.


Yogi said...

OK, Eck! Go for it. Pretend that I'm not agreeing with you in all respects. Sorry to have disturbed you.

CenterPuke88 said...


I understand the police have no responsibility, but we (individually) do have such responsibility to help protect ourselves. Once she understood the threat her ex-husband represented (before or around 2007) she could have acquired a firearm and a Georgia CCL. Georgia's restrictions are quite relaxed, but we can also consider that she cannot carry a weapon to her car from her house in Georgia without a CCL.

The alarm point is valid, but only interesting if he forced the garage and laid in wait. I'm assuming she opened the garage and allowed the threat because she wasn't in the car yet...but then we can argue about if she could afford a garage door opener.

I'm confused as to why you, as an intelligent and eloquent writer, resort to tarring everyone who isn't "pro-gun" as a "gun grabber".

On the helpless comment, she potentially made herself helpless by not mentally switching her process to a more defensive mindset. You can do a number of things, within the law, to make it more difficult to be ambushed in this manner. No one can realistically protect themselves from a committed assassin that is willing to lay down their life, but you can make it safer for yourself by being aware and acting in a rational manner to make yourself safer.

Eck! said...


It might be writing styles. So consider..

If I thought you were agreeing I'd have passed. The message I got was more along the line of you[somebody] are slower than you think and to get you gun and fire is many seconds. The case I presented, I had to first realize that drunk had my name on his slugger, get the short distance to my truck open it, remove said rifle, shoulder and present in ready to fire position. If it
were say slung on my shoulder like I were hunting or a handgun in my pocket
that would have been much faster, fewer moves. Its not seconds it's more like fractions of one. The hardest part is the decision process the no shoot decision. Better said if I aim at you its' not for amusement or warning, the shoot decision is made but it can be withdrawn. Otherwise I'd never produced a ready weapon or aimed it.

Again if they are that close you were inattentive and you have to work
from a recovery condition.

Even hunting its the same, the rule is never point at anything unless you plan to destroy it. Your working from an aware state, there is game, but
not seen. There is a safe fire lane, don't turn and shoot your friend.
The process is trained and worked and safety is always part of it. It
takes a remarkably short time to go from an easy position with a
safe weapon to a ready and aimed, did it all the time hunting squirrels
and Pheasant (wing shooting). This is not sitting in a blind or stand
waiting for a deer to pass or ducks/geese to arrive.

Back in august the blog owner did some PPC shooting and one of the exercises
was (from NOV-3 2012), review the text. Its a sport event but also a form
of training.

If you never hunted then this may be explanation rather than assumed. Same for sport shooting. Training and understanding is a second to being willing to be responsible as what may (hopefully never) happen next is going to be fast. Part of the whole gun argument is the people that do (and understand) and people that never have or never will. They don't want to know. They only want to tell us we should not know or even consider using (any!) force.

Most times the bag of falling cement is rare, the situation and the lead in when you consider is likely long in playing out. We seem to agree but like I said we maybe only tied up in language or style.


Comrade Misfit said...

Well, yes. That is all true. But so what? That woman had an ex who killed her. She relied on the courts and the police to protect her and she is dead. Maybe ex would have taken the gun from her. She would still be no less dead than she ended up.

I have said before that guns are not magical talismen. They are not guaranteed to save you. But they do give you a chance.

Yogi said...

OK, Sorry for the confusion. I was speaking generally, not specifically to you, ECK!

For me, I trained at the Oregon Police Academy as a sub in 1983-4, qualifying in the top 20% of our class in pistol, shotgun and rifle. I've hunted everything from rabbit to grouse to duck to deer with a gun, and dressed and ate what I shot. I've been an adjunct instructor for home safety classes, personal safety and a target for women's safety classes. While I do not currently keep a pistol (although I own one: it's my father's service .32 from WW2, and it has no magazine and is at the gun shop), I do have both a 20-ga and a 12-ga at home for home defense. (CM, I am also a ASEL, with around 1053 hours, and a ground instructor certification, now lapsed.)

I will stand by the notion that there are only dangerous people. You sound like you are one. So am I. It is not because I own a gun. My direct experience with people owning handguns who have no training it that they would be better off with a rock, or failing that, use the time it would take to get a gun to learn how to be safer, as per CP88 above. Why is that so hard to swallow? For years we have said that guns don't kill people, people kill people. Now we reverse that to say a gun is the ultimate weapon (yes, I'm exaggerating.)

Anyway, I'm not saying, and have never said that one shouldn't buy, own, use a gun or guns. What I have said is that it is not a panacea, and that proper safety awareness training (how to enter/exit you home, given that you know that someone is out to get you) would have done more for her than just owning a gun she had no training how to use.