Can A Piece Of Paper Keep You Alive?

This sad case was all over the news here yesterday.

Dallas police said a man allegedly beat his ex-wife to death at her workplace and then threatened to jump from a bridge on the George Bush Turnpike in Carrollton.

38-year-old Brent Stephens went to an office building in the 12000 block of Hillcrest Road and waited for 36-year-old Denise Stephens to show up Monday morning, according to police.

Investigators said he beat her with a baseball bat in front of several witnesses. She was rushed to Medical City Hospital, but died shortly after from her injuries.

The print version on the Fox 4 website doesn’t go into the same detail as the video, so it’s not listed in the print version, but the video goes into detail on the history of Denise Stephens’ separation and divorce from Brent Stephens, including both temporary and permanent restraining orders. 

Unfortunately, I think sometimes people put too much stock in restraining orders.  They aren’t a magical shield which will protect someone from a determined attacker.  The restraining order in this instance was apparently no deterrent to the deranged ex-husband.  And while restraining orders disqualify someone from owning guns, we can see in this instance that there are other no-less deadly weapons that are readily available to anyone in just about every department store.

One lesson to take from this is to remember that a baseball bat can be a deadly weapon and should be treated as such in a self-defense scenario (i.e. if you come at me with a baseball bat, I will shoot you).  The second is that you’re on your own during the initial stage of an attack.  Situational awareness and possessing the appropriate tools to respond to the situation could save your life.  I suspect that if Ms. Stephens had been armed that she’d still be here today (and, perhaps, given the situation awareness required for someone while carrying a gun, may even have escaped unharmed).

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