Bad things happen to good people anytime, anywhere, for whatever reason but it'll never happen to us or anyone we know.. right? Of course we all know better, hell, I know better but unfortunately, I allowed myself to be duped into that way of thinking. For the last 10 years, I allowed my Guardian type personality to be stifled, quashed my feelings and support of 2A & defense of self and others, I went against my own beliefs. Why? I married a liberal....and in the immortal words of Forrest Gump: That's all I've got to say about that. So what changed my mind? What made me buy a sidearm, get my CPL, and vow never again will I allow myself to compromise myself? (..and no, I didn't get a divorce.) Because I was reminded (in the worst way possible) that a bad thing does happen to good people for no good reason, anytime, anywhere, any place....because it happened to my daughter! September of last year, my daughter (of a previous relationship, not my current marriage) and her friend were out late one night walking down the street, minding their own business when they were attacked, beaten, robbed and raped. She told me at first the guys demanded money and implied a weapon. When the girls said they didn't have any money, the guys forced them into a more secluded area where they were made to undress, and the guys then demanded they perform sex acts on each other. My daughter refused and they hit her. She fought back and was severely beaten, her head bashed into the pavement until she lost consciousness. It tore me up to see the side of her face so swollen, to see her in so much pain. While all this was going on, a neighbor lady heard the commotion while she was in her yard, but she didn't have her cellphone with her. She didn't run for her phone because she didn't want to call attention to herself. She was afraid for herself. She eventually got to her phone and did call police but I can't help but wonder how much could have been prevented if she had acted sooner. Police released composite sketches a couple of days later. Within a week of the release of the sketches two suspects were taken into custody. Turns out they were kids. (Well to me anyway) An 18 year old and a 22 year old. With victim & witness accounts, police report, & medical reports, the judicial process begins. In addition to charges of robbery, criminal sexual conduct - 1st Degree (i.e. rape), the 22 year old is also charged with habitual offender. When I first saw the 18 year old in court, he strutted into his preliminary hearing, cocky as hell, chin in the air, and blowing kisses to his family and girlfriend. Yes, girlfriend. I wanted nothing more than to jump over the bannister and rip that sneer off his face. He decided he wasn't going to waive his hearing. I was quite surprised when later he pled No Contest due to intoxication and took the plea deal that was offered him. (I was sure he was going to fight it all the way given his attitude/demeanor during previous court appearances). He was sentenced to 11-40 years. I was pissed. When the judge read portions of the police report in court, it was quite evident to me that this kid was the instigator, the master mind if you will... the one that egged the whole thing on. He was the one that raped my daughter while she was unconscious. I wanted the little rat bastard to rot in prison for life. The other idiot turned down the plea offer and decided to take his chances at a bench (judge only, no jury) trial. Just before his trial was to begin, he delays it by switching to a new attorney. His trial begins this coming week and it turns out the new lawyer has moved to a jury trial. I don't know what he's thinking or how he thinks he's going to win. I will be there for it's entirety. I've been there from the beginning and I fully intend to see this whole thing to the end. ------------------------ breather ---------------------- I share this (with my daughter's permission) with all of you, not because we want your sympathy (we don't) but to remind you: Bad things do happen to good people anytime anywhere anyplace for no good reason. We also ask that you: Take an active stance in the defense of yourself and loved ones. If you don't have a CPL, get one if you can. If you have a CPL, carry your firearm where you can and when you can. If you have a cellphone, carry it with you as much as possible. And above all: Be more aware of what's happening around you. If it doesn't look right or sound right, intervene (know your laws before doing so) or call the police if in doubt. Don't just stand there.. do something. As I said before, I can't help but wonder how much might've been prevented had the neighbor called the police sooner.