My sister, Lynda, was murdered on April 2nd, 2008.
When she was young I remember Lynda, dad and I going on hikes. Tiny Lynda, though beautiful and charming wasn't known for being graceful. If even a twig was in her path, she would trip over it. I think maybe it wasn't so much clumsiness but due to being so small that she was always looking up to dad and I.
Our childhood friends reminded me of how young Lynda, due to being so short, could run right under the kitchen table. She would dash from table leg to table leg as the bigger kids circled around. She'd end up clinging to a table leg screaming with delight, peering up and out at all the big kids who couldn't maneuver with any speed in her domain.
I'll always remember the tilt of her head, the smile, and the eyes bright with amusement as she'd look at me when sharing something peculiar about the universe or the amusing antics of someone as if just we two were capable of sharing in the hilarity.
As she grew older, it seemed that she suffered injuries that would logically have seemed destined for me. A horse once bucked us both off and I walked away unscathed, she had stitches. When my family survived a crash landing in our airplane, I ended up with minor injuries, Lynda ended up in the windshield. While I spent almost ten years racing motocross with only minor injuries, Lynda barely survived a motorcycle crash that left her unconscious for hours and with a blown out knee. Finally, though I spent years training others and being trained in self-defense firearms, it was defenseless and unarmed Lynda that was ultimately murdered by an angry, possessive gunman.
|"Lynda Faust, 45, was senselessly killed last Wednesday night when her former brother-in-law, Randy Eric Faust, 47, parked behind her home, broke in and sat in a chair smoking and drinking alcohol as he waited for her to arrive."
Garrard Central Record newspaper article
Lynda made three mistakes that rendered herself defenseless and allowed this monster to gain the power to destroy her.
- She was non-judgmental. She completely ignored her murderer's violent history and possessiveness, choosing instead to help him.
- She didn't have the tools or knowledge to protect herself. I tried to get Lynda to acquire a handgun along with the knowledge of how to use it. I know I could have pushed the issue harder. Year after year we see the tragic result of "gun-free" zones (or victim disarmament policies). Every high profile shooting occurs in these victim disarmament zones…schools, post offices, and businesses. While those colleges, businesses, and states that allow people to protect themselves quietly escape the worst of this brutality. States that have the least restrictive gun laws have the lowest crime. Legislation that restores gun rights, lead to crime reduction, while legislation that disarms victims lead to direct increases in violence. In Lynda's case she wasn't disarmed by decree, but had rather been convinced that it just wasn't "nice" to carry the means of self protection. Women, especially beautiful and charming women, are vulnerable to obsessive and possessive men. A small concealable handgun puts women on par with their usually much stronger attackers.
- When Lynda changed her locks and had her kids program their phones for 911, she should have called in family support. Had we known, we definitely could have helped. I assisted my sister-in-law some years back with a similarly threatening situation involving a domineering and possessive ex-husband. Hundreds of hours of threatening phone recordings, earned my sister-in-law a restraining order against her husband, but it was ultimately the gaping hole in a .45 caliber handgun that encouraged her ex-husband to retreat from her doorstep.
It was these three mistakes that gave her murderer the power to achieve his evil ends.
Based upon this man's actions and behavior she should have completely shunned him.
Had she been in possession of a weapon, she could have killed her murderer.
And barring all that, if she had let her family know of her predicament, we could have helped her deal with this man's obsession.
Calling 911 is fine and I believe the police and rescue personnel handled the situation they faced with remarkable poise, but statistically the police are three times more likely to shoot an innocent person than a private citizen on the scene. Given the obstacles the police face when approaching a dangerous situation like this, it is remarkable that they can do this well. Lynda's daughter, Alesia, was struck by plaster blown free by a shot fired by the an officer at the scene. We are very fortunate that she wasn't harmed.
There is nothing I can do to bring my sister back. No matter how much I analyze and think of how things could have been different, there is nothing that will restore my life to anything like it was before April 2nd. I hope others can learn from our agony and take steps to avoid a similar catastrophe.
Before my sister's murder, the benefits of an armed populace was largely an abstract concept. I salute those who deal with the discomfort and hassles to bear a self-defense weapon…whether open carry or concealed. I extend my thanks to those businesses that allow or encourage their employees to exercise this basic right. I appreciate more than ever those organizations that are battling to expand and encourage citizen level self-defense (Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership and Gun Owners of America). And finally, gun dealers, so often vilified in the press, I realize, now more than ever, the crucial life and death service they provide to keep a society civilized.
Lynda's brother, Mark Laughlin.