Part V

☆ January 12, 2011

Earlier posts:
Intro, Intro Addendum
Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV

The actual stalking was the most difficult part of this story for me, personally, but the next segment of the story was – and continues to be – the most difficult part for me conceptually.  Because it’s not just about me.  What I have witnessed firsthand and learned in research in regards to the court system affects all women.  And the reality, for victims or potential victims, is not slanted in our favor.  Quite the contrary.  Only 4% of convicted criminals are sentenced to time in prison (statistic via Armed & Female by Paxton Quigley).  My stalker was found guilty.  And after the sentencing, he was free to go.  Even the court fees he should have had to pay were waived.  But I’m jumping ahead of myself.

My last installment ended with the stalker’s arrest.  The cops were amazing ~ from the moment I approached them, they were patient with me, proactive in their work, and totally professional throughout.

As per the arresting officer’s instructions, I called the Prosecuting Attorney on Monday morning.  He was condescending, distracted, and had no solid answers to my questions.  He didn’t know if there would be a hearing that day; when I asked him about bail he “hadn’t thought about it;” he was dismissive of the seriousness of the situation because the stalker had not confronted me face to face (uh, he was arrested first!).  This is when I learned that the stalker was found with a loaded .44 Magnum.  I also learned that the prosecuting attorney had 96 days left before his retirement.  He was literally counting down the days.  He told me he would call me later.

When I hadn’t heard anything further by midday, I called him back, only to be given a new version of the same spiel.  I was antsy, irritated, concerned, and I was glimpsing the tip of the iceberg: my safety was in the hands of someone who didn’t care that much personally, philosophically, or professionally.  So I walked up to Mike’s house and asked him for a lesson in handguns.

My very good friend Carol taught me to shoot a rifle long before all this began.  Her father taught her; she, in turn, taught her daughter and sons, and, when I asked her, she taught me.  She taught me from scratch, from the ground up ~ safety, posture, ethics, sportsmanship.  We were shooting cans and, at the end of the day, she pointed to a can and instructed me to “make that can dance.”  Meaning, shoot multiple rounds with enough speed and accuracy so that the can didn’t stop moving.  I didn’t think I could do it.  She made me try.  I made that can dance.  I bought a rifle a few days later.  Not so that I could go around killing things, but so I could continue practicing what I believe to be a valuable skill and one I found I really enjoyed.

So, I had experience with rifles but handguns were a different story.  As Carol said, “there’s only one reason to have a handgun.”  And back then, that one reason seemed completely outside the realm of my reality ~ a non-issue in my simple little life.  But the Monday after the arrest, I saw my life differently.  My reality had changed.  That Monday, instead of pacing circles waiting for the PA to call, I decided to learn to shoot a handgun.  I shot dozens of rounds, with Mike at my side offering tips or suggestions at intervals. At one point, when I was reloading, Mike commented that my hands were shaking.  “I know!” I said, “they’ve been shaking all day.”  And then I realized something.  I looked at him and said, “When I shoot, I’m not shaking.”  “No,” he said. “You don’t shake at all.”

I love target practice.  I have clocked a lot of hours doing it.  I find it very similar to yoga.  You cannot be distracted when you have a loaded gun in your hand.  You cannot fret about an argument you had, or worry about something that’s looming in the future.  You must be centered, fully engaged in the moment or you risk hurting yourself or someone or something else.  I find target practice very grounding.

While I would never shoot an animal for a trophy, I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that if I looked out my window and saw a mountain lion stalking Frisco, I would be out the door in a flash, gun in hand, and I would shoot to save Frisco.  I would kill to protect those in my care.  The same measure of self awareness is required with a handgun as it pertains to protecting oneself from a human predator.  I know what I would do in that instance, too.

Shortly after I got back home, the PA called.  He told me the hearing would be that afternoon at 4:30, that the stalker would plead Not Guilty because “they always do,” and that the judge would decide bail because, “they always do,” and that I could testify by phone in the presence of a notary.  He gave me the number to call at 4:20 and said the proceedings never lasted more than 15 or 20 minutes.

I called the local notary and he agreed to meet me at his office for the call.  At 4:20 we called the courts.  I spoke with the receptionist and was put on hold for seven minutes.  Then the call was disconnected.  We called back; it went straight to the court voicemail service.  We called back again, and again.  Our calls were never answered.  Finally, at five minutes to five, I said, “we might as well stop trying; it’s probably over now anyway.”  So I drove home.  I got home at two minutes past five.  There was a message on my machine from a woman at the courthouse who said she “wanted to go over what happened in court today.  We close up shop at 5.”  I tried calling immediately in hopes of reaching someone, to no avail.

So, I had NO idea what had happened.  I didn’t know if he was still in custody or if he was out (I found out later that the presiding judge did not want to hear testimony over the phone. I was a little {ok, a lot} irked that they just hung up the phone without explaining why). I had to find out, though.

I looked up the number to the county jail and called the jail directly.  I explained the circumstance and was told, “He’s still here.  His bond is $10,000 cash.  And since he’s still here, now, it’s a safe bet he’ll be here all night, if not longer.”  I was also told that if he did post bond, the Victim’s Advocate from the court (someone I’d not yet met or spoken with) would be notified before he was released, and she would notify me.  “Even if it’s three in the morning?” I asked.  “Yep – even if it’s three in the morning.”  So I tried to relax.  I had, for the time being, a $10,000 bond, a phone tree, and borrowed handgun between me and the stalker.

But the stalker didn’t like being in jail, held on a bond he couldn’t afford.  And that’s when things got interesting.

P.S. What a devistating time to bring up my appreciation for and practice with guns.  But people have been patiently waiting for the next installment in this story and it would not be an honest, chronological account if I omitted this entry.  I do not want my comment section to become a space for debate over gun laws.  There are other places on the net devoted to such discussions.  There *is* so much more I want to say on the topic ~ of guns, personal safety, societal safety, RESPONSIBILITY…. Maybe another day.  This post is Part V in a series that I want to keep intact and undiluted.

Part VI is HERE

Comments

74 Responses to “Part V”

  1. hello haha narf
    January 12th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    just wanted to say thanks again for taking hte time to recount this story for us. it is extremely appreciated.

  2. Cheryl
    January 12th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    You are a strong woman. Peace.

  3. Megan in Calgary
    January 12th, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing this story with us. Honestly, I’ve been worrying about this for months, and I really hope you let us know the final outcome sooner than later…I just want to know everything is ok.

  4. Janine
    January 12th, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

    Shreve, one of the best things you have in your favor, I believe, is your ability to use your fear in your favor, to reach out, to grow. You don’t cower in a corner waiting for someone else to take care of it. Very proactive! Good for you.

  5. Carolyne
    January 12th, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

    *sigh* I hope it all turns out ok…somehow I have a feeling of “dread” that the system failed…”hope not”…and does time in prison (esp. a short amount of time) teach the person a lesson…. or just give the person more time to plot bad things :/

  6. Amanda
    January 12th, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

    There’s a *huge* difference between discussing your appreciation for guns and suggesting people actively shoot others. Your understanding of the power of a gun and its usefulness as a tool of self-defense are spot-on and need to be stated. I live in LA, where very few people understand the importance of a gun. I don’t have one, but I absolutely respect and understand why others would want or need a gun.

    Your strength through this whole experience is inspiring. Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. Ms. Pants
    January 12th, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

    You cannot be distracted when you have a loaded gun in your hand.

    This statement struck me like whoa. I don’t know why; I’m well aware of the truth behind it. I’ve always said that holding a loading gun is a humbling experience. I think “grounded” is a more accurate description though.

  8. kathy grossman
    January 12th, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

    The most upsetting part of this is the court’s apparent disinterest in protecting citizens. It’s sad to think that our justice department might need to be policed.

  9. Vanessa
    January 12th, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

    No debate from me! Your right on target with the use and responsibility of guns. But to actually “get it”; most people don’t, there in the problem lies. What you are sharing with us is so valuable to how our judicial system works in this “politically correct” society; criminals have more rights than victims, and men in charge (judge) don’t want to take time to listen to the womans side.

  10. Erin
    January 12th, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

    I’ve only commented one other time, but I felt like what you said rings so true to how I feel about guns. I feel like women SHOULD learn to use/respect/care for a firearm. They should also figure out what they are and aren’t capable of should a situation arise where they may need to defend themselves using a firearm. I agree with you fully. If presented with a situation where my life or the lives of those I care about are on the line, I feel the perpetrator has relinquished their right to life and I will gladly do what I must to defend the ones I love.
    I am as liberal as they come, but feel strongly about the right to own/control weapons as United States Citizens. As you’ve shown here, you cannot always rely on the system to offer you proper protections. The only person, ultimately, in charge of protecting my own life is myself and I don’t want the government to EVER take my right to that level of protection away from me.

    Your story is keeping me on the edge of my seat, for sure. Best wishes to you.

  11. Kelly
    January 12th, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing Shreve. You’re strength, patience and courage is inspiring.

  12. RIDivergirl
    January 12th, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

    Thank you for continuing on with your story. I’m appalled at how you were treated by not only the PA, but by the judge in not being allowed to testify by phone, especially when you’d been told you could! Infuriating! I’m also unfortunately finding the “judicial” system is most of the time anything but just for anyone who’s been wronged :-(.

    At the ripe old age of 50, I took up target shooting with a .22 rifle this past fall. I don’t know why – other than that I have dive buddies that do and it seemed worth trying. Your description of the feeling of having to be centered when you’re shooting is absolutely exactly what I’ve found. I’ve found that I enjoy target practice for exactly that reason – it’s very calming and that was a surprise to me.

    As you said – I have no intention of starting any kind of pro-gun/anti-gun debate – but I just wanted to let you know how much your paragraphs on shooting paralleled my own thoughts.

  13. montanarose
    January 12th, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

    Shreve, have you ever heard of Thunder Ranch in Lakeview, Oregon? http://www.thunderranchinc.com/ I haven’t been there, but my best friend has: she attended a week-long workshop there and can’t say enough about them. They’re not a “ninja” kind of place but stress self-protection and, if necessary, self-defense. If you’d like to speak to or e-mail her in person, let me know and I’ll put the two of you in touch in whatever way is comfortable for you.

  14. Carolyn
    January 12th, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    I just love your blog. Thank you for posting the next chapter of this story. It makes me so curious for the next. Something tells me the story isn’t even really over yet. You have been through so much. Peace to you. And thank you for your P.S.

  15. Chris
    January 12th, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    Thank you for continuing to post about this experience. It’s both a dismaying account of how the system let you down and an uplifting example of how you (yet again) rose to the occasion.

    I’ve never had the need or desire to own a gun, but support the right of my fellow citizens to do so. It’s purely anecdotal, but I have rarely met a gun owner that didn’t have your attitude: a profound respect for what weapons can and cannot do.

    Carry on, live strong.

  16. kerin rose
    January 12th, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

    there is strength and power in the sharing of story….
    I do not know if this is difficult or cathartic for you Shreve, but thank you for sharing your experience…so much food for thought and perspective. namaste

  17. Diane
    January 12th, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

    Wow Shreve. I pray you and all of those you love will make it safely throught his terrible ordeal. I cannot imagine the fear you have felt, and your strength and determination to overcome this stalker are both amazing and inspiring. May God be with you!

  18. Janine
    January 12th, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

    Although I’m pretty anti-gun I think you made an informed choice as a responsible woman in a tough position. If it weren’t for nuts with guns you never would have felt a need to arm yourself, and when you did you did so out of necessity and made sure to educate yourself and practice. The problem again traces back to a nut who never should have had a gun in the first place. I’m glad you’re safe and can share this story as a reminder of how far we still have to go in the fight for equality.

  19. Trisha
    January 12th, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

    I’m dismayed by your experience with the judicial system but I can’t say I’m surprised. Years ago I had a terrible ordeal which the legal system only made worse. Fortunately, everything worked out, but as all these years have gone by I’m still saddened to see that the situation hasn’t gotten any better.

    You are strong and proactive and have done a remarkable job of recognizing that your best defense is to be prepared. I applaude you for all that you’ve done in that regard. Sometimes people get ‘paralyzed’ by fear and are unable to use that energy in a more positive way.

    I’m continually amazed at the life you live and so appreciate that you take the time and effort to share it with us.

    I anxiously await the next installment. In the meantime, stay warm, be happy and I wish you and your farmily all good things in this new year.

  20. Deanna
    January 12th, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

    Until your P.S. the AZ tragedy had not even entered my head. Totally different circumstances. That story is much more about mental health and not getting help there.

  21. Kendra
    January 12th, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

    I’ve been a blog follower for several months and admire greatly how responsibly and thoughtfully you take on all new challenges. My heart aches for all the women out there let down by the court system.

  22. Felyne
    January 12th, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

    Like Deanna said, until your PS the AZ event hadn’t even crossed my mind.

    I’m not surprised by your experience with the system. As a resident alien, I really can’t say that I would call the police here if I needed to, I’d be too afraid. It’s an interesting culture I’m noticing though – America broke from sovereignty to be free and it’s what the country is founded on: small government and everyone fends for themselves. I’m from a sovereign state: I’m someone’s subject and they have an obligation to look after me. Because of that, I’m not surprised it happened here, but if happened at home there would be public uproar.

  23. Diane Brown
    January 12th, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

    Namaste.

  24. Stephanie
    January 12th, 2011 @ 8:02 pm

    That is sooooo typical of our court system! I am so sorry you had to deal with that crap. I went through some legal proceedings over the phone a few years back and at the I was so frustrated I ended up hanging up the phone and balling. Way to cowgirl up huh? But ya I know how that crap feels. KUDOS to you for learning how to properly shoot, now, practice practice practice – its the repetition and being able to hit your mark that may save your life someday.

  25. carmen
    January 12th, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing with us the next part of your ordeal. You simply had to do what you had to do to be safe.

  26. Lori G
    January 12th, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    The way you describe your respect for the gun is the way we should all be with them. When I worked in law enforcement, I was completely focused and gave all my respect to what this weapon could harm and/or destroy if I didn’t take it seriously. And when it was time to qualify on a firing line with 25 other law enforcement officers, I trembled with fear that even one other person on the line didn’t have the same respect for the weapon.

  27. Penny in CO
    January 12th, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

    Right on Shreve for your bravery and your ability to hang on to tough situations like a “dog with a bone”..no pun intended.
    Thank you for sharing.

  28. shreve
    January 12th, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

    Kerin ~ It’s both; but neither are my reason for writing this story. The reason I do it is this:

    “After reading your story Shreve, you helped me to see I’m much stronger than I realize.”

    (excerpt from an email received)

  29. Lindsay
    January 12th, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

    Shreve, I’m glad I finally get to read part V, and eagerly await the next part(s) as you write them. Because of part IV, I began taking the steps to obtain a gun. Finally two weeks ago I got a gun and just last week, I was finally able to apply for a lifetime carry permit and also get my gun registered should it ever be lost or stolen. Upon receiving my permit, I plan to take a safety course specifically for women and go target shooting regularly. I definitely understand what you are talking about when you say that shooting a gun is very …. yoga-esque (?) on the mind. I’m glad you are okay and hope you never had to use the gun on the guy, even if just for threatening him. Thanks for sharing your story!

  30. rockrat
    January 13th, 2011 @ 12:07 am

    “You must be centered, fully engaged in the moment or you risk hurting yourself or someone or something else.”

    Like riding a scooter!

    I like short Winchester repeaters. Better control, aim, power, and range than a hand gun and not as big and bulky as a normal rifle.

  31. Eve
    January 13th, 2011 @ 12:12 am

    I eagerly await each installment, as I’m worried about what happened and want to know the whole story. You have done so much that is brave and right for your situation. Do you write this in installments because it takes a lot out of you to write each part, or is it more than that, like the story hasn’t ended yet or you don’t want that asshat to see all of what you wrote all at one time?

  32. Mishka
    January 13th, 2011 @ 1:21 am

    This is the first I have read of your story and I went back to the beginning and read them all. Can’t wait for the next installment!

    Oh, and don’t feel you need to apologize for timing on your posts. Lots of people own guns responsibly and don’t do the kinds of things that happened this week. I love target practice too.

    I am so sorry that it sounds like the system has failed you even if those you worked with did what they could. We definitely need to fix this.

  33. Scotty
    January 13th, 2011 @ 4:00 am

    i’m still wretched from your tweet about waking up to crunching mouse bones. i sure hope your final chapter on the stalker incident has some closure. your stories are turning me into a wreck! ~shiver~

  34. Shelley
    January 13th, 2011 @ 8:40 am

    The impotence of the DA and court system is another reason women should learn how to defend themselves, by whatever method.

  35. Coral
    January 13th, 2011 @ 9:37 am

    I agree completely with you about what a grounding experience handling a gun is. I think that’s a really good word for it.

    One of the things I’ve been taught in Hunter’s Safety class and CHL class is that if you ever have a situation in which your life is threatened by someone intruding in your house or just simply attacking you, you SHOOT TO KILL because a dead man can’t tell lies. Unfortunately, our justice system is incredibly screwed up as you’ve experienced. And we’ve all read news stories of home intruders somehow not being found guilty and the victim ends up being sued by the intruder. How that is logical is beyond me. But for that reason, I have been taught in multiple firearm classes that you shoot to kill if your life is threatened. That lesson says a whole lot about the state of our society and our judicial system. And none of what is says is good.

    Your experiences with the Court is infuriating. I am sorry you had to go through it, but I am extremely grateful you are willing to tell the story.

  36. Martha
    January 13th, 2011 @ 9:50 am

    Thanks for sharing this, Shreve.
    Namasté

  37. Jenny C
    January 13th, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    I can only imagine how encouraging and supportive these posts are for you, Shreve. They’re helpful to me, and I’m just someone who follows your blog and cares deeply about you and your farmily.

    So sorry for the infuriating and frustrating mishandling of your case in the court system! As for the Prosecuting Attorney – he’s counting the days to his retirement? Well, get in line, ‘cuz I am too. How many days before this lazy, incompetent and arrogant excuse for a public servant is out of there? Let’s hope his replacement is the right person for the job. Excellent report on the response of the police. I never underestimate it when police do their jobs well but we know they can’t be everywhere every minute, so self-reliance is essential. You have so many incredible things going for you, not the least of which is your own ability to face fear, prepare and move forward.

    IMHO, this was exactly the right time to bring up the issue of self-protection. While we are all heartbroken and smarting from the devastation in Tucson as a result of such grotesque mental illness, we need the reassurance that we can be ready, and we do have the right and the opportunity, to protect ourselves when necessary. Shreve, your mind, attitude, determination, strong physical condition – and a good firearm – are all crucial elements in your arsenal, and you use them all very well.

    Praying.

  38. Teaspoon
    January 13th, 2011 @ 10:04 am

    Thanks for continuing to put this story out there. As you say, this is something that when it comes right down to it, affects all women. Our justice system needs an overhaul, so that it offers actual protection and remedies to all of our most vulnerable populations.

  39. Allison
    January 13th, 2011 @ 10:11 am

    I am a big fan of your sites but am writing to offer a factual correction and a word of caution. I share your anger at the way the criminal justice system processes crimes against women, however your statistic about the percent of convictions that end up with jail or prison sentences is WAY off. The US Department of Justice writes (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2152)

    “In 2006 an estimated 69% of all persons convicted of a felony in state courts were sentenced to a period of confinement–41% to state prison and 28% to local jails.” The average sentence imposed in 2006 was 4 years and 11 months. Not piddly.

    This does not include misdemeanor sentences (which can have jail terms up to one year) or federal sentences (which are even more likely to result in prison time). Most misdemeanants, however, SHOULD NOT end up incarcerated. This includes low level drug offenses, graffiti, disorderly conduct, some shoplifting, unpaid tickets, etc.

    I understand your outrage, and I agree that stalking needs to be taken far more seriously by the criminal justice system. Moreover, the processing of sexual violence cases has still not changed sufficiently in response to feminist criticism. But I caution you about attempting to gin up punitive fervor.

    America currently has the largest population of prisoners in sheer numbers and per capita. We have 2.4 million people in prison or jail. If you include all the people under criminal justice supervision (alternative to incarceration, parole, and probation) this number rises to well over 7.4 million. That includes 1 in every 31 people, about 3.2% of our entire population. This increase began in about 1977 and accelerated in the 1990s, continuing to rise rapidly even when crime rates were plummeting. This rise has done incalculable damage to America’s black population who are incarcerated at much higher rates than whites, as are other minorities like American Indians and (some groups of) Latinos. Moreover, while men outnumber women 9 to 1 in prison, women’s incarceration rates have increased even more than men’s (650% versus 300% since 1980). Women’s incarceration rates are even more racially disproportionate.

    There is a large amount of debate about what exactly caused this unprecedented increase in our prison population. While there are many factors in play, one is that more people who are convicted/plead guilty get carceral sentences than would have in the past. Things like mandatory minimums, especially for drug crimes, as well as remarkable increases in the the length of serious sentences and use of life-without-parole has helped to create this situation. California, which has historically been on the vanguard of punitiveness, has 20% of is prison population serving life sentences. This is mostly due to its 3 strikes law which was intended to ensure incarceration gets used more for repeat offenders. (See eg http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/us/23sentence.html)

    While many people deserve punishment, and the system does not take some crimes as seriously as it should, this DOES NOT mean that the system overall is lax or that incarceration is the proper solution to all criminal offenses. America is very prone to populist punitive urges, and while I myself feel vengeful and angry at men like your stalker (a legitimate reaction for sure), when dealing with the system as a whole this attitude has caused untold, undeserved suffering. I ask you not to encourage it on your blog or at least to include correct information about how the system works.

    PS: Most stats are from the DOJ.

    Best wishes,
    Allison

  40. Pat D.
    January 13th, 2011 @ 10:11 am

    You go, girl! Thank you for sharing the story.

    Will restrian myself from the comments directed at pro-gun ownership people I’d LIKe to make…

  41. Phyllis
    January 13th, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    Hi Shreve,

    I see absolutely nothing wrong with learning how to use rifles and guns – especially when it’s by a responsible person.

    It absolutely infuriates me that women are not treated as they should be in so many scenarios. Stalking is just one, but there are so many more – sexual harrasment, abuse, equal pay…

    I don’t care if that official was near retirement or not, your case should have been taken seriously by him. And that the psycho didn’t even get a slap on the hand is maddening. Criminals know nothing will be done – there are no consequences for their actions – so what’s to stop them?

    I’m glad you’re safe and that you have Mike as a supporter and friend.

    Once again I want to say how much I admire what you do for Charlie (and the other animals). Take good care!

  42. Farmer Lady
    January 13th, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    Thanks for the update. I appreciate you letting us know the situation.
    I am somewhat amazed (in a bad way) at how the PA & judge handled it. Like it was a case of a dog urinating on a neighbor’s garden.. ho hum. It makes me wonder… how would they feel/act if it was them personally being stalked, or maybe their wife or daughter. I just wonder… I bet it would have been a bit different, sadly.
    Thanks for staying strong.

  43. Theresa Szpila
    January 13th, 2011 @ 10:52 am

    Thanks, Shreve, for posting, and for including the guns in your post. Not only is your wellfare important to me and to all of us, but your learning how to protect yourself and deal with the situation is just as important, and I applaud every step you’ve taken.

    As for guns, the generalization is probably – 1) For those of us who live in large cities, guns are strange things that only police and criminals possess and use.
    2) For those of us in suburbia, guns are for hunting and refer to shotguns and rifles only.
    3) For those of us in rural areas, guns of all sorts are probably everyday realities and necessary for hunting and protection.

    Im from NYC, so you can imagine where I started out feeling about guns. But your experience has opened my eyes, and my mind, and I feel differently about guns now. I have developed a whole new level of respect and understanding and, while I will probably never own a gun myself, I support you, and your right to have and use your guns, all the way!

  44. Corrie
    January 13th, 2011 @ 10:56 am

    I’m not a gun person, but my husband is. He acquired a Glock pistol last year and I went with him to practice shooting with it. HOLY COW! It was unbelievably, scarily easy to shoot. I really felt challenged to be, like you said, fully present when that gun was anywhere in my vicinity, let alone in my hand. It was a real eye-opener for me. Kudos to you for empowering yourself as best you can in such a sucky situation!

  45. Monica Platz
    January 13th, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

    As always, you are an inspiration! Stay the course, Shreve!

  46. catherine
    January 13th, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

    Allison is right, here in California, jailing people is a big business. Lots of money in it, lots of jobs, and they are being built all over. One will be built here in my Valley. So guess what, we are moving. I refuse to live 20 miles from a jail. It kills my vib ! And yes the 3 strikes law fills the jails, and we are not building schools and hiring teachers, we are building jails, and yes our health system stinks and we have mental cases everywhere who should be cared for and instead are placed in jails and put back in the streets…The ones with high incomes,here, do not care much, they live behind gates with 24 hours security, like in Brazil, they are in gold cages, but cages never the less…That is the situation here. That is what our local governments sells, fear and punishments and gates with armed guards. Not schools, health care or mental health care. So, will things get better ? Dah, No. I am with you Shreve, we all have the best of loving, caring intentions but if someone comes to threaten your well being, be ready.

  47. catherine
    January 13th, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

    Talking about strong women here is a link for a movie that is coming out in Europe: Women are Heroes.
    womenareheroes-lefilm.com. it says it all.

  48. Meg A.
    January 13th, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Shreve. Your strength and willingness to to share with others is always amazing.

  49. Beverly Murphy
    January 13th, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

    thank you so much for sharing your story with us. be proud you can defend yourself and your ‘farmily’
    much peace and love

  50. Noel
    January 13th, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

    What a fascinating transformation you’ve been going through in these last couple years. The gun stuff sure, but the EMT training as well, and so many other things. There’s a real strength – that has nothing to do with being female or male – that comes from self reliance and competence.

    So many of the comments seem to center around what victims women are, and how the deck is stacked against them – yet the choice to gain strength, and knowledge, and independence is there for each of us – if we take it. Men are crime victims too, and the criminal justice system is populated by professionals on the legal AND illegal side of the bench who “own” the system. And it sucks for victims, who SHOULD own it.

    I stop in every month or so, and it’s great to see “what’s next”.

  51. Maggie
    January 14th, 2011 @ 1:31 am

    Being a new resident of the United States, learning how to shoot is on my list of things to learn, and soon. In a country where I *could* be attacked by someone wielding a gun… were I able to get it away from the potential attacker… I feel I need to know what to do with it. I don’t want to be a terrified woman with shaking hands who doesn’t even know how to turn the safety off. I’m Canadian, I don’t like guns, I don’t want to own a gun, but I do want to know how to use one and be good at it.
    Sending you e-hugs and lots of good energy <3.

  52. bekka
    January 14th, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    Dear Shreve,
    When i told my now ex husband i was divorcing him he decided to show up at the house with a shotgun. he like your staulker actually text me so I knew he was coming. When i wasn’t there he became angry and called yelling at me that I was keeping our daughter from him. The next day he called to say he was close by and when he killed himself I would be able to hear the shot. I called 911 and after 3 days they found him (he ran) and hospitalized him for 72 hours. While waiting for his capture i went got a carry permit, a handgun and a protection from abuse order.
    Its now 2 years later and i’m having a friend teach my now almost 18 year old daughter to shot my gun. (i cant carry it full time because of work) The system helps and hinders in both our cases. For me cause my ex didn’t directly threaten our daughter even though she was here when he texted me, he still has visitation even though our daughter doesnt want to see him. he’s allowed at my house anytime to pick her up, or see her and theres nothing i can do even w/ the p.f.a.
    I’m glad i didnt spend months dealing with things like you did cause honestly i’m not as strong as you. but reading your posts makes me realise that i can be if i work on it.
    So know that my thoughts are with you and mike and the whole farmly and hope things end up the best for all of you.

  53. Jerry Johnson
    January 14th, 2011 @ 8:55 am

    When I read your story, Shreve, the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Thank God you are the strong independent person that you are. And I am so glad that this turned out well. I hope you know, though, that should you ever need it, you have a militia of loyal fans willing to come to your aid in whatever you need.

  54. Pat D.
    January 14th, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

    Last Friday, we were relaxing at home after 10 at night when the phone rang and a voice said “This is a Reverse 911 Call from [the local police department] to advise you there is an Active Shooter in your neighborhood. Please go to the lowest level of your home and stay there. We will call you again to advise you when the situation is safe.” My face must have drained of blood as I listened to it, because my roomie was saying “What? What?!”
    We put out the lights in the front of the house and stayed in the back, as we have no basement. Eventually another call did come, hours later.
    Cause was “a domestic disturbance.”
    Some idjit threatened his wife, then the cops, and ended up in the hospital. Could have turned out a lot worse, I’m sure, especially with three little kids in the house. SIGH…

  55. Mamba 1-0
    January 14th, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

    An interesting and informative site for women who shoot – or want to shoot – is The Cornered Cat: http://www.corneredcat.com/
    The ‘Ladies Area” at WeTheArmed is also a good place for women to talk with other women about guns and their use: http://wethearmed.com/index.php

  56. Audrey
    January 14th, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the AZ shooter (as in hours every day since the news broke), but he never crossed my mind until you specifically mentioned the AZ shooting). Crazy people with guns — bad. You with a gun — good.

  57. A.J.
    January 14th, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

    have you realized how many things tend to happen to you im mean recap for second,
    you took a vespa across the country,
    you moved to ten sleep with out a second thought,
    you have a pet coyote,
    your an author ( a very good one to),
    your very proactive,
    and so mutch more.
    your an idle to me.

  58. Margi
    January 14th, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

    I learned about your blog today when talking to a friend about “the daily Chuck.” I’ve read every post on The Daily Coyote (and ordered a calendar) and just read this series.

    I had never heard of you until today, and my heart still aches for the pain and frustration of this situation. I wish I could take you out for coffee and listen to your story.

    Namaste to you and yours.

  59. Spitt
    January 14th, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

    On pins and needles here! Again, so glad you are all safe and ok.

  60. Lizzie L
    January 15th, 2011 @ 4:15 am

    I was outraged to read that he was free to go and his fees were waived. I know there is no good reason for this, but I’m looking forward to hearing more of this story to find out why this happened. I am very emotionally-invested in this, for your sake and as well as for the sakes of all women who have ever been and will ever be victims of this kind of deranged behavior.

    You are beautifully strong and an inspiration to me!

  61. Bronwyn
    January 15th, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    Handguns are not allowed in Canada but I do so wish to learn how to shoot a rifle. Personal safety is an issue on a farm, particularly when coyotes (please forgive me) are too brassy to show fear towards humans no matter how much you scream and shout at them. Twice I’ve been stalked in a field, though I suspect the coyote was after my dog, not me. Still, with new reports of cougars being reintroduced to the area my need to learn grows. Especially since I have an 8 week old puppy now as well under my care. We do what we must to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

  62. Angie
    January 15th, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

    Actually I’m really glad you explained this!
    I was on the fence about how I felt about guns, but now I understand how necessary they can really be. I’m in Canada as well, so it’s always the last thing I think about. The most valuable protection of all is clear and critical thinking, guns are a tool, but wits are your compass. Lol, we use water from a garden hose to scare everything away from our chickens. You have no idea how convincing those Owl decoy’s are either! ;)

  63. Margi
    January 15th, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

    I found The Daily Coyote yesterday at a colleague’s suggestion and read every entry, looked at every photo, and find you and your story incredibly intriguing, to say the least.

    Having spent so much time reading your words over the past 24 hours, of course I feel like I know you. And of course I know I don’t.

    I just wanted to tell you that I so appreciate you sharing this story, as painful and horrendous as it must have been to live – and retell – it.

    Namaste to you and the whole Farmily.

  64. Barbara
    January 15th, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    I have read your blog for awhile. As a native of Chicago, I will say this about this stalking problem: at least you have forewarning. I am not being funny or insolent…but here in the big city, one can be walking down the street & bam, some moron shots from a car, or knocks in your head (google Natasha McShane Bucktown April 2010), just one in the latest of violent crimes happening here. We camped with our 6 children all over the US and loved the West, but husband’s job was here (+ our families). I give you a lot of credit, and you must have a lot of strength to make the lifestyle change that you did, so I got a feeling that things will work out well for you!

  65. Festive
    January 15th, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

    Hang in there Shreve. Thinking about you

  66. Heatherface
    January 16th, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

    I feel that at least understanding how to shoot a gun in case of an emergency, even if you’re against guns, is something everyone should know. Good for you for learning, I hope you’ll never have to use those skills.

    It’s very unfortunate you had a bad experience with the court, reading about that made me really angry. I’m looking forward to the next installment.

  67. luis
    January 17th, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    i noticed you some time ago while looking for info about coyotes, one of my passions)and today i found this, your honey rock dawn page and read some minutes about your problem with the stalker, and those algea shots, and rocks, petrified clam, etc…just wanted to send you love and best wishes, i will try to dive into your world one of these days. namaste.luis.

  68. Carmen
    January 18th, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    Namaste, lovely lady.

  69. Not a Native
    January 19th, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    You go girl. Take care of yourself. Remember an empty gun is useless in an emergency situation. So keep it loaded and Charlie at the front door!!

  70. MysteryTheMorab
    January 19th, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

    So sorry you went and are going through all of this! I am glad you have support in your family and friends as well as in yourself. Good vibes headed your way!

  71. Joy
    January 24th, 2011 @ 3:04 am

    When I found out I was pregnant with my son, I had to make a commitment to myself before I decided to become a mom. Was I willing to kill in order to protect my son? If I doubted my ability to protect my son one tiny bit, I never would have had him. As a mom, I feel like it’s my most important job, protecting my son.

    Bravo to you for finding your inner warrior and making damn sure you can protect yourself and your family!

  72. Nicolas
    January 28th, 2011 @ 6:29 am

    I came upon this blog of yours by following The Daily Coyote. Found the book at borders a few years back and loved it. My wife and daughter have also read it and loved it as well. The three of us have been, for quite a while now, addicted to your Tuesday pic email!

    On the subject at hand, what an incredible story, but all too real unfortunately! As a father of a 15-yr. old girl, I fear for my daughter to be exposed to what you described. Although I want to preserve her childlike (she has still some wondeful childhood naiveness in her), care-free, stress-free outlook onto the world, I feel it is critical to “enlighten” her awareness of the surrounding world for her own protection, and that “no, as parents, we cannot prolong the age of innocence too far”; innocence defined as the feeling that nothing can happen to oneself as you are being ever protected by the parents armour! Without entering into the pro or anti-gun debate, I do not believe in the POSITIVE power of guns, but can appreciate your point. I, too, would fight and harm to defend my family at large. I started thinking about taking “defense handgun lessons” for all of us, as ar friend was recently killed by a stranger over a stupid meaningless speed controlling device debate.
    Thank you for sharing.

  73. Anna
    January 29th, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

    I am not reading the other comments posted.

    I just want to say that I am so glad you did what you need to protect yourself.

    And to apologize to you and other crime victims that as a society we do not value all life to the same degree and therefore do not do what we know we need to do to protect it.

    Glad you are safe and can protect yourself.

    BTW, I am a staunch pro-gun control advocate, but if the laws, judicial system and law enforcement will not protect us, we have little recourse…

  74. ArcticLight
    June 13th, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

    I feel for you – I teach Shotokan Karate and I occasionally see someone that wants to come in and get a black belt in 30 minutes…but there ARE self-defense classes for that.

    And I honor that you got a handgun, I’m an avid shooter myself!

    But, beyond that, the book “The Gift of Fear” is probably the absollute BEST defense you can get – if you look past hte liberal anti-gun/anti-defend yourself attitude of the author.

    Good read- goes into the mindset of a stalker.

    And when all else fails then there’s the handgun, or the finger into the perps eyes.

    Love reading your site – keep up the good work!

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