Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Burglary in Newton, MA

I don’t know how many of you know of Howie Carr. He’s somewhat right of center radio talk show host on WRKO in Boston. Carr is sympathetic to gun owners although he doesn’t devote too many shows to gun issues.

I caught the last segment of his show yesterday when he featured a 911 call. It was a woman in Newton, Massachusetts who was suffering a burglary. The dispatcher collected the information as she sent units to the caller’s home. The caller said she had locked herself in the bathroom but her infant and toddler were asleep in their bedrooms. She began fairly calm, but got more distraught and the call ended with her screaming uncontrollably.

I checked Boston Globe for similar stories and I think, although I’m not sure, that this one may be the same case, Cynthia Lothian was the victim. The paper very dispassionately laid out facts and stated the suspected burglar, Timothy J. Carlson, left because of her screams. They caught him later and they suspect that he may be involved in up to 50 burglaries in Newton and nearby towns.

If it’s the same case, then all ended well. Still, I heard stark terror in her voice. Her scream became almost that of an animal. Her babies were left unprotected from a suspected burglar, one who was found later with a razor knife and a six-inch nail—again if it’s the same case.

I felt sorry for the woman. She had no choice but to cower in her bathroom. Her only weapons her voice and her phone. While her situation ended all right, it could have been very different. She or her children could be dead or injured now, a burglar free to attack again.

If she owned a gun and learned how to use it, she could have called for police help. She could have still barricaded herself in the bathroom or felt more able to go to her children. She would have had her gun in case the burglar did worse than break in and then leave once he heard her screaming. She would have had options. Instead she had only her terror.

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