Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tragedy in East Texas

From this morning's Houston Chronicle:

She did not reciprocate his romantic affections, but Sam Houston State University cheerleader Rachel Pendray never turned away from Jake Taylor.
When Taylor, 24, tried to kill himself with sleeping pills last month, she called medical help to his home in time to save his life. And when Taylor showed up at Pendray's Huntsville apartment late Sunday, she let him in.
After the two spoke alone in a bedroom for a while, Pendray's roommates heard gunfire. Police later forced their way into the locked bedroom to find Taylor had shot Pendray to death before turning a gun on himself.

I've always hated to see things like this, but even more so since I became a gun owner and, if you will, more aware of the fact that evil walks among us. After things like this, I always wonder how long it'll take until the various and sundry gun-grabbers out there will latch on to them and call for ever more restrictions on the people least likely to do things like this. The article says the murderer tried to kill himself with sleeping pills twice, and that he suffered from depression after he was dropped from the baseball team at Spring Woods High School. Whatever the case may be, the ball was dropped somewhere along the line, and there was arguably little that could have been done to stop this from happening once this guy walked through her door. If it hadn't been with a gun, it would have been with a knife, or perhaps even a blunt object like an iron pipe or a baseball bat. Of course, I suppose many of you who read my ramblings are well aware of all this, and of the fact that if Rachel Pendray had a gun and had the knowledge and willingness to use it, it might well have been just Jake Taylor with the bullet in him, instead of both of them. Many people talk of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, but if we're really going to make any headway reducing violent acts like this one, there's going to have to be a massive paradigm shift among the American public, one that calls for arming and training the good people so they can defend themselves against the bad people. And there were signs that Taylor had malevolent intentions...

The young woman's roommates, all members of Zeta Tau Alpha, told university life personnel that Taylor's interest in Pendray "was an obsession-type thing," said Sam Houston State's director of public relations, Frank Krystyniak.
Many became unnerved by Taylor's interest in Pendray. Jesse Chambers, who lives in the apartment complex where the shooting occurred, said one of Pendray's roommates thought Taylor was starting to act somewhat like a stalker.

...and furthermore, Pendray was prohibited by federal law from arming herself. Per the Gun Control Act of 1968, she would have to have been 21 to buy a firearm from a federally licensed dealer. Perhaps that option crossed her mind, but now we'll never know. It's too late for Rachel Pendray, but if there's anyone out there reading this who has little girls, I beg of you...teach them the dangers of this world and how to defend themselves. If not for you, if not for them, then do it for Rachel Pendray and all those like her who remained too unaware...