A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Fighting Chance

The 21 year old University of Wisconsin-Madison coed wanted to be a physician. She had altruistic goals of healing the sick and infirm, not of living a country club lifestyle. She was living with her fiance'. They had plans to marry in Hawaii. When he arrived at home, on April 2, 2008, he found her dead.

Brittany Zimmerman had been beaten and stabbed multiple times in her chest. She was finally strangled to death as she desperately clung to life. Her door showed signs of forced entry. Her cell phone was shattered. Amazingly, Brittany had notified a sheriff's 911 dispatcher of the vicious attack. The 911 tape revealed screams, gasps and the sounds of a struggle, according to court documents. Her call for help was ignored because "the dispatcher did not hear any sounds that would signal an emergency." After her murder, a Marquette Tribune headline had the audacity to declare that the cause of Brittany Zimmerman's death was still unknown. Her killer is still at large.

Here's a snippet of reality for those who still believe the cause of this young woman's death is "unknown." She was murdered. She bled out while some predatory animal in human form squeezed the last breath out of her collapsing, blood filled lungs. She died a horrible, unjust and unnecessary death. Police failed to respond in a timely fashion. It took them 48 minutes to arrive at her home to "investigate" Brittany Zimmerman's death, only after her husband-to-be found her dead body.

I have yet another reality snippet. The failure of the police to respond in a timely fashion is irrelevant. The lethal attack was already in progress when they were notified. Unless officers were already on patrol on her street, a 911 call was but a futile notification that a homicide would soon be investigated. The only way that Brittany Zimmerman could have been saved at that point was by having the ability to effectively fight off an attacking predator. It is evident that she did not have the physical strength or know how to do so. Thus, she needed a tool. She needed a gun.

A gun is not a magic talisman against evil. A gun is not some mystical device that saves lives any more than it is an evil device that takes lives. A gun is an inanimate object. A tool with which we can protect ourselves. A life preserver. A gun might not have saved Brittany Zimmerman on April 2, but with the proper training and effective ammunition, it would have given her a fighting chance. If only she had a gun.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

So tragic a loss. Even being armed may not have helped without the will to defend oneself. To beg mercy from the meciles not a good plan. Depending on a faceles bureaucrat on the phone to give a tinkers @#%& incredably ignorant. Still tragic nonetheless.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Well said!

I've copied this and posted it, with proper attribution, over at Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, in their discussions forum

Semper Fi,

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I seroiusly doubt that anyone will be "hung professionally" from either dispatch or patrol, for these faux pas.

2:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If screams, calling for help and gasping are not signs of a person having an emergency worthy of police attention, than I wonder what is required?
And yes, unless the police were already on her block, they would probably have been too late.

7:22 AM  
Blogger DouginSalcha said...

As painful as articles like this are to see and to read, they need to be made public. It is, as my Grandmother used to say, "A crying shame".

I carry a gun because a policeman is too heavy...

9:06 AM  
Blogger Anthony said...

Sometimes people in my family ask me why I want or need a gun, pointing out that I may still die if I am attacked. I tell them that I would rather die fighting on my feet than die begging on my knees. I'm not going out that way, no way no how.

I am sorry for this girl and her family. She probably thought she was safe, being all the "experts" say to have a cell phone handy....maybe if she would have put her keys in her hand as well?

At least with a gun, while the killer smashed her phone she could have smashed his chest with .45ACP and if she still would have died the killer would have been identifiable with chest wounds such as those.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Old NFO said...

There will be an investigation, but everyone will be cleared and on down the road they will go, whistling merrily; while this young girl lies cold and dead in her grave... Only a few will question, then they too will move on. Self defense should be available to ANYONE, regardless!

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

So very - very sad. What's frustrating is that many will hear about this and think, "that cannot happen to me." To quote the late great Col. Cooper, “"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.“

3:27 PM  
Blogger The Bad Yogi said...

As far as I can tell, 3 things would have had to be true for her to be alive:
1) She would have had to be armed. Not "own a gun" but actually be armed. In her own apartment.
2) The gun would have had to be loaded, and very close at hand.
3) She would have had to have been willing to use it at the very first sign of trouble.

As much as I would like to believe differently, the majority of people who own guns would not have met the criteria. This from a guy who lost his eldest son last Dec 30 to a presumed gang member who allegedly forced his way into the apartment (still in the courts, thus the chicken-shit language). As much as I would wish differently, my son would still not be alive unless those 3 things had been true.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Travlin said...

Bad Yogi -

Thank you for your warning about preparedness. I am very sorry about your son. I am sure your loss is devistating. I hope you can find some measure of comfort somehow.

6:07 PM  
Blogger The Bad Yogi said...


Thanks for your sympathy, it's very much appreciated.

As far as it goes, I don't depend on a gun for home defense, as I don't wish to carry while I'm doing dishes, etc. There are strategically located items around the house however, that both my wife and I know about.

But as has been pointed out, the real issue is preparedness in general.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds very similar to a serial killer who stalked the same campus around the early 1980s. He, or she, was never caught. Sounds like this could be a copy cat as I doubt the same person would be able to still physically kill. The original murders around the campus began in the 1970s and abruptly stopped in 1984 I believe. If it's possible this could be the same person the authorities should look for any leads pertaining to any person who had been incarcerated since the first serial murders stopped. Same campus, you can look this up online.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was very disturbed and saddened by Brittany's story. I felt I needed to help let people know about the real evil out there. At first I thought I should send it to all the US Senators then realized owning a gun is perfectly legal it's the general public that need to be educated. I posted her story in a women's issues forum on craigslist. The responses are just as disturbing as her story.


9:05 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

tragic and so unnecessary

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just some comments on this topic....
My son is a dispatcher for this county. He has worked in this dispatch for 7 years. Wasn't on shift the day this call came in...thank God.
He hasn't really said a lot about this case...but with the little I know about this dispatch system...its surprising that more of these tragedies haven't happened.
What you folks are seeing, this trageic death is a super nova of the constellation of multiple errors.
Every thing from NO WRITTEN procedures, interdepartmental joustling for territory, bad bad bad management, lousy workers, no union support, bad bad bad....
Sigh, where does a person begin!??!
Just a few thoughts...when the powers that be state there is no money for new equipment...they should be asked where did they put the millions that have been budgeted in previous years? The answer: in an account that draws interest and the interest then goes into the general fund. Thereby fluffing up the general fund so that Kathleen Falk can go out and buy swamp land to "save" it from development.
When the powers that be say they have a new computer system....they are actually talking about the software, that is relatively new. The hardware is circa 1986 and isn't fast enough to run the 4-5 software systems that they are cramming into the old hardware.
One more thing before I get too exasperated.
When a worker gets a file filled to about 2 inches wide, with complaints, disciplinings, warnings, etc....and continues to work (or she likes to say she works)....then where is the management and quality assurance...and where is the incentive for other workers to work and put out a great product....and if your hooters enter the room 5 minutes before the person does....
So, what you folks out there in reality land are seeing from Madison, Wi. (the socialistic capital of the world) is a small picture into the thoughts and actions of a very liberal group of people that knows what is "best" for our county.
The product of this is: No accountablility, spend for fluff and forget basic services, and the attitude that Madison "is actually a nice to place to live..."
Sorry about taking up the band width but nobdy seems to have the ability to think around here....I just needed to get these thoughts off my chest.

7:27 AM  
Anonymous big jeff mike said...

when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Glenn Bartley said...

Well said.

7:33 AM  


Thanks for posting this story.

The average response time for law enforcment in my hometown is 14-18 minutes. Not a bad response time on a national average, but a hell of a long time if someone is breaking in your house.

I had occasion a while back to dial 9-1-1.

After ringing an inordinately long period of time (I thought) I finally got an operator who asked the standard question: "What is your emergency."

I was flabbergasted to realize they then pass you to the agency that will handle the call in your area--in my case, the sheriff's office. In the future, I will dial direct--it saves time.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

No one has pointed out that there is no concealed carry in Wisconsin. There are no laws forbidding open-carry, however "but a person doing so may risk being arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, on the grounds that the display threatens the public peace or safety." That said, Madison allows carry inside of the home.

In my home town of Grafton, the law sates that you may not have a firearm unless it is unloaded and encased, even in your own home!

5:46 PM  

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