We all came to her house. The sight of dried blood stains unavoidable on the street where she bled out and died. Where they all bled out and died.

So many tears.

We, her sisters and brother stayed in her now silent home. All around reminders of the vibrant life so recently lived.

Her garden gloves on the back step. The clearing in the blackberry patch. The unopened bag of potatoes in the pantry. The welcoming colors of the newly planted driftwood and rock flower garden at the front door.

We slept in the beds, ate her food, looked at the carefully selected artwork on the walls, fingered the books and art supplies.

Gathered around the kitchen table, “Whose jacket is this?” The brown leather jacket hung on the chair, its back to the door to the garage. An innocent question.

But it did not belong to any of us. Certainly it was not hers. Reaching into the left pocket. A crumpled receipt. On it, the name of the gun shop, the description of the pistol grip shotgun, the date and the price; bought the night of the shooting.

Anger erupts, fear palpable in handling the jacket, holding the receipt as though the killer could reappear in sweaty desperation, molecules reforming to engulf us.

What’s this? In the other pocket, an unopened, undelivered Hallmark card.

A cute puppy on the front. Inside, the pleading of a grief-stricken soul. “I made a terrible mistake. Forgive me. I am so sorry. Come back to me. We will make the life together we had planned. Do not tell my mother what I did. It was the drugs. My back hurt. I lost my job. Do not tell my mother. It would kill her.”

On one side, an apology.

On the other, a gun.

What influenced the decision? What compelled him to take my sister’s life, the life of my niece, his fiancée; and in the end, his own? What made him choose the gun over the words of love in the card?

A clue is in the words of our then president. Words that resound in my head louder and louder as the years pass.

”We’re gonna shoot first and ask questions later.”

It is not so simple. We all grew up seeing, hearing, re-enacting the legends of the West.

Is this the culture in which we want to raise our children?

Can we change this aspect of our culture? Do we really want to?

“Go ahead. Make my day.”

Doris Jean Lombard
Mountain Center


  1. This is a perfect example of leftwing thinking. How does this story have anything to do with gun culture . Millions of people own guns MILLIONS! But the percentage of law abiding firearm owners never commit any crimes much less murder. If the person in this story had not had a gun they would have used some other weapon. So stupid.

  2. A sad story. My sympathies to her and her family. Still, i have to ask, what does this have to do with me?
    The author intimates that any owner of firearms is a tragedy waiting to happen. A person to be feared and one not to be trusted. She equates me with the loonie in Aurora and Chris Dorner, and she is not the only one. This mindset can be found in the national and local media, and in Congress.
    I resent the implication. Firearms have been in my family since I was four years old. When I was young, they were objects not to be touched. When I grew older, my dad trained me in their handling and use. I enjoy shooting although I do not hunt. This woman has no reason to fear me.
    Any object is dangerous if used incorrectly. If her loved ones had been killed by a drunk driver, would she advocate banning cars? Or alcohol?
    Ms. Feinstein wants to ban certain weapons and accessories. Would she advocate banning high performance cars as easily? In both cases, it's not the object but how that object is used.

  3. Guns don’t kill people whack jobs kill people, either with or without guns. The problem isn’t the weapon but the person behind the weapon. A gun and training is a force leveler that can allow a woman to protect herself from a larger and physically stronger opponent.

    In a perfect world nobody anywhere in the world would have or need a gun except for hunting, in the real world when people have had their guns taken away bad things have happened. There are a number of real world statistics where violent crime has gone up when tight gun restrictions have been put in place.

    When you look at the federal governments own statistics, you will see the most murders in places with the strictest gun laws. Why? Because when only the criminals and police have guns then the common citizen has no protection. Remember “When Seconds Count The Police Are Only Two Minutes Away “. I have a lot of respect for 99.9% of police, but they simply can not be everywhere, all the time.

  4. 300 million guns did NOT kill anybody today………..guns are simply instruments…….social decay is the problem, and the wack jobs it produces. Everything is mentioned…….drugs, pain, obviously a misguided loser who wrote the note and yet guns get the blame. People are going to have to start figuring it out. I've been around guns since the age of 5, and I always felt the safest in a group of gun owners I knew………………we never had this stuff when I was growing up on the farm back in the 50's, everybody had a gun and only a fool would try something around us.