AP: ''If freed rapists return, armed victim ready''

As astute gun owners are already aware, the Associated Press is not typically known for its fair and balanced coverage of self-defense issues. So it will probably come as a surprise that the AP has published a story that shows exactly what all the hard work to pass Ohio's concealed carry law was about...

    A woman who was repeatedly raped 23 years ago has learned self-defense and how to shoot a gun should two of her attackers return to her town when they’re paroled Monday.

    “If it’s me or them, it’s not going to be me anymore,” said Cathy Lindsey. “I would not hesitate for a minute to protect my life.”

    Three men broke into her Middletown home, tied her up and held a gun to her head and raped her repeatedly. They made her beg for her life and for the safety of her children, who were in another room, and forced her to say over and over that she would not tell police.

    When they finally left, Lindsey drove to a hospital and ignored the men’s threats to kill her. She identified two attackers, and later picked the third from a police lineup. They had been so bold — or so inept — that they took turns wearing a single pillowcase over their heads, Lindsey said.

    All three men denied any involvement, but police found their fingerprints in Lindsey’s apartment and found the gun, pillowcase and clothesline used to bind her hands in the home of Richard Reed Jr., who lived across the street.

    Reed, 53, and Robert Hogsten, 49, are being released Monday, after serving all but five years of their sentences on rape convictions. In exchange for their guilty pleas, prosecutors dropped charges of aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery.

    ...The third man convicted in the attack is Hogsten’s brother, Edward Hogsten, 50. He did not take a plea bargain, was convicted of rape, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery and was sentenced to 28 to 68 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole in 2011.

The AP reports that Reed’s family expects him to return to the area where Lindsey still lives, because he has a son in nearby Monroe. Lindsey was quoted as saying she dreads the possibility that either man could live near her home in Middletown.

Lindsey and her husband filed for protective orders to be served on Reed and Hogsten before their release, and have applied for [licenses] to carry concealed [handguns].

Click on 'Read More' for further details and commentary.

Dana Gilbert, director of the Rape Crisis and Abuse Center in Cincinnati, told the AP that "if they would feel comfortable more knowing how to defend themselves, that is certainly something that would make them feel empowered. I would hate to see a confrontation, but if someone feels safer and more empowered, that is good."

    Michael, a prison guard and Army veteran, has helped teach his wife how to shoot.

    Her preference is a snub-nosed revolver, but she also can handle his 45-caliber pistol, her husband said.

    "She's not looking forward to that time, but she's prepared," he said.

The AP has also helped identify another anti-gun bureaucrat whose name we can remember in case he ever seeks an elected office.

    Middletown City Manager Bill Becker told the AP he was never a fan of concealed carry laws.

    "But," he told the AP, "it's certainly Cathy's right, if she feels the need, and in this particular case, I wouldn't blame her."

Yes, Mr. Becker, bearing arms for self-defense IS her right - one specifically enumerated in the Ohio Constitution. And, no thanks to people like you, it is a right that, after more than a century of infringment, has again been recognized by Ohio law.

It is time to further reform the law to ensure that

Rep. Stephen Buehrer (R-74) has introduced HB 541, a measure aimed at modernizing Ohio's law on self-defense. This reform brings desperately needed change to Ohio’s self-defense laws.

In many states, including Ohio, the civil and criminal burden is placed upon the victim in a self-defense encounter due to convoluted jury tests that include, among other things, a duty to retreat. The reforms introduced today place the burden back where it belongs - on the bad guy.

When HB541 becomes law, victims will once again be presumed innocent. Click here to write your elected officials about this crucial legislation.

Related Stories:
Self-Defense Bill of Rights Part I

Self-Defense Bill of Rights Part II

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