Friday, December 28, 2012

Could Concealed Carry Have Saved Donna Kristofak

Captured Fugitive John Kristofak,
Accused of Murdering ex-wife Donna Nations Kristofak

On Saturday, December 22, 2012, John Kristofak allegedly stalked his ex-wife, Donna, and murdered her in her garage. The murder weapon was a knife. He stabbed her, delivering a fatal wound which claimed her life after arriving at a nearby hospital.

The murder weapon was not a gun.

Donna Kristofak had feared for her life. Several times, she filed for court orders requesting protection. The courts granted her wishes, issuing restraining orders against John. Still, like all criminals, the law meant nothing to John Kristofak, who was charged with Aggravated Stalking in March of 2012.

During the court proceedings, Donna had asked the court to make an official record that she feared for her life. She wanted it on official paperwork that her fear was well documented and well founded.

It is unknown if Donna Nations Kristofak had been issued a concealed carry permit. What is known is that the Lautenberg Amendment of 1997 forbid John Kristofak from possessing a firearm and disqualified him from a concealed carry permit. He didn't need either. He murdered Donna with a knife.

John Kristofak eluded police as a fugitive for several days. Police and US Marshals arrested Kristofak the morning of December 27, 2012 in a hotel room in Union City, Georgia. He did have a handgun in his possession at the time of his arrest. He did not lawfully possess that firearm. The gun ban on perpetrators of domestic violence meant nothing to the criminal. Criminals care little for laws. Had Kristofak respected life and the law, he would not have killed his ex-wife. He would not have given Donna Kristofak cause to seek restraining orders and police protection from him.

Had Donna Kristofak obtained a concealed carry permit, it would have provided her an option that could have, perhaps, saved her life. If she had one, she should have been armed at the time of the assault.

That is only part of the picture. Those of us who received adequate defensive handgun training know that unholstering and presenting a concealed handgun is a bad move if the assailant is within a certain short range. If the assailant is two paces or less away, and trained, he can avoid being shot and even, potentially disarm his intended victim.

However, Donna Kristofak had that documented court order. The judge had told her that if John approached her property or was seen following her that she could call the police and he would be arrested. Even if police reaction time was six minutes, it took John Kristofak seconds to deliver that fatal wound. It would have taken her longer to pull out a cell phone and dial 911 than it would have to pull a properly concealed Glock 36 and put two in his chest.

Feeling her life in constant jeopardy from this criminal, Donna should have also sought out hand-to-hand self-defense classes. Krav Maga classes, Keysi classes, or basic Jujitsu classes would have granted her even more options. Those options could have worked had John's presence been discovered once he was too close to safely utilize a concealed handgun.

Donna's first mistake was actually trusting the police to protect her. Police will do their best to protect human life. However, they cannot be everywhere. No rational adult human being wants police stationed in their yard 24/7. We like our privacy. We like normalcy. A constant police presence grants neither.

While I cannot say that the measures discussed would have necessarily saved Donna Kristofak from her ex-husband's violence, they may have given her a fighting chance. They would have made her a harder target and a less-likely victim.