Sunday, August 16, 2009


Annette Sowder, victim of her poor choices

Last week, here in the Central Valley, Annette Sowders was murdered along with her mother by her estranged husband, Robert Dale Fuller. Fuller broke into the Sowders residence early on the morning of August 8th. He fatally shot Annette and her mother Sharon Sue Canon in front of his two childern. Sowder's 8 year old daughter called the police and identified her father as the party responsible for the shooting death of her mother and grandmother.

After hearing about cases like this, the first natural response after sorrow for the family is 'how did this happen?' Unfortunately, it's very easy to place blame on those around us, and difficult to lame blame at the feet of the victim. Annette Sowders is dead because of the actions of Annette Sowders. Harsh?! Taken from the Bakersfield Californian article regarding the murders:
"She went to court just last week to maintain a restraining order against him. She called the sheriff's department when he showed up at her home in Oildale. She even had him arrested last Tuesday for violating the restraining order."
However, Fuller was still able to get to her. Some in local media have blamed the Sheriff's Department, and judicial system in general for not keeping Mr. Fuller behind bars when he proved to be a danger to himself and those around him. Others lay blame not only at the feet of law enforcement but at the feet of Annette Sowders for not seeing the warning signs. From Lois Henry's column:
"In the [previous] marriage dissolution order listing who would got what (including the horse that ultimately introduced him to Sowders through her stables), the judge mandated that Fuller couldn't have his guns for one year. He had to give them all -- and he had an arsenal -- up to the Sheriff's Department.

That's where they stayed until he filed the paperwork to retrieve them in early 2001.

That paperwork was filled out for him by Annette Sowders, according to her signature.

On March 5, 2001, Fuller was allowed to collect all of his dozen or so rifles, shotguns and handguns, including his Remington 870 Wingmaster, a 12-gauge shotgun."
That 12-guage shotgun is the assumed murder weapon.

Lois Henry is moving the right direction, but still falls short in the primary causal reason for the death of Annette Sowders. What is that you ask? Annette Sowders did not own a gun. Sure, sure call me a gun freak, whatever, I'm from California and get called worse daily by my friends. When there is a person as dangerous as Robert Dale Fuller in your life, and the relationship hits the skids, that's when you take a drive down to your local gun store of choice, and pick up a hand gun. Take the steps to train yourself and file for a CCW permit. That old adage, unfortunately, once again proved to be true: When seconds count, the police are minutes away.

Did law enforcement fail Annette Sowders? The jury is out on that one. They definitely did not deal with a violent man in the manner which I would have desired. He was able to bail out of jail for violating a restraining order 8 times within an 11 day period, this is unacceptable. However, Annette knew the type of man he was and still chose to live with her family unprotected. Blaming everyone but the victim in this case does nothing to help potential future victims empower themselves. There is one person responsible for your safety, YOU!

As we are consumed in the debate over farming out our health care coverage to the government, do yourself a favor and don't farm out your security.

5 People Have Had Their Say:

Patrick Joubert Conlon on August 16, 2009 at 11:18 PM said...

Fact is: Annette should have had her own 12-guage shotgun. It's more reliable than a "restraining order."

PS I didn't know that you had a link to me. Thank you. I have returned the compliment.

ChristinaJade on August 16, 2009 at 11:34 PM said...

Restraining orders are wonderful, but the criminals that they are against are just that. Criminals. I have never understood WHY anyone actually believes a piece of paper will change the mind of someone who is set out to do harm to someone else.

Let's put it this way. If I had someone trying to kill me and the system wasn't working to keep the idiot locked up? I'd be armed to the freaking hilt.

classicaliberal on August 16, 2009 at 11:57 PM said...

With the number of wackos (invited into your life or not) running around the world, to not have a gun is a death wish. I have family that were familiar with Annette, and it's a really sad story, but the truth of the matter is she did not do everything within her power to prevent this attack. Will having a gun in your house prevent you from being murdered? No. However, it'll go a long way toward increasing your survival chances.

Say a prayer for the two little kids in this mess.

ChristinaJade on August 17, 2009 at 12:15 AM said...

Absolutely. Those poor kids witnessed something that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

The Dad has a place to go, though. He will BURN.

beholdaredhorse on August 18, 2009 at 11:16 PM said...

well written


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