Ben and I have been married for 1 year, 4 months and 2 days. Ben has just 16.5 hours left here on this earth with me. Sixteen and a half hours of time and we have no idea the end is coming … The clock is ticking.
So my friend, Nikki Goeser, begins her story. On April 2, 2009 she and Ben were operating their karaoke business in Jonny’s Sports Bar in Nashville, TN. A man stalking Nikki was asked to leave the bar. He pulled a gun and murdered Ben while she watched, helpless, just feet away.
Far too many respond to the shooting of innocents in theaters and schools by blaming guns for violence, Nikki places the blame where it really belongs – on the murderers.
She came to understand legislators crafting bad law bear responsibility, too. The gun used to murder Ben was in the bar illegally. Nikki, although a carry permit holder, an Intermediate Handgun Certification holder and experienced gun range volunteer was required by law to leave her handgun in her car. She obeyed the law. The murderer did not.
Nikki can’t say with certainty that had she had her handgun she could have stopped Ben’s murder. She also knows a bad law denied her the chance to try.
In the aftermath of Ben’s murder, dealing with her loss, Nikki kept a journal which became Denied a Chance. She walks us, in poignant detail, through her last day with Ben and the murder itself. She tells the story of the Marine who tackled the murderer and the cop who stayed with her for the longest night of her life.
She tells her story honestly. She sought counseling and dealt with PTSD. Ironically, it was probably this that began her transformation into an activist.
Nashville provides counseling to those affected by violent crime. Nikki didn’t think twice about being armed while taking advantage of that program. The counselor felt differently. Nikki was told she was welcome to continue the sessions only if she left her handgun outside. Denied a chance once, Nikki wisely chose not to risk becoming a victim a second time.
Nikki went beyond asking merely “What happened?” to “Why did this happen?” Squarely at the center of the problem was Tennessee state law. She began to correspond with state lawmakers regarding the injustice of her being denied the chance to stop Ben’s murder.
Nikki connected with Suzanna Hupp, the woman who watched another lunatic murder her parents and 21 others in a Luby’s restaurant while her handgun was locked in her car in accordance with Texas law. Suzanna advised her not to fear standing up for what she believed and assured her such courage would impact others.
Nikki began seeking out like minded people and groups. As her story began to spread, she received offers to speak to various groups and eventually to testify before the legislatures of several states looking at ways to keep their citizens safer. Ultimately she would appear on programs like Nightline, Fox Business with John Stossel, ABC News, CNN, the BBC and other shows. She was awarded the Sybil Ludington Women’s Freedom Award by the NRA in 2012.
Thanks to her tireless efforts, Tennessee and other states changed their bad laws and began the process of protecting the law abiding and punishing those who are truly guilty.
Nikki’s tale closes with the trial where the law victimized her yet again. Despite the “open and shut” nature of the case, it took 3 years to come to trial thanks to the circus surrounding an insanity plea. Finally, however, some measure of justice was done and Ben’s murderer is behind bars for the next 25 years.
Nikki continues her work. She remains a tireless advocate for the rights of Americans to defend themselves in an increasingly violent world. No longer a victim, she has turned her pain into purpose. She will never again be Denied a Chance.
Hers is a story which must be read by every American.
Get your copy of Denied a Chance via Amazon by clicking here. If you would like to contact Nikki for an interview or to arrange a speaking engagement, you can contact her via her website and clicking on the Contact Us link in the top right corner.
By Ken Marrero on Blue Collar Muse
From The Sheepdog ---
First, I want to thank Ken Marrero for graciously allowing me to reprint his review of Nikki Goeser's book Denied A Chance.
Second, as I read Ken's article and thought about Nikki's story, my thoughts quickly ran to thinking about my own wife. What if she found herself in Nikki's shoes ? Or, what if I did ? I can't imagine what Nikki's been through.
Third, Nikki's story is just more proof of why gun control never, ever works in any form, in any time in history, or for any reason. The bad guys don't follow gun control laws - only the good guys do, and sometimes it's with tragic results.
Nikki is a tough lady who now advocates for individual gun rights in hopes that no one else will have to experience the horrific loss that she did. The Sheepdog applauds her.