In the constant back-and-forth battle of gun laws, politics and regulations seem to dominate the voice of the common people. Grinding out legislative verbiage in a stuffy courtroom is a far cry from the sunny streets of Music City, Tennessee, where 30,000 gun-toting Americans walk a little slower with a comforting extra pound on their person. However, Nikki Goeser’s book, "Stalked and Defenseless: How Gun Control Helped My Stalker Murder My Husband in front of Me" proves that everyone’s voice matters in the ever-changing world of self-defense and concealed-carry laws.
Set in Nashville, Tenn., the beginning of "Stalked and Defenseless" is eerily relatable: playing hooky from work, doing some work on a house, and laughing with a significant other. Unfortunately, Goeser was also receiving unsolicited, inappropriate social media messages from a strange man—something far too many women can relate to.
As Goeser recounts her hellish experience, the reader is forced into the same unnerving thought over and over again, “I would have done the exact same thing,” but nothing ends up being enough. She blocked her stalker on social media, directly and politely informed him to leave her alone multiple times, and requested that he be removed from the restaurant he followed her to. However, the man still shot and killed Goeser’s innocent, unsuspecting husband right in front of her. The ensuing 113 pages encompass one woman’s struggle to find justice not only for her husband, but for all law-abiding Americans to protect their right to bear arms.
The book brings up some key points on gun laws that elicit introspection and demand attention. One example is the Restaurant Carry Bill that specifically affected Goeser on the day her husband was murdered. The constitutionality of gun-free zones and “Red Flag” laws is also addressed in depth, and from the unique perspective of someone whose entire life was shaped by these laws.
Goeser got involved with grassroots Restaurant Carry Bill campaigns in multiple states and landed a job in the Tennessee State Capitol building as a legislative assistant. Her experiences with anti-gun Americans across the country and state legislators gives the reader insight into the background of gun laws. I think the most important takeaway from those relationships is, “You [can] be firm on your stance for a piece of legislation, but at the end of the day, you still treat those who you think have a few screws loose as human beings.”
Stalked and Defenseless is full of emotion and empathy. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in the Second Amendment. No one imagines that anything so horrible could happen to them, but Goeser discusses how the places you would most likely need a gun to protect yourself are gun-free zones. No woman wants to find herself walking to her car late at night, vulnerable and defenseless, because her office, school or favorite restaurant prohibits concealed carry.
"Stalked and Defenseless: How Gun Control Helped My Stalker Murder My Husband in front of Me," is available on Amazon.com for $14.99 (paperback) or $7.99 for the Kindle version.