Denied A Chance
“How Gun Control Helped a Stalker Murder My Husband”
ONE WOMAN’S FIGHT AGAINST GUN CONTROL
By Skye Huntington
This is an inspiring story of courage, as Nikki struggles to seek justice for the man she loves, and fights to ensure that others are never held victim to the same terrible fate.
“Today will be the last day of my husband’s life. Ben has 16½ hours left on this earth and we have no idea the end is coming.” This begins Nikki Goeser’s heartbreaking story.
On April 2, 2009, Hank Wise, with no regard for the “Restaurant No Carry Laws”, entered the sports bar in Nashville, Tennessee, and gunned down Ben Goeser in front of his wife, Nikki Goeser. Wise had tormented and stalked Nikki for months and had often been told to leave her alone. She says she remembers thinking to herself when she saw Wise’s gun pulled out: “Oh my God, I don’t have my gun.” Wise then lowered his gun, pulled the trigger and shot Ben in the head. At the time, Tennessee didn’t allow permit holders to carry guns into a restaurant that served alcohol. That gun ban for restaurants created the ideal environment for a man like Wise, a stalker, to become a murderer. This ill-conceived law was put in place to actually protect the law-abiding citizen, but the reverse was true.
Nikki Goeser’s book, “Denied a Chance”, details her ordeal and makes for a tough, heart-wrenching read. It starts with the events that lead up to the murder of her husband, Ben, in a place that was a “gun-free zone”. Nikki owned and had a permit for her gun, a .38 revolver, but locked it in the car glove compartment before entering the restaurant where she and her husband worked promoting Karaoke events. On that fateful night in Tennessee, stalker Hank Wise, simply concealed his weapon, entered the restaurant, and gunned down Ben, while Nikki could only look on, horrified and defenseless. This tragedy should never have happened. Mark Walters, host of Armed America Radio, said: “Denied the ability to carry her gun for self-defense by the state when she and her husband needed it most, Nikki successfully fought to change the laws in Tennessee in the wake of her husband’s brutal murder. As a result of her heroic efforts, millions of law-abiding Tennessee residents now have the chance to protect themselves and their loved ones in the places that she was so wrongfully denied. Thank God for American Patriots and freedom fighters like Nikki Goeser.” Gun-free zone laws may make people feel safer, but they actually encourage evil people to attack when their victims are completely defenseless.
When Nikki was asked if she believed that Ben’s killer also intended to harm her, she said, “Yes. When the police searched his truck that night after the murder, they found two more guns, ammo, a baseball bat, binoculars, gloves, rope and a knife. That is no medical kit they found. I do believe he would have done something to harm me, too.”
In a recent interview, Nikki explained why she didn’t oppose guns after Ben’s murder.
“An evil man killed my husband. I don’t blame the gun. A gun is just an object that this sicko decided to use. I blame the murderer and those that legislated me out of my right to protect my family where and when I needed to. I know many good people that own guns and they would never harm anyone unless it was in self-defense. This was just one, really demented, sick and evil person that did this to us. Guns can save innocent lives and they are used to save lives everyday. Shame on Ben’s murderer for using a gun in this manner. He has a great deal of time to ponder on his twisted actions, sitting in prison for the next few decades. I can only hope he learns a few very hard lessons while locked up like the animal he is.”
Since Ben’s death, Nikki has become a strong spokesperson for the 2nd Amendment. She claims that advocacy work has helped her cope. In 2012, Nikki won the NRA’s Sybil Ludington Women’s Freedom Award for her untiring efforts to change concealed carry laws in Tennessee and Ohio. The award recognizes modern day heroines and their legislative work to protect the 2nd Amendment.
Nikki has shared her testimony on behalf of “restaurant carry” bills in Tennessee and Ohio. In June of 2010, a restaurant carry bill took effect in Virginia. That state has already seen a decline in major crimes involving firearms in establishments that serve alcohol.
NIKKI PUTS IT INTO PERSPECTIVE
“You blame the person who broke the law, not the object. Assault is a behavior, not an object. People die in cars everyday, but I don’t blame cars. It would be like me blaming a drunk driver’s car. I don’t blame the gun. The gun can’t pull its own trigger. Guns don’t make you invincible, but they do give you a fighting chance at survival, instead of just being a pure victim.”
I don’t blame the gun. I blame the murderer.
“I don’t think anyone walks away from trauma the same person they were before. It becomes a new kind of normal. You either have the capacity to deal with it or you don’t. Many people have not made it after trauma, because they bottle it up inside. I did not want to be one of those people. Ben would want me to get past this and have a happy, healthy life. I just try and remember what a lighthearted, fun, kind person he was and what he would ultimately want for me after all of this. I still have difficult moments and the occasional nightmare, but they are rare. I have just learned to deal with those moments should they pop up. I have spoken both locally and nationally, in favor of concealed carry, on college campuses also. I can only hope that the public and legislators pay close attention to what victims like myself have to say about the dangers of gun-free zones. Bad things can happen to good people. These horrible things happen everyday and I can only hope that people will take the proper steps to defend themselves and their family. I would like to see more people getting involved in protecting our 2nd Amendment rights – otherwise we will lose them. Evil can pay you a visit at anytime and anywhere. I want people to be prepared for that if it does happen.”
NIKKI STANDS UP FOR THE VICTIMS,
THE GOOD, LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS
On a radio interview with Cam Edwards for NRA news, Nikki explains:
“The book actually started with my diary. It was a way for me to deal with the grief and trauma in a healthy way. I hope the book reaches out to people who may have never thought about protecting themselves in a serious way, and the best defensive tool that you can use to do that is a handgun. I believe in training and learning the justifiable use of force to protect yourself and your family. It’s very important. I believe we all have the right of self-defense. It’s a basic human right. The book is not just a pro-gun book. I felt it was important for people to hear a victim say that they didn’t blame the gun, but blamed the murderer. I think there are a lot of gun-free zones that need to be gotten rid of. Bad guys don’t care about the law. They’re not going to pay attention to those silly signs. It’s only the law-abiding people that will respect that sign, and they’re going to be helpless, sitting ducks in those places. The penalties are much greater for law-abiding citizens than for the bad guys. A bad guy who’s just intent upon doing evil, is most of the time suicidal anyway, at least in these mass shootings, or they’re crazy. A person with that mindset isn’t going to be concerned about harming innocent people, or of a civil suit filled against them for hurting someone. For the law-abiding citizen to carry in a gun-free zone and have a gun violation on your record, that’s a true penalty for them. I used to be that person that would sit home and watch the news of innocent people being harmed. Don’t put off getting a gun and your permit until something bad happens to you or a loved one. Evil can visit you anytime or anywhere. Evil doesn’t care what age you are, what color you are, or your financial situation. Evil can visit you!”