Another day in Florida, another cautionary tale about guns. Thankfully, this one did not end in tragedy.
Andrew Dandurand, at the young age of 24, is filling up his rap sheet fast, most of it with domestic violence charges. The man broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home and attacked her in April. She took out an order of protection against him. It took only a week for Dandurand to violate the order, leading to his incarceration. But he was free on bond not long after.
On Sunday, the Flagler County emergency response operator received a tip that Dandurand was on his way to his ex’s house with an assault rifle. The dispatcher immediately contacted St. Johns County Sheriffs, who were able to find Dandurand before he could wreak havoc. His distinctive Toyota pick-up — red with a blue roof — was easy to find. Deputies spotted it at a gas station. Dandurand jumped the curb to escape and led them on a chase which included racing the wrong way down a highway. The officers were able to perform a PIT maneuver and Dandurand went off into a ditch.
In his pick-up, deputies saw a Soviet-made SKS assault rifle and ammo. The rifle had a bullet in the chamber and a full magazine in place. The firearm had been stolen earlier that day. Dandurand told officers that he had taken several drugs — including cocaine and meth — and was taken to the hospital before being booked into the county jail. He is charged with aggravated stalking and attempting to elude a law enforcement officer (more charges to come, I hope, since he stole the gun) and is being held on a half-million dollar bail.
Dandurand said that he had driven to his ex-girlfriend’s house to kill her but had not done so because he didn’t know where her children were. Well, gee, that makes it so much better. Nobody knows (or, if they do, they aren’t saying) who tipped authorities off. Whoever it was, they deserve kudos for preventing a bloodbath.
What is it that makes a man think that he owns a woman? That he has the right to kill her if she rejects him? According to psychiatrists, these men feel the need to control and dominate because of low self-esteem or a perceived inferiority to his partner. This leads to jealousy and anger. Men who commit (or try to) domestic violence, have anger-control issues and difficulty controlling their emotions. The lack of respect for women also stems from an archaic attitude towards women, which is supported by cultural and/or religious teachings. The simple fact is that many men still think women are lesser beings, chattel which the man owns. It’s sad that this attitude appears anywhere in civilized society in the 21st century. But it does. Coupled with availability of firearms, it often leads to tragedy.
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reports that intimate assaults involving firearms are 12 times more likely to end in death. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, most women are victimized by the same offender, as in this case. This has to stop.
If you are in a violent relationship, please get help. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233. You are not meant to be treated like this, it’s not okay. People care about you. You can get out.
Here is the report from Action News:
h/t The Raw Story