What Happened To This Girl Scout While Selling Cookies Will Infuriate You

Girl Scout Has Gun Pulled On Her

Girl Scout Has Gun Pulled On Her

I don’t let my kids canvas door to door, whether it’s for a school fundraiser or for a extracurricular one. It scares me to death, I don’t like bothering my neighbors, and I would rather help them sell items to people we know personally. But I’m the mom who will basically buy anything from any kid who comes to my door, or who I encounter at a booth outside my supermarket selling something for school. Especially Girl Scout cookies, because I think most people love Girl Scout cookies, and what scouting means to so many girls.

Except this guy, who when a seven-year-old Girl Scout in Temecula, California knocked on his door at around 11 o’clock on a Sunday morning to sell him cookies answered the door holding a gun. The girl’s father was with her, and the pair ran off when they encountered the weapon, but I can’t even imagine how frightened this child must have been at the sight of a deadly weapon when she was just trying to sell cookies.

According to The Daily MailJohn Michael Dodrill, 59, has been arrested and charged with the offence, and is due to appear in court tomorrow. Two handguns and two rifles were also seized from his home. A spokesperson for the scouts, Jua-Nita Houston, said the little girl was shaken by having a gun pulled on her but will continue selling cookies in order to reach her goals.

I don’t know about you guys, but I want this child’s troop number so I can purchase all of my cookies through her. No matter if you are pro or anti-gun ownership, I think we can all agree that answering the door with one on a Sunday early afternoon when a scout knocks on your door is pretty infuriating.  Maybe Dodrill has mental issues, maybe he has been robbed or the victim of a violent crime, but he sounds like the sort of person who should have his gun license revoked forever.

(Image: getty images)

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  • Kay_Sue

    Really? Answering the door carrying? To a scout? Did he not have a peephole? No windows? Could he not shout through the door and ask her to identify herself? I sincerely hope this guy gets some help, because the only way I can go on with my day is to assume that he was experiencing a serious delusion.

    We sold popcorn for the Cub Scouts. The only door to door we did was our immediate neighbors, precisely because people are nuts.

    • Robotic Arms Dealer

      He’s an extreme dieter.

    • Kay_Sue

      He should definitely stick to cotton balls and not threatening small children, I think.

    • Robotic Arms Dealer

      Yea, but those damn thin mints are so damn tempting!

    • Kay_Sue

      I know. They’re my personal kryptonite too.

    • Paul White

      actually, we do not have a peephole in our door (we’re replacing it soon–but it’s a good 1300 since we need a new frame too).

    • Kay_Sue

      I don’t have one in mine either, which is why I suggested other ways he could have dealt with it too. Answering the door with a shotgun seems extreme, and if you’re that afraid of answering the door…I’d invest in a new one, personally.

  • chickadee

    Not only was it a gun, it was a shotgun. What a great neighbor he must be. The local paper reports that the police confiscated multiple long guns and handguns….this sounds like the poster boy for irresponsible gun ownership.

  • Shelly Lloyd

    When I train my leaders I tone down the whole “door to door’ sales thing. I encourage my leaders and parents to only go to houses that they know. I know some of my leaders and parents disregards that and go to every freaking house they can find, but at least I feel as though I do not encourage it.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Oh man, this story must REALLY bother you

    • Shelly Lloyd

      Very much. But I will pass it along to my leaders as a warning.

    • Pumplestilskin

      Here, we’re actually discouraged from going door to door unless it’s someone you know.

  • keelhaulrose

    There’s no excuse for something like this.
    If he was a victim of a crime and was scared of someone coming to the door he’s got the door between him and the outside. No one is forcing him to open it.
    If he was mentally unbalanced he is obviously dangerous, and shouldn’t have access to a weapon.

  • Jessica Johnson

    I’m more disturbed that the article doesn’t say what exactly he did that was illegal. Here in the sticks, if your property is posted “No Trespassing” or “No Soliciting”, you can answer the door gun drawn, no questions asked. If you’re allowed to own a gun (no felony convictions), you can walk around your own property brandishing a firearm all day long. So did they seize his weapons because of city ordinances? Because he just got out of jail 2 hours before he drew down on the little girl? Other articles say he opened the door, then pointed the gun, but they leave out the bit about him having just been released from jail, and the police taking a bunch of weapons. I’m even more disturbed that none of the articles I’m reading agree on what exactly went down, just that there was a Girl Scout involved, and she’s gonna keep on selling cookies door-to-door. :/ (And while I admire the “never give up” attitude, I’m thinking once one SOB has pulled a weapon on you for trying to sell cookies, you should be allowed to say “No thanks, I’m gonna go play with my toys instead.”)

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      This is one of those I will need to update as we learn more :/

    • Jessica Johnson

      Having reread my comment, I want to say, I didn’t mean *this* article left stuff out. I meant the Daily Mail, Temecula Patch, KOLO 8 (one of their local news stations), etc. But if you find those answers, and update us, that would be awesome! I’d think of you as the best reporter in the last 20 years for actually answering those ever important “Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How” questions I thought news reporters were supposed to cover. >.<

    • Lackadaisical

      The daily mail is a British newspaper and as we aren’t allowed guns in the UK even those of our papers that practice good journalism (which the DM don’t) are going to be biased against gun ownership and see the fact that he even owns a gun as proof that he is an utter nutter who should be banged up for that alone. As the “journalists” at the DM are the kings and queens of prejudiced assumptions and knee jerk reactions they aren’t going to bother with any of that boring research stuff, especially if there is a danger of it contradicting a point they are trying to make. While I am British and therefore biased against gun ownership I do accept that it is a bias and largely down to the way I have been raised by the wider society I am in and the environment in which I have grown up so I don’t judge those who disagree with me in countries that allow guns and don’t feel qualified to take part in a gun debate about the US. My comments on the the way the DM writers view the story are merely an explanation on their bias.

    • Jessica Johnson

      That actually makes quite a bit of sense. I knew the DM was British, and that guns were extremely rare over there, but hadn’t actually connected the two.
      If it makes you feel any better, the other stories I read on this were all local to the dude/scout’s area in California, and they were all just as sketchy on the details. Less biased perhaps, but still very vague.

    • chickadee

      California has some extremely strict gun laws, so I expect that behaviors that are acceptable in more pro-gun states would be against the law there, particularly since a child was involved.

    • Paul White

      Eh, I’ve answered the door with a gun a couple of times (seriously, nock on my door unexpectedly at 10pm or later and I’m NOT answering unarmed). It’s not usually visible–hold in my left hand, open with my right. But if what the guy did didn’t violate some law…why are they charging? Just answering while holding is NOT a crime. Now, if he brandished it specifically to scare them (i.e rushing at them with it, shouting “Imma shoot you!” or something) then there’s a crime.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      On sunday morning? to a GIRL SCOUT?

    • Paul White

      I don’t answer my door on Sunday morning :P But I wouldn’t have any way of knowing it was a girl scout either, not with my door (no peephole or convienent window).

      The story just doesn’t have enough detail at all. There’s a lot of us who do not see the mere act of having a gun as a threat, at all. I wouldn’t be freaked out if someone simply answered the door holding a firearm. Assuming they’re not sweeping me with the muzzle.

      Is this a case of someone freaking out and going ballastic on a girl scout, or a case of an adult freaking out simply because someone had a gun?

      Hell, maybe he was cleaning the gun and just went up to answer the door. Maybe there’s been some bad goings on in the neighborhood.

      Or maybe he’s a slobbering lunatic.

      From this story, we simply don’t know

    • K.

      I’m wondering about the law as well. My suspicion is the same as yours, that it falls under the rights of individual property owners on their own property to answer the door with a firearm. California is softer than other states regarding castle laws, but I’m not sure that brandishing a firearm, without firing it, would be determined “a use of force.” I’m not saying that’s a *good* thing to point guns at a cookie-selling Girl Scout; I’m not sure it’s *illegal*.

      What if the Scout knocked and the guy opened the door completely naked? Would that be considered a form of sexual assault? It’s not the same–opening the door naked isn’t life-threatening–but I wouldn’t be surprised if both of these actions would fall under the same protections of individual property and privacy rights. Although it’d be a different story if he’d actually shot at her, the homeowner is not under any obligation to receive individuals who approach his property in any particular way.

      (Again, NOT saying it’s *okay* to do this sort of thing; just thinking that it might not be against the law.)

    • Kelly

      It’s illegal to expose yourself to a child like that even on your own property.

    • Different K

      Yeah, Kelly is right. You can’t expose yourself to a child anywhere. The two are not comparable.
      I have a few guesses to how he may have broken state laws:
      1. You must have loaded weapons locked away if a child is present/within the vicinity.
      2. Some rifles are illegal to own in California, so that can get you prosecuted.
      3. He hadn’t legally obtained the gun or wasn’t registered (all sales/purchases of firearms must be registered)

    • Different K.

      In California, we go by the Castle Doctrine Law. So you have no duty to retreat in your home/property with the assumption that the intruder poses deadly threat. Clearly this Girl Scout did not posses deadly threat.

  • Jezebel76

    As a long-time resident of Temecula, I find this unsurprising. CA or not, Temecula is an enclave of conservatism, and, forgive the stereotype, but we have quite a few of the old codger/ma’ rights/livin’ in th Wild, Wild West types. The guy across the street carries 24/7, even when hanging in the front yard WITH HIS EIGHT-YEAR-OLD. I find it terrifying, and no one in the neighborhood will let their kids play at his house anymore. Just disturbing.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      Oh ffs, that is so odd. I would pretty much feel the same I think

  • guest

    This is a really scary thing to have happened to this girl! This brings up a cookie pet peeve I’ve been having lately though. If parents of scouts or other groups don’t feel comfortable going door to door (which I think is totally legit in this day and age), the troops should organize supervised selling booths at public places (think community centers, entries to supermarkets, etc.). Around this time of year I get bombarded by parents of scouts on Facebook and at work trying to “help” their kid meet their goals with the adult directly making the sale. It ticks me off because the point of selling cookies isn’t just to sell the most cookies by whatever means possible, it is meant to help kids with problem solving, goal setting, money skills, and entrepreneurialism. That’s why, if I can’t buy directly from a girl door to door, I make a point to visit the booths in town. My mother, the 20+ year girl scout leader, always supervised us when going door to door but refused to take the order form to her or my dad’s work. Now I get it!

  • Danyelle

    I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness (have since left that organization), I was about 11 and my brother was 3 and my mom had us go door to door by ourselves, and we also had a shotgun pulled on us when an older man opened the door! Scared me to death and my brother is screaming not knowing what’s going on, so I have to pick up him and our book bags and literature and try to run with it all down his driveway! Worst experience ever. Some people are so cruel for no reason, just don’t answer the door!

  • Lindsey

    I’m fairly certain that the Girl Scouts don’t really advocate this type of selling. We were always told to just sell to people we knew.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    Bloody hell guys, I just booked a vacation to California and now I’m all freaked out.

    • Alexandra

      I hope you’re bringing a gun!! ;)

  • jsterling93

    I am alarmed that so many people think answering the door with a gun in broad daylight is in any way shape or form ok. Do you all live in a war zone? I own guns. I believe strongly in my right to own that gun. But I can’t imagine answering the door on a lovely Sunday afternoon with a shot gun in hand. There is no good reason for that type of behavior.

    • Muggle

      My fiance has already collected a few guns, and he wouldn’t answer the door holding one in broad daylight. Especially not when a Girl Scout or any other child comes knocking. But we have a peephole in our door.