Cost of lost liberty is loss of life
In August 2010, I heard a noise coming from the kitchen while I was in a bedroom on the same floor painting the walls. The home was vacant, under renovation by my crew who’d all gone for the day, as it was 7 p.m. on a Friday night.
The project was in an area of Vallejo called “The Crest,” near Marine World. It is an area with extremely high crime rates and high foreclosure rates, too.
This home had been infested by drug addicts, and had been abandoned 14 months prior, becoming a blight on the neighborhood. I bought it for $48,000, put $45,000 into a complete rehab and later sold it to a VA buyer for $156,000. What I learned that night, in that house, was priceless.
I walked to the kitchen to investigate the noise and was confronted by two men, both much larger than me, who were blocking the front door entry next to the kitchen. I was alarmed by their presence, as I was sure I had secured myself in the property before heading to work in the bedroom.
I stepped back and asked what they wanted and the older one said, “We just be watching the work, wanting to take a look … that’s all.” I knew that they weren’t there to pick up design tips or they would have knocked first and asked to come in. I knew immediately my life was at risk.
They didn’t know the layout of the house, I did. I knew if I could get to the master bedroom I could fly out the sliding glass door and jump over the backyard fence or yell for help while trying. So I flew like Jessie Owens, locked the bedroom door and got out the slider to the front gate, all the while screaming for help. They turned and ran out the front door right past me as I came through the gate to the driveway.
I kept running to the neighbors and was let in by a very kind Filipino man and his wife who called 9-1-1. Once I spoke with the officers who answered the call (more than 30 minutes later) and we were finished with the report on the incident, I asked the officer what to do in the future, as we had two additional projects in the same area to complete.
That cop said this: “Get a Glock 17, learn how to use it and bring it to work every day. Then you’ll be sure to make it home at night to your kids.”
He went on further to explain that I probably wouldn’t get a carrying concealed weapon permit in this state, but I could transport the gun back and forth in my vehicle because I was allowed to have it at home or at my place of business.
I took his advice and I went to a place called FrontSight Firearms Institute in Nevada with my 15-year-old son, and we took four days of defensive firearms training. I practice at the Diablo firing range at least every two weeks with my shotgun, Glock or 38 revolver. I am so comfortable with those weapons now that I could defend my life, my children’s lives or the men on my crew while waiting for the police to arrive.
If you are unfamiliar with guns, you will be frightened by them, I was. Once you take the time to educate and train yourself, as any responsible mother should, you will be completely empowered.
Teachers should be required to do so as a condition of becoming certified; after all, we place armed guards at banks to protect our money, aren’t our children far more valuable?
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Mary Morrongielo lives in Sonoma.