Stand Your Ground

Friday evening, shortly after having arrived home from an errand, my neighbor across the street called out to me as I was getting out of my truck.

“Hey, Chris,” she said. “Have you heard what’s been going on around here lately?”

“No,” I said. “What’s up?”

She took a deep breath, a serious look on her face, and related the stories of recent daytime burglaries to the houses on both sides of theirs, which is directly across the street from my house. The next day, this article came out in the Missoulian about it.

We don’t live in a rough part of town. The street we live on isn’t a major artery, so we don’t get much traffic beyond the folks who live here. It’s quiet, we know a number of our neighbors, and we like it. Even so, we haven’t been immune to nefarious activities. And Julia had just remarked a week ago that she saw some “sketchy looking guy” in the neighborhood that she hadn’t seen before (the fact she noted that should make it clear that such things are noticeable around here).

Man, what a strong surge of emotions I got from this conversation.

I’m gone a lot, so it makes me nervous. The thought of anyone coming into my house while I’m away fills me with rage, well beyond having stuff swiped out of my car in the driveway (which has happened in the past in a couple different places I’ve lived). But the idea of some punk out there, preying on people on my street . . . let alone if they came into the house while anyone from my family was actually home (which someone usually is). Of course they’d have the dogs to contend with, but still.

This is what Red Alert looks like

I’m not a violent guy, but I know this would drive me to violence. Sid was with me when the neighbor gave me the update. I was ranting and raving afterwards about needing to have a baseball bat around, etc. He showed he has one in his room, and I’m glad he does. I want one near to hand as well. Sound macho? Probably. But I know I wouldn’t hesitate to use one either.

As for Julia, yes, I worry about her being here, often alone, when I’m gone. Even though she’s a grown-up and lived alone enough in a much rougher neighborhood in Tucson (and has a .38 and knows how to use it), I still worry. I know the odds of something happening are slim, but it still lurks in the back of my mind. She can handle herself. I’d prefer she not have to.

By coincidence, this thing came across my feed today. I like it. I know it’s not a security measure, but it would sure get a good image of anyone who did come through the door. If I had the extra scratch to buy it, I probably would. Maybe I still will. . . .

I’ve thought about putting a sign on the door too. “Trespassers will be shot and/or beaten, then fed to the dogs.” Something like that.


Author: Chris

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and a photographer. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives in Missoula, MT.

8 thoughts on “Stand Your Ground”

  1. I aleays have that worry where I live, being only a few miles from the capitol. While it’s good to keep yourself protected, you shouldn’t let the potential issue rule you. You rule it.

  2. Dogs are about the best security system you can buy. Burglars prefer to work unnoticed, and dogs notice everything. Beyond that, you should check your doors and windows to make sure they’re secure and that you have good locks. Adequate outside lighting is important too. A few years back, someone took an icepick to all four of my car tires. Ever since that day, I’ve made it a habit to leave all of my exterior lights on every night. You can never be 100% secure, but you can make yourself a hard target so the dirtbags will move on in search of an easier score.

    1. Our place is a security nightmare. But we do have the dogs, which, at least, would cause quite a ruckus.

      Mom tells me Dad read in the paper they caught this punk anyway.

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