My Time in Papua New Guinea - Would I Own a Gun or Not?
Would I Own a Gun?
In 1990 I experienced the fear of home invasion that can affect everyday life.
The time I spent in Papua new Guinea was fear filled for the last couple of years I spent there.
Our house was 2 levels but built on a hill. There was a laundry and a bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor at the front. My 15 year old son used this bedroom, it gave him a grown up feeling of some independence. . On the upper level the lounge and other 2 bedrooms were at the front and on a second level, while the kitchen and dining area at the rear were on the hill side and were on a first level entry.
We were all asleep one night when we were woken. A gang tried to break into our home; first they cut the fencing and lured the 3 guard dogs out of the property. Only one stayed, but poor old thing just lay on the front porch with his paws covering his head.
Then they proceeded to try to break into the house. Fortunately all of the windows had cast iron bars and the doors had cast iron outer grills. On finding that they could not find an easy way in they then started shooting through the windows with shotguns.
While shots were being fired my ex-husband ran to get our 11 year old daughter and I went down the stairs to my son’s bedroom I crawled along the floor, my heart pounding at the thought of what I might find. Luckily none of the bullets had hit him and I found him terrified and under the covers, I had to get him out of bed, down onto the floor so that we could crawl across the hall and up the stairs to the upper level. Several shots were fired through his bedroom windows which ran along most of one wall and floor to ceiling. So I was extremely relieved to find him unharmed.
Most standalone houses occupied by expatriates in Papua New Guinea had a ‘Safe’ room, where you could lock yourself in until help arrived. Ours was the main bedroom and this had a cast iron grill in front of the bedroom door. We locked ourselves in there and while the gunshots were still hitting all around the house, we phoned the police (who took 4 hours to travel 10 minute drive to reach our house)
We were lucky in the fact that the company my ex-husband worked for ran its own security patrol; they had 6 armed vehicles patrolling the streets. Each expatriate employee had a radio to be able to reach the security centre by. They arrived within 4 minutes of receiving the call.
The following day we were moved into a secure compound. My son gathered up the shells, there were 47 in total. That was they day I decided to return home to England alone with my children.
Would I own a gun… yes most definitely in circumstances like this.
© Rosemary Sadler December 2011
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