California had some pretty restrictive gun laws even in 1986, so she's lucky this didn't turn out worse than it did. And if such a thing would have happened in 2002, it might have been "Martina Goes to Guantanamo."
Also, what kind of neighborhood did she live in, with beheadings across the street? Sounds more like Miami than Fort Worth...
IT`S PISTOL PACKIN` MARTINA
Wednesday, March 5, 1986
It was not surprising that Martina Navratilova, being a good ol Texan, turned to a line from country and Western music to sum up one of the bleakest periods of her 30 years on this planet. "If today was a fish, I'd throw it back in," the world's top women tennis player said last night, referring to her recent 24-hour period of defeat and detainment.
It started Saturday night, when Navratilova suffered a rare loss, her first this year, to Kathy Jordan in the semifinal round of the Virginia Slims of California tournament in Oakland, Calif. The next morning she was stopped when she tried to board a plane at San Francisco International Airport after an unloaded Smith & Wesson .38-caliber single-action pistol was detected in her carry-on luggage.
"I've had the gun for a year. I bought it for protection," Navratilova said last night after defeating Grace Kim of Franklin Lakes, 6-2, 6-1, in the first round of the $150,000 ComputerLand U.S. Women's Indoor Tennis Championships at the Princeton Indoor Tennis Center. "Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances and happenings, which I don't want to go in to, the gun wound up in my purse instead of my suitcase."
The San Mateo County district attorney's office is deciding whether to file a concealed-weapon charge against Navratilova. The tennis star said a registration but no permit is needed to carry a weapon in Texas, but she was uncertain about the laws in other states.
"It was suggested to me that I buy a gun after a series of murders and rapes took place around my neighborhood in Fort Worth a little more than a year ago," she said. "In fact, one of the murders took place across the street from my house. A woman was beheaded. So I purchased the gun for protection.
"I know how to use it. I've taken target practice with it and everything. But I've never had to actually use it. I've been taking it with me when I travel, just to keep in the hotel room. But I've always packed it in my suitcase instead of keeping it in my purse. "
This time, however, she put the gun into her purse, and her purse into her carry-on bag. That set off the metal detectors in the airport.
"I can't believe that it happened. I'm really embarrassed by the whole thing," said the Czechoslovakian-born Navratilova. "But as bad as I feel about the whole thing, I think I would have been mortified if they hadn't found it in my purse. Maybe that's the good that will come out of this whole thing. "
Navratilova said that recent events made it a little more difficult for her to concentrate on her match last night with Kim. Some questionable calls and an extra-loud walkie-talkie, which she asked a security officer to "please turn down," also distracted her. So she was somewhat surprised that she was able to play as steadily as she did.
It was only a few nights ago in Oakland that she wanted to "bottle" her performance in a 6-2, 6-0 quarterfinal thrashing of Zina Garrison. "I don't know how much better I could have played," she said. The next evening, however, she was beaten by Jordan.
"I played tonight about the same way I played the first round in Oakland," said Navratilova, who is scheduled to play Czech Andrea Holikova in a second-round match tonight as the tournament shifts to the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway. "So I don't know what to expect for the rest of this tournament. "
In other action yesterday, second-seeded Hana Mandlikova of Czechoslovakia kept on track for an appearance in the final Saturday at Rutgers (12 noon, Channel 2) by defeating Laura Gildemeister of Peru in straight sets. Third-seeded Pam Shriver and fourth-seeded Helena Sukova also won first-round matches, but fifth-seeded Catarina Lindqvist of Sweden was upset by unseeded Dianne Balestrat of Australia, 7-5, 6-4.