Last week, I was in San Diego for a trade show. It was my first visit to that part of California. No doubt, it is a great city, with lots of open spaces. The first night my husband and I stayed at the Hilton on Harbor Island. It was a beautiful location, with great sunsets across the harbor. Plus, we were struck by the enormous numbers of people jogging along the harborway. Trust me, this isn’t something you see here in Orlando. They really seemed to take physical fitness seriously in California, or at least, in San Diego.

The following three nights we stayed at the Homewood Suites Liberty Station. Again, there was a public access area along the hotel grounds, with joggers passing along a waterway. It seemed there wasn’t a single place in San Diego, where we didn’t see young people jogging.

At first we wondered if it was because of all the military bases in the area. We assumed being fit was a prerequisite of their occupation. But it didn’t matter where we were; downtown, along the Convention Center in a mall parking lot, people everywhere were jogging. And not just in parks, but along the streets. At the convention center there were groups of people racing up and down a very tall and very steep staircase that rested between two buildings. So, it was really disturbing to have been there last week, when 17 year old Chelsea King disappeared.

Sadly, as we all know by now, her life ended badly. She was assaulted, raped, murdered and then buried in a shallow grave at the same park where she had been jogging. How strange to have an abundance of wonderful parks available to the citizens of San Diego, while at the same time, knowing those open spaces are hunting grounds for sexual predators.

Mind you, this isn’t the first time a woman or young girl has been abducted while jogging in a park. Who can forget a very controversial disappearance in 2001 of Chandra Levy. At the time it was believed she was killed by U.S. Representative Gary Condit of California. In the end, it turned out to have just been another opportunistic killing by a sexual predator as she went for a jog in the park.

This afternoon while my husband and I were driving home from work, he suggested women should start carrying mace with them when they go jogging. On the news they suggested women run with a dog, or a companion. I have a much better solution.

Women should strap a gun into a shoulder or hip harness on top of their jogging outfits. Trust me; no sexual predator would ever assault a woman jogging with an exposed firearm. End of story!