No mother should ever have to bury her child. But on April 27, 2002, Agnes Gibboney was faced with that grim reality when her son, Ronald da Silva, was gunned down by illegal immigrant gang member Luis Gonzalez.
A regular contributor to Fox News, Gibboney was the guest speaker at the San Bernardino Republican Women’s Federation luncheon on Friday, June 28. Being a legal immigrant from Hungary, Gibboney says she knows what socialism really is. There, her mother needed additional vouchers from coworkers to buy enough meat to prepare a celebratory luncheon when she was baptized.
“The government told you how much meat you can buy a week. I’m sure the top communists, they ate like kings. Everybody else was limited. When a government takes too much control of your life, you lose your freedom.”
Escaping Hungary proved to be a fight of its own.
“I was two years old when my family escaped, or tried to escape, because my family got caught. As I woke up in the middle of the night crying, that alerted the guards. They detained my parents, took everything away from them, took their money, their suitcases, everything. But they did not arrest my parents. My family was able to flee into the former Yugoslavia, where we remained for about 10 months in a refugee camp. This is a real refugee camp, guys, not this nonsense at the border.”
She has seen what Latin America is like, as her family ended up going to Brazil for 13 years before coming stateside. She embraced Latin culture as she waited for her family’s application for U.S. residency to be approved. After two applications lapsing, the third time was the charm.
“My father had a job contract, and they had us sign documents stating that [we] would not apply for any public assistance.”
That provision has remained a sore spot for Gibboney, even though she says she otherwise loves living here. According to Gibboney, many illegal immigrant families get stipends of up to $3,500. Her family got nothing but bills for mandatory medical exams.
“I thought about this; So much talk about reparations. I’m going to file a lawsuit for reparations! I want all the money back, how about that?” she joked.
Gibboney recalled being on a camping trip with her daughters when she found out.
“Ron had gone over to his ex-girlfriend’s house to drop off some food… for his children and she got held up at work. My son was shot by [Gonzalez] who was hiding in the back and that’s another that’s incredibly difficult to prove, lying in waiting… He was waiting for my son’s friend to come out because he had a problem with him. He [Ronald] turned around and instantly got fired with a gun… in the arm.”
Despite multiple blood transfusions in the emergency room and being expected tor survive, Ronald succumbed after three-and-a-half hours. He was 29.
“Listen to that word: Expected to survive. I despise that word because any time in the media when there is a shooting, a stabbing, they usually say the victim’s expected to survive. Well, [he] didn’t survive.”
It was most disheartening for Gibboney to not see de Silva wake up when he was hooked up for transfusions.
“Ronald was the biggest baby when it came to needles; If a doctor was going to give him a shot or draw blood, by the time he turned around and got the needle he was out the door.”
After de Silva’s death, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and even shopping would never be the same.
“The first time I went to a Target store, and I walked into the men’s section, I started crying. And I thought, ‘Why am I crying?’ Because I saw shirts that I would have normally bought for my son. And I knew that I would never be able to do that again.”
Gonzalez had previously been deported from the United States. There was quite the rap sheet to back that up.
“Let me tell you something; That gang member with a long history of arrests pointed the gun and the democrats and the rhinos loaded that gun. So they’re all complicit in the killing of my son and thousand of other American citizens at the hands of illegal aliens.”
Gibboney’s husband, Mark, served as deputy chief of El Monte Police Department during the investigation and assisted in bringing Gonzalez to justice.
The penalty Gonzalez received for his crime felt like a slap on the wrist to Gibboney; Gonzalez would only have to serve 85 percent of a 21-year sentence, or 17 1/2 years under California Determinate Sentencing Law.
“Thanks to our insane idiot Jerry Brown… a gang member can use a gun now and they will not be charged with gun enhancement charges anymore.”
Gibboney says Sacramento’s attitude toward illegal immigration leaves her with no confidence in state legislatures.
“Our government was inept, wasn’t firm enough and didn’t enforce existing immigration laws. I’m not saying make new ones, we already have immigration laws. If only those laws would have been followed, my son would still be with us today and I wouldn’t be going through this.”
To compound her suffering, Gonzalez is set to be released Nov. 23 rather than June 2020 as originally scheduled. There’s uncertainty over whether the state will inform Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
“I was hoping to have one last Christmas safe, not having to worry about ‘What is this ---- gonna do to my family?’ Is he gonna come after me? Is he gonna come after my children?”
Gibboney’s message to those in power is this: Stop giving benefits to illegal immigrants and start seeing the merit in President Trump’s border wall.
“President Trump [does] care. When we saw him in February, he said, ‘I’m doing everything and I haven’t forgotten my promise to build a wall.’ The Congress is doing everything to block, to interfere, to hold him up. We wasted almost three years.”
And despite her son falling victim to gun violence, Gibboney supports the Second Amendment.
“Look what happened in Europe; They took their guns away and then [the communist regime in Hungary] massacred millions of people. You have nothing to defend yourself with. Even though my son was shot and killed, I am for the Second Amendment rights because that should be everybody’s right.
An immigrant herself, Gibboney knows many immigrants are good people. But she is genuinely worried about the bad ones.
“I’m not saying all of them are bad, but there’s a good number of them. And our government does nothing to shut the door and protect the citizens of the country. When I took that oath to defend and protect my country against foreign and domestic invaders, I’m doing just that. Every single American citizen should be doing even more than me because this is their country!”