Posts Tagged With: weapons


Gun ownership is proliferating in our country and it scares me as a mother, grandmother and citizen of a country that is increasingly violent.

Somehow, I’ve given the impression I’m against gun ownership. And I am, in several ways. First, I know that everyday citizens have no need for semi-automatic and automatic weapons and I don’t believe they should be sold on the open market or on-line. They belong in the military.

Second, I believe that the media has blown way out of proportion a need for everyone to own guns and be able to protect themselves, fueled by the National Rifle Association and the increased sensationalizing of news.

I was raised learning to shoot and hunt, though I didn’t kill anything or like it when my brother came home with a dead rabbit. Killing porcupines seemed all right because they chewed on our log house. My dad killed many deer, and we ate as much venison as we could. It was the American Way, rural life.

As an adult, I learned to shoot a shotgun, and practiced with a pistol on a range, target practice with my husband and friends. Not much time, but, I experienced that form of shooting and it didn’t appeal to me.

Here, then are personal experiences that make me want to counsel people through this blog, don’t carry weapons, don’t keep them in your house. I don’t believe I should take that right away from others, I just think weapons in the hands of kids, now grown up, who have spent much of their childhood in front of television and violent computer games is a recipe for disaster. I think uneducated people who carry guns, because they consider themselves manly or macho with a weapon are a danger to the safety of the general population and there should be some provision needed to prove their competency.

Okay, personal experiences. My youngest brother, had a paper route and one bright morning he witnessed a murder of passion. He was only twelve years old. (Not of television or computer generation.) He watched a man aim a gun at a dog that had been biting his kid. The guy went to the house to kill the dog and ended up killing the man. It ruined his life, his kids, the family, etc. etc. You get the point. If he hadn’t had a gun he might have settled the problem with his fists.

My boys had paper routes. Our driveway was big so the papers were delivered to our house and all of the local paperboys folded papers together on our driveway. One boy would always act up, shop lift candy, take one of their bikes and not return it and so on. One day the father returned my son’s bike and apologized and explained to me that his son had accidentally shot his sister and he always does these things to attract punishment because he must live the rest of his life seeing his sister in a wheel chair. The father rued the day he ever bought and kept a handgun.

A cousin of mine, while cleaning his rifle, accidentally shot and killed his own son. It goes without saying what such a tragedy does to a family.  My cousin drank himself to death.

I belonged to a babysitting co-op as a young mother. One member called me (because my husband was a cop) and said she was terrified of her husband because he threatened to kill her repeatedly and he had multiple guns in the house. George got her to sign a complaint against him with a restraining order and helped her remove the guns and turned them in to the Fremont Police. He got his guns back, and she laid in wait for him and killed him before he could hurt her or her children. The laws about domestic violence were different then.

I gave my handguns, reluctantly,  to my son who wanted them. I worried until his boys were grown and in college about that gun, (one was stolen)  in that house. And it still poses a potential, lethal problem to young men, partying…playing, possibly drinking even though I know, the boys don’t drink. I don’t like it.  It still can happen…it happens.

Maybe I’m overly fearful. But, drive-by shootings, gangs, death in the streets is so common, we hardly acknowledge them. So, I will continue to be against private gun ownership and for making it very difficult and exacting a privilege to own one.

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I went yesterday to visit the Alameda County Archive and Museum. The Old Guard Tower  has been relocated and rebuilt, but not restored. Unfortunately, none of the original materials were saved. It is newly painted, bright and true to the original colors and basic design and, of course, the vast difference between the old and the new guard tower on the grounds is stark. The new one has electricity, heat, a telephone and its own toilet. The old was considered an “outdoor” assignment.

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Every time I visit the archive, I find something new. This picture was taken in 1913 of a deputy who worked for Alameda County along with his gun and badge. The acquisition was brought to the archive but the information about this gentleman’s service has yet to be researched and printed up. We wondered whether the hounds were used to aid the department in any way? Click on the picture to make it larger.

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Another new acquisition was a set of kilts. The department has a pipe band. They play at funerals and parades for the department. Years ago, underwater rescue, any aerial pictures taken for the department, the mounted posse, spotting planes during WWII,  search and rescue, were auxiliary activities done by volunteers. The pipe band falls into that category.

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Another acquisition is this newspaper story of the Mayor of Sunol, a dog named Bosco. Sunol is a sleepy little town between Niles and Pleasanton in the Niles Canyon. Bosco is no longer living, but his reputation lives on at the archive.  Bosco’s story reminds me of my blog from La Conner, WA. called “Dirty Biter”, a similar town dog honored with a statue on the Main St.

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Retired deputy Pat Higgins Jr. came to visit. His father retired from the department as well.

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Jim Knudsen with Al Ianarelli and Bill Rhodes, came to tell us his Uncle, Gene Davidson is the oldest living Deputy Sheriff from the department and will be feted at his 100th birthday later this month.  We have a manuscript of his remembrances of service from the early days with some amazing stories of bootlegging, wide open gambling, prostitution, and frontier justice.

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In the afternoon, we had a first time visitor to the archive, retired Deputy Glenn Moon. He is recovering from a bike accident and decided to come for a visit. He is now on my list to interview for the archive.

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We have quite a collection of inmate weapons, tatoo devices, drug paraphernalia and now, with this acquisition, lock picks. The ingenuity of an inmate intent on making something from whatever he can find, is ever fascinating. The tines of a leaf rake, a couple of them still show the green paint, used to open locks. I wish I had a set.




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