[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
63°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 25
1859 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez escapes from prison while serving sentence for grand larceny in L.A. County; recaptured in August and sent to San Quentin [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Tuesday, May 6, 2014

darrylmanzer021014The Marines were poised for attack at the bottom of the hill. Recent rains had made the hillside as slippery as a ski slope. A group of four started up firing rifles and lobbing grenades at the enemy. They had to take that castle on the hill.

Dodging through the tall brush, each Marine pushed ever upwards until they overcame all the resistance of the enemy. Muddy and tired, they rested at the peak and waited for a counter attack that would come from below them.

Oh, another day for some 10-year-old boys at Hart Park. Funny how we never played cowboys and Indians there. We always had battles from World War II. Sometimes our “enemy” was Germany and other times Japan.

The charge down the hill was even more fun. We would pull the tall grass from parts of the hill and throw it down as make believe hand grenades. We got very muddy and very tired. We had fun.

None of us grew up to be serial killers or mass murderers in a school or theater. We had toy guns that looked very real and surplus helmet liners, web belts and canteens. Funny, not a one of us became Marines either. Guess we got tired of mud.

We knew what real guns could do because we had been shooting real guns and BB guns for many years by that time. We had some simple rules that were taught to us by our parents. Those rules are:

  1. Consider every gun loaded until you make sure it is empty of any ammunition.
  2. Don’t point a gun at a person EVER. (Even when you know it is not loaded).
  3. Guns are not playthings. They are not at all dangerous until someone picks them up and holds them.
  4. Once in human hands even an empty gun is dangerous.

We hunted and shot at targets. We became pretty good shots with just about any weapon we fired. We were not dangerous because we followed those simple rules.

I saw a Hart High Yearbook for the 1950s that showed the ROTC Cadets in a Hart High classroom learning about a real .30 caliber machine gun. Yes. Right in a classroom.

I remember a couple of plays where real guns were used as props. I think the musical “Oklahoma” was one such production again at Hart High. No bullets in the guns but there they were.

Nobody panicked when we made our hand to look like a gun and said, “Bang.”A drawing of a gun wasn’t a big deal unless you got some details wrong.

There were gun safety classes taught by local members of the National Rifle Association that many of us attended. We learned a lot in those classes. Now we can’t even get a member of the NRA on a campus because we fear guns.

I think that fear is misplaced. I don’t fear guns, I fear those idiots that are not qualified in any way, shape or form to be anywhere near a firearm. If we want to regulate something, let us regulate the crazy folks that may get a gun.

I’ve worn a pistol on my hip in downtown Newhall many times. I was on a horse at the same time. Nobody called the deputies to come get me. Heck, I had just left Newhall Hardware after getting some ammunition. I once had a deputy ask to look at my pistol. He told me it needed cleaning as soon as I got home. I was in my early teens at the time.

I’m not advocating removing all measures to control guns. And a criminal will just shoot you when you tell him that it is illegal for him to have that gun. Point the law book at the person pointing the gun at you. See how effective that is in protecting yourself?

Outside of the great Castaic Range war and that terrible day when four California Highway Patrolmen died, we had very little gun violence. We had some people shot with guns by accident. Our little valley was prone to use knives and fists and automobiles as instruments of death.

Times have changed. Lack of education has made a gun a somewhat sick fantasy for youth that don’t really know the power and danger of a gun. The first time they see one is when another gang member shows it to them or maybe when a friend’s father left the gun safe open.

Lack of education and knowledge spreads fear but gives a gun the form of a tangible and terrible myth. That, when in the wrong hands, creates a danger we don’t need. We don’t need more laws or the stripping of our rights as Americans.

The fact remains that when the government starts to control guns and take guns, it takes away the right of the people to protect them from that very government. If any of us can remember our history lessons we have to remember that the British troops were headed to Lexington and Concord to get the weapons stored in those villages.

You may argue that we have no defense from our super well-trained and equipped military should we have to protect ourselves from the government. I’m not worried about the Army or Marines coming to get my guns. Our sons and daughters wouldn’t do that. I am concerned about those agencies that seem to have agents, officers, rangers and other officials that have the arms and armor to try and do it.

But still I fondly remember the days when we had our shotguns, rifles or pistols in the trunk of our cars in the parking lot at Hart High. It was hunting season. That would make us criminals today.

Times have not changed for the better.

 

Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com and his commentaries, published on Tuesdays and Sundays, are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
Your rights guarantee that you get the health services the law says you can get, protect you against unethical practices, and ensure the privacy of your personal and medical information. You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, and to be protected from discrimination.
Friday, Jun 15, 2018
California voters just bought the feel-good tax proposition that was stated to raise yet another $4 billion for “clean water” funds. Days later, Brown declared it isn’t enough. There will be another ballot measure in November to raise another $8 billion.
Friday, Jun 8, 2018
Our state leaders are finally working together to address one of the greatest inequities in higher education – funding for California community colleges that serve high need students.
Wednesday, Jun 6, 2018
Not every decision on the table must be made within the next week. When it comes to deciding how to fund community colleges, it would be wise to hit pause and devote more careful consideration to the discussion.
Monday, Jun 4, 2018
This summer, help your kids break away from Fortnite and YouTube – by signing them up for fun recreational opportunities offered by the City. Instead of screen time, their days can be filled with sunshine, learning, activity, arts, culture and much more.
Friday, Jun 1, 2018
In her June message, Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste details the best ways to enjoy the local trails and open space this summer.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1859 - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez escapes from prison while serving sentence for grand larceny in L.A. County; recaptured in August and sent to San Quentin [story]
1980 - Saugus Train Station relocated to Heritage Junction [story]
1946, 11:20pm: William S. Hart, 81, dies at L.A.'s California Lutheran Hospital, leaving his Newhall home and 80-acre estate to L.A. County [story]
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan announced the sixth ballot counting update for the June 5 Statewide Direct Primary Election on Friday.
Sixth Election Results Update for June 5 Primary Election
The Master's University women's cross country team released its 2018 schedule Friday, the highlight coming Nov. 3 when it hosts the Golden State Athletic Conference Championships at Central Park in Saugus.
TMU Women’s Cross Country Releases 2018 Schedule
Minimum wage laws change July 1, so the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation and SCV law firm Poole & Shaffery, LLP will present a "Minimum Wage Forum" at College of the Canyons' University Center on Wednesday, August 1 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
August 1: Minimum Wage Forum at COC University Center
Allison Needham of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation outlines the top five digital trends shaping 2018 so far.
It’s Personal: 5 Digital Trends Shaping 2018
The Robert T. Brentnall Pawsibilities Foundation, a Santa Clarita-based nonprofit animal rescue organization (Tax ID# is 47-5634745), is asking the community to help a family with a litter of German shepherd puppies, by adopting one or donating funds to help care for them.
Animal Rescue Group Seeks Help for German Shepherd Puppies
CalArts School of Art faculty member Shirley Tse will represent Hong Kong at the 2019 Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy, happening now through November 2019.
CalArts’ Shirley Tse to Represent Hong Kong at Venice Biennale
University administrators are falling short in their responsibilities to swiftly hold accountable staff and faculty named in sexual violence complaints and align disciplinary policies with federal guidelines, according to a state audit released Thursday of three University of California campuses.
UCLA, 2 More UC Campuses Faulted for Sex Misconduct Process
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is proud to announce commitments from four additional industry partners – AMC Networks, Moving Picture Institute, Telsey + Company, and Xperi – to participate in Academy Gold, an entertainment industry-wide internship enhancement and mentorship program for students and young professionals from underrepresented communities.
Academy Launches Summer ‘Gold’ Diversity Internships
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in their meeting Tuesday will consider a motion urging California to create an emblem program for licensed cannabis stores so consumers will know which stores are legal.
Supes Propose Statewide Cannabis Store Licensing Program
The JetHawks began the second half of the 2018 season with a win, beating Inland Empire, 7-5, at The Hangar Thursday night.
JetHawks Start Strong in Second Half, Beat IE 7-5
After four weeks of spirited voting, USA Today announced Friday that readers have voted Six Flags Magic Mountain the winner of the 2018 Best Theme Park contest.
USA Today: Six Flags Magic Mountain No. 1 Theme Park
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, June 26, starting at 9:30 a.m.
June 26: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The state of California has a list of more than 10,000 known individuals in illegal possession of firearms, but has not provided adequate resources for law enforcement to recover their weapons, Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) said in a statement Friday.
After Firearms Raid, Acosta Calls for More Law Enforcement Funding
A voter-approved ballot measure aimed at reducing California’s prison population and ending racial disparities in the war on drugs has produced most of the cost-saving, equity-focused results it promised, with some exceptions, according to a study published Thursday.
Study: Prop. 47 Decreased Racial Disparities in Drug Arrests
A Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputy reportedly clocked a Las Vegas woman driving 93 miles an hour near the Saugus Speedway and arrested her on charges of excessive speed and reckless driving late Wednesday night.
Nevada Woman Arrested for Speeding, Reckless Driving in Saugus
1972 - Vasquez Rocks added to National Register of Historic Places [list]
The ARTree still has openings for next week's Junior Arts Sampler and "I Made That!" pastel classes.
ARTree Summer Classes Still Available
The Santa Clarita Arts Commission will hold a study session, Monday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m.
June 25: Arts Commission Study Session
The California Enterprise Development Authority will hold a teleconference meeting, Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
June 28: California Enterprise Development Authority Teleconference Meeting
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday, June 26, at 5:30 p.m.
June 26: Santa Clarita City Council Special Meeting
Firefighters are battling a brush fire at the Sunshine Canyon Landfill that started around 3:00 p.m. Thursday.
Firefighters Battling 1-2 Acre Fire Near Newhall Pass
Glenn Frankel and Keri Walsh have been named 2018 Academy Film Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Academy Honors 2018 Film Scholars
Join the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and Sweat Box Sauna Bar as they celebrate the opening of their new location.
June 27: Grand Opening Celebration Sweat Box Sauna Bar
Fresh Mustang connections to Major League Baseball didn't end with the draft earlier this month. Master's graduate David Sheaffer, who transferred before his final collegiate season to pursue an international MBA program, signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Mariners on June 10.
TMU Alum Signs with Seattle Mariners
There are spots still available on the Saugus Spartans Football program for kids between the ages of 6-8 years old.
Spots Still Open on Saugus Spartans Football Program
An already extremely tight inventory bumped into rising interest rates to further complicate home sales during May in the Santa Clarita Valley, which saw drops in home and condominium closed escrows compared to a year ago, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Thursday.
SCV Home, Condo Sales Drop Amid Tight Inventory, Rising Interest Rates
Detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station are looking for a male suspect who stole a tip jar from a local coffee shop. Details below are from the Facebook page of the SCV Sheriff's Station:
Detectives Seek Public’s Help in Nabbing Tip Jar Thief
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting. There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.
July 28: Children’s Bureau Foster Care, Adoption Information Meeting
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on Friday, June 22, in the city of Santa Clarita in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.
LASD to Conduct Specialized Motorcycle Safety Operation
LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy for all individuals in Santa Clarita Valley and for sensitive individuals in East San Gabriel Valley area tomorrow, Friday, June 22.
Air Quality Advisory Issued for SCV
1941 - Ernie Hickson buys out Trem Carr's interest in their Monogram movie ranch, renames it "Placeritos" (later called Melody). [story]
CalArts alumna and faculty member Brigette Barrager (BFA Film/Video 07) was awarded the Christopher Award for Distinguished Achievement for her illustration of "Pocket Full of Colors."
CalArts Faculty Brigette Barrager Wins Christopher Award
"Window Lace," the first exhibit by CalArts students to be presented at the Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall, is now open on the mall's first floor across from H&M and will be on display through the end of summer 2018.
CalArts Opens its First Art Exhibit at Westfield Valencia Mall