header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
82°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 1
2017 - One SCV resident, John Phippen, killed and at least 9 others wounded in Las Vegas mass shooting that leaves 59 dead, 851 wounded [story]
John Phippen


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
Saturday, Sep 19, 2020
Assembly Bill 1457, authored by Assembly Members Cervantes and Reyes, and supported by Santa Clarita’s Senator Scott Wilk, Assemblyman Tom Lackey and Assemblywoman Christy Smith, represents an important step forward in jumpstarting California’s economic recovery.
Wednesday, Sep 2, 2020
In his monthly message for September 2020, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin spotlights how the Santa Clarita Public Library branches are helping students and families get back to school.
Tuesday, Sep 1, 2020
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drag on, many of us are spending more time at home. This means more eating at home, more projects at home, more cleaning at home and all of that equals more trash at home.
Thursday, Aug 6, 2020
College of the Canyons is widely recognized as a leader in the innovative development of distance and online education, as well as zero cost textbooks for our students.
Tuesday, Aug 4, 2020
In his monthly message for August 2020, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin spotlights some of the things we CAN do under Safer at Home restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monday, Aug 3, 2020
In his August message, Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth urges residents to prepare for and help prevent dangerous brushfires.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
2017 - One SCV resident, John Phippen, killed and at least 9 others wounded in Las Vegas mass shooting that leaves 59 dead, 851 wounded [story]
John Phippen
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Wednesday confirmed 30 new deaths and 1,063 new cases of COVID-19, including a new fatality in the city of Santa Clarita and 42 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: 6,198 Cases, 61 Deaths in SCV; More Reopenings OK’d
The newly completed Enchanted Princess was delivered to Princess Cruises Wednesday in an official handover ceremony presented via live streaming video from the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
Enchanted Princess Officially Joins Princess Cruises Fleet
The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday published what the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services called a "misleading" article about the county's specialty care system.
L.A. County DHS: L.A. Times Story About Specialty Care ‘Misleading’
The Santa Clarita Public Library buildings may be closed, but book browsing will be available via the new "Random Reads" program beginning October 1.
‘Random Reads’ Launched Oct. 1 by Santa Clarita Public Library
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies arrested a suspect after a husband and wife made a citizen arrest of another man the couple accused of spying on them while sexually gratifying himself, according to sheriff’s officials.
Husband Makes ‘Citizen Arrest’ on Man Suspected of Peeking at Wife
The city of Santa Clarita has released the second edition of its Parks Passport Adventure, where residents explore a new selection of city parks each month to find and unscramble a secret message for a prize.
Santa Clarita Parks Passport Adventure No. 2 Now Available
Like many other sectors, the film and entertainment industries including events businesses came to a halt amid the months-long stay-at-home order.
SCV Filming, Events Businesses Discuss COVID-19 Impacts
Medical examiners with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office identified Maria De La Luz Torres, 66, of Palmdale, as the woman killed in a multivehicle traffic collision involving a Homeland Security agent south of the Newhall Pass on Interstate 5 Tuesday.
Coroner ID’s Palmdale Woman Killed in Multivehicle I-5 Crash
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to overhaul the county’s response to residents having health crises, directing officials to design a system that dispatches experts in health and de-escalation — not police — during emergencies.
L.A. County Looks for Alternatives to Police-Only Responses to Health Crises
California commercial drivers can continue delivering essential products and supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic without worrying about an expiring license following a new round of extensions Wednesday by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
DMV Extends Expiring Commercial Driver’s Licenses Through December
Shopping malls and nail salons are the latest businesses in Los Angeles County approved for reopening under limited capacity over the coming days, after action late Tuesday by state health officials.
More L.A. County Businesses Approved for Reopening
Prosecutors with the District Attorney’s Office declined to file a criminal case after two teens were arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism in August, following a Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station investigation into street painting.
D.A. Declines Criminal Case for Teens Arrested on Suspicion of Vandalism
1955 - Actor James Dean, 24, drives through Castaic Junction en route to his final resting place [watch]
James Dean
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday 39 new deaths and 905 new cases of confirmed COVID-19, with 6,156 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday COVID-19 Roundup: 269,284 Cases Countywide, 39 New Deaths; 6,156 SCV Cases
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to allow breweries and wineries to resume outdoor operations in one week.
Breweries, Wineries Can Reopen Outdoors Countywide Next Week
The largest indoor mall operator in the region, with locations including the Westfield Valencia Town Center, has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County over COVID-19 health guidelines that have kept the shopping centers closed.
Westfield Sues L.A. County Over Indoor Mall Closures
The Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, and coauthored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to begin sharing data about veteran suicides between the Department of Veterans Affairs and Los Angeles County and explore the possibility of establishing a countywide veteran suicide review team.
L.A. County to Explore Veteran Suicide Review Team
Each October Circle of Hope recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month with its annual event, 31 Days of Hope to help increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment of this disease.
31 Days of Hope to Help Increase Breast Cancer Awareness, Support
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — Fed up with the growing number of untraceable homemade firearms used in gun crimes and mass shootings, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced a federal lawsuit Tuesday to force the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to crack down on so-called “ghost guns” that skirt laws requiring background checks and age verification.
California Sues Feds to Force Crack Down on ‘Ghost Guns’
Thousands of Southern California Edison customers were suddenly left without power late Tuesday morning in Newhall after balloons came in contact with power lines, according to officials.
Newhall Power Outage Due to Mylar Balloons
The Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and coauthored by Supervisor Janice Hahn that will enable elementary schools to begin applying for a waiver to reopen grades TK-2 in schools, prioritizing schools with a high number of low-income students.
Barger Motion to Begin School Waiver Reopening Process Approved by Supes
While in-person events may be postponed for the time being, the city of Santa Clarita events team is bringing you virtual and physically distanced happenings to fill the void.
Santa Clarita Arts Calendar Features New Online October Events
The fast-moving Martindale Fire, which started near Bouquet Reservoir, remained at 230 acres overnight, with firefighters able to achieve 40% containment by Tuesday morning.
Martindale Fire Remains at 230 Acres, 40% Containment
%d bloggers like this: