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Historical timeline of the development of modern weapons starting at 1364 with the first recorded use of a firearm and ending in 1892 with the introduction of automatic handguns.
http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/technique/gun-timeline/
From 90.9 WBUR and NPR: The First Gun In America
http://www.wbur.org/npr/176132730/the-first-gun-in-america

Vermont's Gun Control Advocates Struggle to Gain Traction

From our friends at VPR News: Gun control advocates rallied at the statehouse, little evidence the Legislature will consider gun-control bills this year.

Andrew Feinstein, author of The Shadow World: Inside The Global Arms Trade, offers his perspective on NRA’s response to Sandy Hook.

Christopher Yen

Gun Violence Prevention Working Group Public Hearing

How my dad got his model 1895 Winchester into the house.

 

The day started out with my dad and I going to the Albany gun show this was a summer day in 1968

I would have been 10. We walked in looked at a display of Lugers mounted by the magazine well. Continued around that row of tables and ended up in front of a table with only a couple rifles on it. Dad picked up a rifle and quickly looked it over talking to the man while I looked on and I fidgeted around. As I remember dad paid ($125.00) for the rifle and we soon after left the show. We met up with one of the guys dad worked with named Gary. The three of us went to a burger place and had lunch.

Gary was in an odd sort of way a big influence on me even if he never really knew it. He was the guy who had the reloading equipment dad used and who I was first introduced to something I would do my whole adult life. Reloading. He also helped me break my dads heart a little bit when one day my dad took me to watch Gary and his friends flying control-line model airplanes. While watching about the 3rd flight I turned to dad and asked him if he would by my HO scale train stuff from me so I could buy control-line planes. Dads hobby was HO scale trains and he lost his buddy in the hobby when I took up Control-line model airplanes.

Anyway I remember the topic at lunch came around to HOW was dad going to get the new rifle into the house. Dad said he had a plan. On the way home we stopped by dads apprentice Ernie Clay’s place in Salem. They talked for a while and I waited in the car.

Ernie was a big guy who could play any song he heard on the radio once on his guitars but couldn’t read music. He once saw me all interested in how he could light a match with one hand. And he leaned into me (I was sitting between him and my dad in a pickup) and with his huge sheet metal worker hand in a fist right in front of my face told me if he ever caught me smoking it would bust me right in the FACE. Then dad said he would do the other side. I never took up smoking I contribute it directly to FEAR of that big guys fist.

When we got home I was told not to say anything about the new rifle. Dad then told mom we were invited to Ernie and Donna’s place for dinner and to listen to the new Bill Cosby album. So long about 5pm we left for Ernie’s

When we got there the Mom and Donna worked on dinner (something like Hot dogs and burgers) The parents ate at the table while all us kids (there were us 3 boys and Ernie and Donna’s 3 girls plus my new born little sister) ate a smaller table maybe a card table.

After dinner we all went into listen to the new album. As soon as the album started Ernie says to Dad, Hey Dave you want to see the new rifle I got today? He then went to a small cabinet in the Kitchen and pulls out the Model 1895 Dads had just bought!!! Dad looked at me when I started to get up off the floor with a look that told me to stay put and stay quiet.

 

Well as soon as Donna caught wind of this “new” rifle she went off screaming and yelling about how they didn’t have money for no stupid gun. Well this went on for a few min. Mom who was busy with my little sister was being quiet she had no dog in the fight. Ernie and Donna were famous for their fights we all thought it was a hobby since every time we were all together they would have one.


As things got louder and louder I hear Ernie scream at Donna, FINE I’ll get rid of it! And he turns to dad and says, Dave give me the $20.00 I paid for this and you can have it….Now I guess Donna knew nothing of guns so she must have had no idea of it’s value. MOM who was married to a guy who was a bit of a Winchester collector and who was very interested in antiques and such knew any Winchester had to be worth WAY more then $20.00 so she keeps quiet. Dad hands Ernie a $20.00 bill and Donna tops yelling. Mom is quiet cause she figures Dad just made a hell of a deal on a rifle.

We finished up listening to Bill Cosby talk about Rubber Baby Buggy tires and such and headed home. The next the next day dad took me shooting I got a whole box of .22 shells to shoot in his Model 55 Winchester Semi auto single shot (look it up) And the story comes to an end.


Well many years later I learned that that Monday at lunch Ernie returned dads 20.

I kept my mouth shut and in 2003 as my dad was dying from Methotelioma (an asbestos caused cancer) I was paid back for that silence all those year back. When out of Dads rifles I got that beautiful Winchester Model 1895 in 30-40 Krag with the Lyman receiver sight and the deluxe burl walnut stock and the 28” barrel made in 1905. Easily the cherry in Dads little collection.

And thats how the 1895 got into the house.

—Mark Wahlster




Tony Wilson is a lifelong gun owner, who lives in Federal Way, Washington. He’s active with a group focused on gun training. He opposes further regulation of firearms, other than steps that would keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and people suffering mental illness.

Why I carry a concealed weapon

Well, it finally happened. I’ve carried a concealed weapon for almost 20 years for self protection. I was traveling from my home state of Washington to Charlotte Michigan by way of I-80. One night I decided to stay at a truck parking lot. Not wanting a lot of commotion I bypassed two or three trucks and took a spot at the end of the lot. I called my wife on my cell phone, the connection wasn’t good and the call got disconnected. I started the generator and got out the cold chicken to heat in the microwave. I noticed someone at the front window. As I came forward I noted that there was a white pickup with another man in it blocking me in and someone was wanting my attention. I opened the passenger side window and asked what they wanted. The person, in broken English with a Spanish accent asked how much further to the state line. I told him I didn’t know and looked for a map to answer his question. In the meantime he had moved back to his truck and his partner was rummaging around under the seat. Not waiting to see what he was looking for I picked up my .45 from the floor and holstered it in my IWB holster and turned to the back to get my 12 Ga. Guess I wasn’t too successful at hiding the .45 as by the time I got back they were gone. Really didn’t mean to alarm them though just wasn’t comfortable with the situation!!!

-Deen Adolphe

Three Women

Minnie (yes, that’s her real name) was about fourteen when she was left home alone to take care of her younger siblings. That night a crazed, drunken man began pounding on the door shouting obscenities and demanding that she let him in, she hustled the little ones into the bathroom and had them lock the door.  She then retrieved a shotgun and stationed herself in the front room.  By this time the man was declaring in graphic detail his intention of killing them all and having his way with Minnie.  As the door splintered my she fired.  The critically injured man fled into the swamp and was never found, but presumed dead.  Thanks to my Minnie's access to a gun, she survived — thanks to a gun.
Olie and her sister Alice had taken a road trip shortly after Pearl Harbor.  They knew life was going to change, so they took the time to be together.  They were wandering through an “Old West” tourist attraction when a strange man put the blade of a sword-cane to Alice's throat.  He began ordering them to do as he said.  That's when Olie pulled her gun from her purse and pointed it at his head, ordering him to back off.  He complied and she and Alice survived - thanks to a gun.

Olie had a daughter named Jan.  Her errands took her to a store with a large and crowded parking lot.  By the time she completed her shopping, the traffic had thinned out and her car was now located in a lonely corner of the parking lot.  As she loaded her packages in her car, a young man approached and asked for “spare change.”  Something about him made her uncomfortable.  She said she was all tapped out and turned to get in her car, but he kept coming toward her.  As he closed the distance, she dropped her hand into her purse and wrapped her hand around the grip of her gun, Keeping her hand in her purse, she locked eyes with the young man and told him not to come any closer.  He stopped, turned, and hurried away.  Whether he was just a panhandler or a mugger is impossible to say, but the situation remained low-level and no one was hurt - thanks to a gun. 

Following a tragedies like the ones that happened in Tucson, Aurora, and Newtown, we hear a constant media drumbeat of the costs of guns.  But rarely does any major media outlet touch on the benefits.  They are real and they happen more often than one would expect from media coverage.  I know because the three women in these stories are my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother.  I’m glad that my family - especially the women in my family - understand the benefits of guns.  I might not be here otherwise.

-C. W. Knox

"My first gun adventure was in the Boy Scouts … I thought it was the coolest thing ever."

Adam Sommers called in to OPB’s partner The Takeaway to share his perspective on guns.

Daniel Sigui describes himself as a classic liberal, with one exception. He grew up shooting guns and still enjoys shooting as a sport.

Interview and audio by Meredith Lawrence

Gerald Sonnenshein’s mother was shot and killed with a gun. The experience has made him a strong supporter of gun control.

Interview and audio by Meredith Lawrence

Mary Starrett believes that guns are an essential tool of defense, especially for women. She caries a gun whenever she leaves her house and sometimes even in her house.

Interview and audio by Meredith Lawrence

Karen Randolph has owned many guns over the years. She is especially concerned about a potential ban on assault rifles because she enjoys shooting the AR15. The AR15, she says, is a “lady’s gun,” because it is easy and fun to shoot.

Interview and audio by Amanda Peacher

Matt Alford is a sport hunter and gun owner. He believes that there should be some gun control so as to ensure public safety. He himself has been held at gun point. 

Interview and audio by Amanda Peacher

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Gun Stories

OPB News collects personal stories about firearms, gun control, and gun violence in the Northwest. Please share your story, and be part of the conversation.

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