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Member since: Fri Feb 1, 2008, 09:38 AM
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What it was like growing up with a "gun nut" as a father

I have posted this before, but sometimes I feel like we have people on here who should see this, so I post it again. Not for sympathy or "atta girl's" but because people need to see that there is another dimension to the gun problem in this country


The purpose of my posting this was to show that behind the facade of the "responsible gun owner" can be something all together different. There are a lot of survivors of abuse by gun nuts. Many people said that my father would have used a knife or something else if he didn't have guns, but that is just the point. He chose guns, he loves guns, guns give him power that nothing else gives him and that is intoxicating. You can hold a 16 year old girl by the back of the head by her hair and put a gun to her head just imagine the power of life and death you have. My father loves to be the hero to other people, I was in marching band in high school, and there were kids that didn't have parents come to the competitions or got sick or something and didn't have a parent there, well my father was there to be parent to everyone. Everyone told me what a great dad I had and I would see him comforting these teenage girls who were crying or whatever and he just loved being the hero but at home he was all together different and especially when he had his guns out.

So please, I hope other people see this and really look at it and don't say that he would have used other things to intimidate or abuse because he didn't. He didn't use a knife, he never beat me, he CHOSE to use a gun because that was what he was about.

My father has always been a gun nut.

I don't know how many guns he has now but I guarantee its enough to arm a small country and he has some pretty serious big weapons. I don't know what they are but they are big. I think he has an AK 47 among other assault rifles.

My father has guns of all sizes, he never leaves the house without one. He has a holster and a gun that will fit just about anywhere and he just needs them, he used to talk about "protection" he had his "going to Lowell" gun and his "going to Boston" gun but when he went to my wedding, my mother's funeral and my nephews baptism carrying a gun the reasoning wore thin.

When I was growing up it wasn't easy.

When I was a teenager, I actually never did anything or went anywhere but my parents always said I was "bad"

one day, after I refused to break up with a boyfriend they didn't like, I found myself being dragged in to the kitchen by my hair. My father was there and I suddenly had a gun in my face. I was told that if I didn't break up with the boy he would disappear.

There was another time when I was 16 that he kicked in the door of my room and unloaded an entire gun full of blanks at me, and he thought it was the funniest thing in the world. I ended up with PTSD.

I wanted to run away and thought about it and even planned it out a couple of times but I didn't want anything to happen to the people I would run to so that was what stopped me. Any time I got too close to someone or if it seemed I was going to run I would be told that people could always be "taken care" of.

Roughly 6 years after I got married my mother died at the age of 51 of lung cancer.

Then my father started to drink too.

I have two brothers who lived with him at the time, one still does.

He would get drunk and shoot bullets in to the floor and leave the casings around and think it was funny for my brothers to see it.

He would call me drunk and tell me he was "playing with his guns" to the point that when the phone would ring I would turn white start shaking and practically throw up.

Now you may be wondering why I didn't call the police on him. Well that's just the problem. He was a cop at the time, so there would be no way that would work out well.

We finally moved away, and my father remarried. I keep my kids away from him because he still drinks and plays with his guns but he tells everyone I am a real bitch to keep his granddaughters away from him.

My childhood was abusive in different ways but I think the gun thing was almost the worst. I have tried to talk to him about it and he alway says 'parents make mistakes' he has never acknowledged the damage he did and says I never could take a joke.

Now if you ask the other cops and a lot of people on the outside they would all say he is a "responsible gun owner" he locks them up and stores them correctly but he was not behaving in a responsible manner as far as I am concerned. But there it is.

A while ago I sent a friend an e-mail about how important it is for a girl to have a good father. I don't know if he knew all of this, but having a bad father is just about the worst thing in the world.

He is very ill now and I won't have him completely out of my life until he is gone. Fortunately I have an amazing husband, father in law and children not to mention friends who have helped me stay a loving person and not descend in to bitterness and anger but believe in love and be sure my children are raised knowing nothing but love and safety and how a woman should be treated

I lived in Billerica but Grew up in Boston

This is an article I wrote for my local paper. I hope you like it.


I lived in Billerica, which is a town approximately 20 miles outside of Boston. Far enough away that going to Boston was not a frequent experience, but each time I went “to or through” it was memorable.

My very first memory of going to Boston, I was very young. I barely remember any details about it except I know my mother and I went in with my aunt “Dolly” so she could buy a dress. I remember being very dressed up and sitting in a fancy gilt chair in a very fancy room while beautiful ladies came out one by one showing my aunt dresses. That is all I remember. I must have been about 5 years old at the time.

Boston for me was going to Jordan Marsh at Christmas time to see “Santa Clause” and the “Enchanted Village”, and then have dinner with “Santa and Miss Holly” afterward; I remember looking in the store windows and seeing how beautifully, they were decorated. I remember going to see the “Ice Capades” with my grandparents and meeting Olympic champion Janet Lynne and to Brighams for Ice Cream. For many years, the first sign of spring was my grandparents taking me in to Boston Common to ride on the Swan Boats the first day they were open. As always, we would get in to Boston by taking the train from the North Billerica Train Station.

The Boston and Maine train its self was a magical experience for a young child under the age of 10 in the 1970’s. The conductor would smile and give me a lollypop. He seemed to know my grandfather, which made him a celebrity in my book. I would hold tight to my grandparent’s hands as we boarded the train and made our journey to North Station, and the Boston Garden. I can still smell the smells and feel the crowds around me. It was scary and exciting and wonderful! Boston was always special. Going to Boston was a reward.

As I grew up there were various field trips that included the State House where I met Governor’s Michael Dukakis and Edward King, seeing the USS Constitution and discovered the wonders of “Quincy Market” and “Faneuil Hall”.

Whenever we would drive through Boston, for as long as I can remember, it was a race for who could see the Bunker Hill monument and the old North Church first. “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes” and “One if by land, two if by sea and I on the opposite shore shall be” were repeated without fail in the family car each and every time we drove past. Of course, there was also, “if you lived here, you’d be home now”.

In my teen years there were trips to Harvard Square. I remember “Newberry Comics” before it was a chain. I clearly remember “Major Tom” by David Bowie playing in the background (weird how these things stay in your mind) I bought a camouflage jacket from a Vietnam Vet at the Army Navy store and felt very punk and anti-establishment.

I have appreciated the incredible cultural offerings of the city, my husband and I have seen “Into the Woods”,” Phantom of the Opera (three times)” and “Les Miserables (twice)”. In 1993 my brother’s and I were able to send our parents on a dream date for their anniversary to see “Forever Plaid” and to have dinner at “Top of the Hub” coincidentally the year before my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was the last opportunity they had for a night out like this, and it was in Boston.

It was also where my mother was one of the last in-patients at Dana Farber and where I had successful surgery at Brigham and Women’s and treatment at Dana Farber for Breast Cancer.

So, even though I never lived there, Boston is forever in my heart. I am grieving with, and praying for the people of Boston. I admire their strength and will be there next year when they hold the marathon to celebrate their victory over atrocity.

Yes, I lived in Billerica but I grew up in Boston.

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