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Letter to the Editor: Los Gatos 'Duped' By Gun Shop

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Los Gatos Mayor Barbara Spector and the Town Council attempted to “do the right thing” and conducted a meeting Monday evening to allow the community to discuss the issue of the gun shop that opened in town in December.

For the most part the meeting went well with both sides representing their beliefs.

What went very wrong was that the Council was not only duped into believing this was a sporting goods store, which it is not. It is a gun shop and we we're all duped in not recognizing the fact that gun enthusiasts from far and wide would use this forum for their interests.

Well after 11 p.m. with the Mayor and many attendees dozing off, what was a great dialogue among neighbors of the Los Gatos community turned into a control of the microphone by “out-of-towners.”

This is just what is happening to Los Gatos. Are we no longer in charge of our destiny? I urge the Council to be strong. Take this issue and deal with it.

You have heard the voice of Los Gatos. What I heard is that, generally speaking, even the veterans in our town don’t think it be suitable for the sale of automatic weapons and ammunition in walking distance from neighborhoods, schools and parks.

The issue is not about the Second Amendment, it’s about selling guns and ammunition in a small town and inviting the gun customer to our community to purchase guns.

I urge letters about this issue to be written to the Council en masse.

This is from a mom who raised three sons in Los Gatos schools, volunteered thousands of hours to our community and encouraged thousands of hours of volunteer work from our Los Gatos students since 1976.

Ed Dee February 06, 2013 at 05:05 PM
I didn't see any automatic weapons for sale in the store. As I understand it, selling automatic weapons is illegal in CA for more than 40 years. I have lived in Los Gatos for 40+ years, attended our schools and raise my family here today. Most long time Los Gatos residents I speak with are fine with having a sporting goods/gun shop in town, and feel the public debate is moot.
Larry Arzie February 06, 2013 at 05:32 PM
It was not the gun shop that duped council, it was our staff. Yes guns were soft peddled to begin with but as the paperwork progressed staff had clear knowledge that it was primarily a gun shop. A normal business permit does not require Planning Commission or Council approval, just staff approval. This though was not a normal permit and even our police chief warned the town manager that this was a contentious issue. Our town manager decided to ignore the chiefs warning and did not to bring the town council into the loop. It only requires Staff clearance, to approve business licenses and they often look the other way, wink wink. Our town manager has been caught in other behind the scenes improprieties so has his staff. Our town manager thinks nothing of lying to council and considers his actions part of his duties, in order to advance growth and revenue. If your going to write letters to the town council, don't forget to ask them to clean house starting with our town manager. If Mr. Larson doesn't want being fired on his resume then he might resign to save face.
Jesse Ducker February 06, 2013 at 10:35 PM
I think Los Gatos City Council should work very deliberately and take a long, hard look at any outlet that will sell firearms within their town. Exercise caution.
Elena Vasko February 06, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Should Los Gatos change it's name and become a Target on the map?
Mckenna Smith February 07, 2013 at 05:53 AM
We must continue to put pressure on the LG Council to bring about a gun sales ordinance. We must continue to ask questions about how this business opened without the knowledge of our elected town leadership.
Michelle McNutt February 07, 2013 at 08:32 PM
You are doing the duping! Monday night was a farce. And Steve Leonardis was outrageous! After he came to the door of the council chamber lobby and opened it and spoke smiling with one of the protesters just before the doors were opened to the public, people were buzzing with, "Don't worry, Steve just said we're going to get them tonight. He's got info that will bury them." When questioned about selling gunpowder (after several people demanded they don't) it was shown they never intended to do so. By the way several speakers got right up and still demand they not be allowed to do so. And Gil Decker, husband of one of the ring leaders, who made his fortune working for a defense contractor that sold weapons to the military, got up and demanded they not be allowed to sell assault weapons. Assault weapon sales have been banned in California for 20 years. Of course they don't sell them. And then there was the online petition that had the text of what was being opposed change after well over 100 supposed Los Gatos residents signed. So much manipulation, so many outright lies on your part Martha Sterne, Sandy Decker, Deborah Weinstein, and Shannon Susick (who DOES NOT live in Los Gatos). I am flabbergasted you have the audacity to write such manipulative hypocratic rubbish.
Elena Vasko February 13, 2013 at 03:06 AM
Another question: does anyone think Arcade would do better business in that location?
lovelafayette February 19, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Years ago in Lafayette, Ca Payless Drugs rented a small building next to the main store to an "antique" gun dealer. It was a legal use but residents were pissed. We took photos of gun customers (they HATE that!), we picketed, BUT the most effective action was a threatened boycott of the landlord Payless! No more gun store! Does the gun dealer own the building? If not consider pressure on the landlord. Watch carefully and photo document criminal activity. Lafayette then went on to pass an ordinance that Los Gatos may want to adopt: http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=16435 Lafayette had an infestation of brothels (19) euphimistically called "Asian Massage," with customers coming from all over! We had no ordinance regulating massage. Now new 2012 ordinance requires state massage license, legit businesses are licensed, police stings and pimps and hos arrests continue. LPD arrested johns for parole violations, child molester in wrong neighborhood, but most johns unfortunately not charged. Los Gatos must decide what kind of businesses fit, and outlaw the ones you don't want, BEFORE they move in. If you decide you don't need brothels then you could borrow our new massage ordinance as well!

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