Interview with Anne Wild

Could you talk about the statehouse, when the Panthers went to the state house in Sacramento, the state legislature and also talk about guns in California culture that you knew growing up here.


Well, I, yeah, I'd grown up in California, born and raised. But also I have, you know, my family came here in the 1840's. And I can remember my grandmother telling stories about how, you know, her peers, her, her, you know, not her immediate family, but kids she grew up with would go out and kill Indians just for sport. It was like, you know, "Let's go out and shoot an Indian today." This is up there in these old mining towns in California. And my father, you know, used guns. He hunted birds and, you know, small animals, and so, you know, I grew up with kids going out shooting guns just, uh, for sport basically. Going up a creek and shooting at cans. And I knew how to use guns, and we used to teach each other how to use guns. So then, this was like, to me the best thing I'd ever seen, where actually Blacks for the first time took control of their own lives, and said, "Well, we're, if you're going to be armed, well, we're going to be armed, too." And sort of demonstrated that by just the physical, you know, the image of actually carrying arms. And in California, up until that point, everybody had the right to bear arms publicly. And so in fact it was the Panthers going out, finally Blacks asserting themselves as armed that caused the law to change, where then you had to basically have a, have a permit to carry arms. But it was sort of part of the culture. This is a western culture you're dealing with in California, and they just assumed it for themselves.