Melissa Edgar is an impressively educated, high-spirited, and hard-working volunteer. She runs the gamut of visitor services, program assistance, archival assistance, and researching. During her work in the archives, Mel has unearthed some goodies to share with us! Enjoy!
As a volunteer at the Vancouver Police Museum, one of the tasks I really enjoy is inventorying our unsorted archival material. Perhaps it is the organizer in me, or my love of the random, but I love going though those dusty boxes of papers and not knowing what I will discover.
Given the varied nature of our collection, I can progress from bemusement at a folio full of pictures of innocuous looking individuals ominously labeled ‘subversives;’ to shock at finding an envelope of crime scene photos. In either case, I am happy to have a chance to learn more about the history of my city and province. Many of my finds have sparked long conversations with the curator about the mandate and purpose of the Vancouver Police Museum.
Given our role in education, my discovery of an American Handbook on Disguised Weaponry from 1977 filled me with some disquiet.
Disguised and improvised weapons are also on exhibit in our museum – all confiscated locally by VPD officers.
Students, adults as well as seniors are equally drawn to this exhibit, including grisly items, such as those pictured below.
The Criminal Code of Canada defines a “Weapon“ as anything used, designed to be used, or intended for use in causing death or injury to any person, or for the purpose of threatening or intimidating any person.
So regardless of appearance, the intent of the object is its most important attribute. We need to ask- was this object made to intimidate, harm or kill.
While disguised or improvised weapons demonstrate a certain amount of ingenuity their violent intent, whether realized or not, always makes me feel a certain amount of discomfort. I wonder why humanity’s creative spark is so often lured astray by the romance of violence.
But creativity is an inherently positive force and the Internet is filled with stories of people making positive contributions through their creativity and ingenuity. It’s time to be fascinated by those stories, those inventions.
Here are some you may have heard of.
Do you have any tales of invention to tell? Know anyone who has used their creativity and technological know-how to benefit those around them? Have you been impacted negatively by a disguised or improvised weapon Share those stories here.