RE: guns and cigarettes
From: aamato (
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 14:54:01 -0600 (MDT)
Dear Comrades in Cohousing,
My (strongly felt!)  overall suggestion is not to make any policies until the
issue comes up. Just thinking about consensing on a policy that would cover all
the possible theoretical situations imaginative cohousers come up with scares me
to death!  So unless you have a smoker or a gun-owner already amongst you I
would put it off indefinitely.  We made some policies before we moved in and had
to change them once reality hit.

We have no gun policy and no one has ever brought it up.  For all I know, half
my cohousing neighbors could have guns.

Re: smoking, Takoma Village,  like the rest, does not allow smoking in the
Common House but people can smoke outside and in their homes, as long as they
don't litter the area with cigarette butts  (which a recent guest did do).  I
don't remember any formal consensed upon policy.  It just seemed like the thing
to do, so we did.    I have a next door neighbor who sneaks a few puffs on her
back balcony occasionally and the smell wafts into my unit.  Ironically, she
thinks no one knows she still smokes!  But I love her dearly (and won't tell her
secret!) and wouldn't  think of asking for some sort of moratorium from the
community.  I will just live with the occasional inconvenience.

Re: an opening to talk to your neighbor about their gun.  Too bad you don't live
here in Washington DC., where we just had the sniper hold the region hostage for
3 weeks!    Believe me, guns are on everyone's minds here, and our local
councilman is putting up legislation for the District of Columbia to endorse a
national firearms database.

Well, that's it. We at Takoma Village will be off to the Peace March Saturday
morning down at the Vietnam Veterans memorial.  Hope a lot of you cohousers will
join us in spirit!
Anna Amato
Takoma Village
Washington, DC
(also the home of famous countributors to this listserve, Ann Zabaldo and Sharon

                    Casey Morrigan                                              
                    <cjmorr [at]>         To:     Cohousing-L [at] 
                    Sent by:                     cc:                            
                    cohousing-l-admin@coh        Subject:     RE: [C-L]_guns 
and cigarettes     
                    10/25/2002 03:50 PM                                         
                    Please respond to                                           

We had a big discussion before move-in.  Most of us didn't want guns "on
campus" at all.  One household anonymously revealed they had a gun, one
household was "out" about having a gun.  The "out about the gun" household
member had been assaulted in the past, and kept a loaded gun by the bed
every night.  Our CCR's don't forbid guns but they do require that they be
stored securely and may even require trigger locking mechanisms.   The
irony, of course, is that we are surrounded by neighbors in a
semi-rural/semi urban area (you'd have to know Sebastopol to know that both
are true - Rosewind knows what I mean cuz it is sort of similar)  who, for
all we know, are bristling with guns and we'd never know.  Anyway, most of
us were really concerned about the gun household but couldn't figure out a
way to forbid it and didn't want to change the CCR's over it.  I have no
idea whether that household still does that.  Yes, they have kid(s) in the
house. I figure if I want to know about the gun, I need to go ask, but I am
waiting for the right time, perhaps just the right atmosphere...(right after
a common-house showing of a spaghetti western????) .you know how you save up
something that is tough to talk about, hoping that the right opportunity
will present itself.  I find my capacity for denial is amazingly high and I
just don't want to think about it.  Like I hope that family's smoke alarm
doesn't go off in the middle of the night, or their burglar alarm for that
matter, nor would I want to wak them up too early (joke).

Most of us treasure the non-smoking nature of our site, but we don't have
rules forbidding it.  My next-door  neighbor sublet to a couple ciggie
smokers one month and their smoke definitely drifted into our house through
summer-open windows.  The neighbor had made it a condition of sublet that
they not smoke in the house or on site so she reminded them of it and they
sullenly stopped. One other permanent neighbor loves cigars for celebrations
and will smoke them in and near their house sometimes.  Not often enough or
close enough to me to bug me.  But with the Giants so close to clinching the
World Series I do sense another round of cigars coming up.

Casey Morrigan
Two Acre Wood, Sebastopol, California

-----Original Message-----
From: cohousing-l-admin [at]
[mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at]]On Behalf Of Elizabeth Stevenson
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2002 11:21 PM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: Re: [C-L]_guns and cigarettes

We issue a hunting rifle and handgun to every new family, with a coupon for
a carton of cigs as a little housewarming gift.

Uh, just kidding. I don't remember if we ever had a gun policy. (David?) I
know we talked about it before we moved in, but we must have agreed not to
allow them, or I'd remember an argument about it. I am fairly certain nobody
here owns one. In other parts of the country, it's more if a sticky wicket.
I'm sure someone will chime in-wasn't there a group in NC that had a big
issue over this?

As for smoking, it is not allowed in the common house. We have no smokers
currently, but have had a few in the past.  People are. of course, free to
do as they please in their own homes. Smoking is allowed outside, contrary
to some members faulty memories, but it is so rare that sometimes people are
startled by it. We often have outside groups come into the community to use
the CH, and there was at least one instance of a member chastising a visitor
for smoking after someone here had said it was ok. That was embarrassing.
The majority of us feel that it is far more important for guests to feel
comfortable than worry about the rare instance of outdoor smoking.

I was going to make another gun joke, but the first one was a bit much in
the current climate. I'll just sign off.

Liz Stevenson
Southside Park Cohousing
Sacramento, California
tamgoddess [at]

> From: Rosa Leah <rosa [at]>
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 13:15:51 -0400 (EDT)
> To: <cohousing-l [at]>
> Subject: [C-L]_guns and cigarettes
> My cohousing community is in the process of working towards have a set of
> policies/guidelines that will apply once we've moved in.  We just finished
> a pet policy, and we're now starting to think about guns (or, more
> broadly, weapons?) and cigarettes.  We'll be doing each of these
> separately, even if they'll all be addressed by the BATF if it ever comes
> up in a federal context :)
> I'd like to know what kinds of policies and guidelines other groups have
> developed along these lines?
> Thanks muchly!
> Rosa Carson
> Mosaic Commons, west of Boston
> <>
> And why should night and day be so radically divided?
> Is there anyone for whom loving and thinking
> are lived as different beginnings?
> Would I have to spend my days with the one and my nights with the other?
> -- Luce Irigaray
> _______________________________________________
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