Monday, July 23, 2012

One more thing

My Dad grew up in rural New Mexico in the 1920's.  Then and there, every man over the age of 10 had some kind of firearm, usually for the legless varmints, but sometimes for the ones with legs.  He was already a good shot when he entered ROTC, and became even better serving in North Africa and the European Theater until the end of WWII.  He had the unenviable experience of learning  the serious nature of what firearms can do. In no way did he become a 'control' advocate -- just the opposite. After fighting tyranny, he was convinced of the importance of our 2d Amendment rights.

The first time I remember shooting I was probably 7 or 8.  We lived in rural Virginia. Dad called us all into the back yard, which was a hill behind the house.  He had a galvanized garbage can -- the real solid ones of the late 1950's -- filled with water.  We stood back and he fired one round from a weapon aimed at the can. He then took us up to see the damage and explained about the little hole and the big hole and where the water went.  He also explained that's why we don't play with real weapons, because it will do worse to people.  We then practiced safe handling (with an unloaded weapon!) and did some target shooting with the hill as a backstop.  It wasn't the last time we practiced.

Fast forward to my teen years.  By the time I was 15, I was the only kid left at home.  When my parents went out to evening bridge club or the monthly birthday party for their crowd, Dad handed me a dish towel and the 'Blue Steel Babysitter.'  His instructions were to have it in my hand or next to me at all times and shoot anyone who tried to enter without a key. Good advice. Fortunately, Blue and I spent those occasional nights alone.

 I suspect that if a Dad did this today, he'd land in jail. Too bad for all of us.

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