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Thursday, July 2, 2015

NEVER FIRED A GUN


NEVER FIRED A GUN
I don’t think kids have toy guns any more.  Well they probably exist, but I’ll bet in most places they are frowned upon.  Guns are bad.  Guns kill people and animals, and they break things.  Some people like guns.  They enjoy target practice and hunting.  My friend Frog is always trying to get to try skeet shooting.  Can't do it. 

Guns scare me.

I probably don’t like guns because I was taught as a child to not like guns, right? 

Nope. 

When I was a kid I loved playing with toy guns.  I had toy pistols and toy rifles.  I played with other kids in the neighborhood.  We hid behind trees and garbage cans and shot at each other. 

We didn’t just yell “Pow Pow” or “Blam Blam” or even “Bang Bang” though I do recall being able to imitate the ricochet noise we learned from watching westerns, we had caps and cap guns.  Stick’em caps were the most realistic but you had to reload often.  Roll caps were the best, kind of like real assault weapons. Oh how I loved the smell of cap powder in the afternoon.

We shot each other, we shot imaginary Indians (that would be Native Americans) we shot Japs (sorry, we still weren’t eating sushi in the fifties) and we shot wild animals along with “Rama of the Jungle” on TV.  My brothers had a BB gun.  They shot little rubber army men and an occasional bird.  I came from a family of toy guns. 

I’ve never fired a real gun.  I don’t think either of my brothers ever fired a real gun.  My oldest brother once went deer hunting with some Navy buddies.  He bought a new rifle and other stuff just for the hunt.  When he had the chance to take down a deer he could not pull the trigger. 

Actually I guess Jim did have to learn to fire a gun as an officer in the Navy, but I don’t think he ever aimed at anything other than a target.

Well there was that groundhog incident.  My mom had a thing against groundhogs, but Jim missed on purpose.

I remember my pop once shot a squirrel with his friend from Louisiana.  He was depressed for a week.*

What is your point Cranky?

I don’t know, for some reason I remembered cap guns and started to ramble.  Maybe my point is children’s toys and children’s games do not necessarily lead to similar behavior as adults.  Maybe it sometimes gets it out of their systems.

My point is not that hunting is bad, or that people should not have guns.  If I lived in the sticks I would greet every stranger coming down my dirt road with a “howdy” and a shotgun by my side.

So there; no point.  I don’t like guns; I loved playing with toy guns.

So what?

*Italics indicate a wondering mind.

26 comments:

  1. I respect guns. I realize unfortunately there is a "need" for them. I have not shot a gun either and probably never will in my life and I'm perfectly fine with that. There are guns in this house, stored properly. I could never hunt, but respect those that hunt with purpose, eating what they hunt or donating it to someone that needs food. Had a friend whose husband taught their son to hunt. He told him "you eat what you shoot". Kid shot a squirrel, he ate it. Never shot a squirrel again.

    Like I said, I respect guns. They are out of my league in my knowledge of them so I leave them alone. Kind of like I respect the ocean.

    betty

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  2. Not to worry Joe. I've shot enough guns for the both of us.

    I don't hunt, because I'm lazy. I'm NOT getting up at some ridiculous hour of the night to go sit in some cold, wet stand and HOPE I see a deer. Then I would have to shoot it, field dress it, haul it back to a processor, and pay him a small fortune, OR just go to my butcher at my leisure and buy some beautiful prime steaks. See, lazy.

    I don't mind hunters as long as they eat what they shoot. I think that's why God put animals here. But just to shoot some defenseless critter, as on an African safari hunt for a lion or rhino, should IMO be a criminal offense.

    I enjoy shooting sports, but like Betty said, guns must be treated with respect.

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  3. Perfect, perfect, perfect, perfect Joe. This is the FIRST "I don't like guns" piece I've read that wasn't aggressive, filled with hate and/or inciting such behavior. THANK YOU FOR THIS. - Seriously, I dropped off of FB because nobody could express an opinion without some kind of personal attack. - This piece is wonderful.. And I too loved the smell of those caps and I remember sometimes not even putting them in our toy guns and just smashing them on the sidewalk with rocks! :) - PS, I like guns. ;) -

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  4. We are armed here. I live is a cesspool. We are both retired cops so guns are just a way of life. I respect those that don't like guns, but as long as we are able we'll have guns. I am very against the removal of all firearms. If that happens the only folks that will have guns is the government (and that's a scary thought anyway), and the bad guys. There's not much difference between the two either. Look at all the gun free zones in America. That's where you'll find the most homicides and crime in general.

    You did do a nice piece on guns though, I like what MiMi said.

    Have a fabulous day Joe. ☺

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  5. People kill people and animals. (guns have no intelligence) I believe everyone should carry a gun because the people who carry a gun are not the killing nut jobs. The public killing sprees would be squelched very quickly. Very little crime here because just about everyone "carries." (Don't include the reservations because they are their own nation with their own laws. Every minute of the day, I am thankful for our guns and the peace it brings to our humble State. I know the day will soon come when they will be taken from us and we, too, will come to know crime. What a pity.

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  6. Interesting that although you played with toy guns, you had no interest in real guns as an adult. I think I tried out a BB gun once, but that's about it.

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  7. guns scare me, too. the noise does, especially. here in the country, we all have guns of one type or another. too many neighbors have semi-automatic weapons and like to have target practice (sounds like the damn militia lives next door - and they might). one neighbor has a flipping cannon. it rattles the windows, terrifies my dogs and horses, and makes me jump out of my skin - inside my house! excessive, to say the least. and scary.

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  8. Boys will always play with toy guns; it seems to be a fascination our gender has with them. When our son was small he played with a little boy whose mother was adamant her son would never play with toy guns. That little boy just used his fingers to form a gun. He shot me many times with that "finger gun." And he went on to become a doctor, not a killer.

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  9. I have shot guns. I enjoy shooting guns although I haven't done so for many years. The qualifying range in the army was awesome fun. On the other hand, I also regret that as a youth I shot birds and small animals for "fun." I've no quarrel with hunters, and if their pro-gun arguments are over the top it's because there are so many strident voices against them. I do wonder about the people who think they should maintain an arsenal of weapons expressly designed for killing many people as quickly as possible.

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  10. Boys play with weapons regardless of how they are trained. It is instinctual to be the upper Alpha in a fight. They will use sticks as swords. Frequently, the more aggressive boys starting the play. Nothing wrong with this instinct. The primary goal is to teach boys (and girls) that guns are tools with serious purpose. And that physical fighting has huge consequences and one should be prepared for that before entering into a physical fight, and it should either be in a ring or to defend oneself.

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  11. Exactly. When i was in summer camp, i was trained in riflery, and was a sharpshooter. When we first married, i very much impressed Sweetie by taking his .45 and hitting six times dead center of the target.

    No, i do not hunt, or want to. No, i would not want to shoot a person, and if it came down to it, i don't think i would even try. It is, however, fun to target shoot.

    Always be careful, and treat every gun as if it is loaded at all times, it is never to be pointed at a person (lesson one in riflery).

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  12. To quote Woodie Guthrie, we shot each other with everything but 22's. Ah, the cap guns. I often pilfered a roll from one of my brothers and spent the afternoon detonating them on the side walk. The smell was heaven.

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  13. I keep hearing...
    "This is my rifle.
    This is my gun.
    This is for fighting.
    This is for fun."

    Do you want to rethink your title?

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    Replies
    1. Well now you have put the whole debate on Gun Control in a new light!

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  14. Guns are VERY popular in this town. I hate them. My son is the only kid that didn't own an Airsoft gun when they were all the rage. People around here think I am VERY strange.

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  15. I remember my favorite toy in the 50's was a pair of Mattel Fanner Fifties, and a very real looking Thompson sub machine gun with some kind of spring operated mechanism that made a shooting sound.
    Halcyon days those were for kids, never to be seen again.
    You probably can guess my views on guns, no need to go into them.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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  16. I can almost smell that cap smoke also. I do own two guns. One for protection and one for varmints. Luckily, neither has ever been needed for its designed purpose.

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  17. I am wondering if your brother had the same sensibility as my dad, a WWII Purple Heart veteran. His disinterest in deer hunting came from "knowing what it was like to be hunted."

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  18. Well said, my cranky friend!

    On the other hand, my 13-year-old self says you set me up for this one:
    Maybe you've never fired a gun, but you've certainly shot off your mouth!

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  19. Being from a military family, I wanted to be a soldier as a kid--which meant about every childhood game involved ambushes, counterattacks, and snipers. My first real job was as a police officer, and obviously needed to be around guns. I never really had an interest in them though. Now as a civilian, I don't currently own any guns, but older boy and I will go and shoot some. I want him to learn the safe way to handle them. Like you, exposure as a child did not seem to jade me.

    Happy 4th!

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  20. I've always enjoyed shooting. I shoot animals, people, flowers, birds, funny signs, even the moon. From my cold, dead hands you'll have to pry my telephoto lens!

    Good post, Cranky.

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  21. My boys don't need toy guns to "play" shooting. They've got their thumbs and pointer fingers. When put into the position, they make perfect play guns. And they can't get them into any trouble. Well, unless they stick them in their jacket pocket and walk into a liquor store.... Okay, that's it. I'm taking away their thumbs and pointing fingers. What was God thinking, giving them built-in toy guns like that! Major design flaw in the male species.

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  22. I remember roll-caps. My brother had twin "pearl-handled" pistols in twin holsters that he buckled on over his cowboy suit. I always had to be the Indian that got shot and died.
    The only guns in this family today are the giant super-soaker water pistols my grand children saturate each other with each summer.

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  23. I've read all the other comments and recently a few blogs about the pros and cons of guns. It seems most Americans are in favour of everyone owning and carrying a gun. To defend themselves is the strongest argument.
    Yet there are many other countries on this planet who all seem to manage just fine without everyone owning and carrying guns. And I'm very glad I live in one.

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  24. I think you're right when you say toy guns help to 'get it out of the system', unfortunately these days not in every case. Here in the UK kids were not encouraged to play with knives and look at them now... most murders are committed with knives. Food for thought.

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  25. My only exposure to guns was in the Navy. But I too do not own one or care to.

    We looked upon cap pistols with disdain. The "pop" simply wasn't loud enough. Instead we mastered an unspellable explosive burst from our mouths. We were experts at it.

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