In Riflescopes 101 class the other day I impressed upon the students the importance of safe gun handling. Most of these folks have never had any experience with firearms. Some have never been in the same room with a gun. I listed my credentials that give me the authority to handle guns in the classroom venue, and also gave real-world demonstrations about safe gun handling.
As a very small boy I was taught never to point a gun at anything I didn’t want to shoot. If I ever pointed even a toy gun at our bird dog or my brothers (curious, always in that order) I couldn’t go hunting with Dad on the weekends. This was the worst punishment ever in fall and winter when seasons were open. For the rest of the year my punishment was to be grounded off the motorcycles. That was almost as bad. Not that I didn’t get spanked…I certainly did. And deserved it. It just didn’t make that much of a difference.
I learned from a young age about guns and hunting. Bird scent and gunpowder have been in my nose since I was born. There are funny pictures of my Dad holding pheasants over my head in my crib just after birth, with his favorite old humpback Browning crooked in his arm. I consider myself one of the lucky ones.
Inner city kids today will probably never get to their grandparent’s farm to milk cows or gather eggs or get chiggers or run from a brahma bull or fish in a farm pond for snappers and bluegulls as big as dinner plates. They won’t make butter or ice cream or run over a copperhead with their bike. Sad. Progress doesn’t always make things better.
The puppy in the picture is an eight week old Radical Lee von Dundee, my best friend.