Friday, June 10, 2011

How'd YOU become a Gunnie?

Well, Jennifer, thanks for asking.
Not sure. Partly just by being born American I s'pose.

Dad had a 12 gauge. He went pheasant hunting a couple times a season. I got to tramp along at his side.
His pistols were "never touch" little pocket semi's. Never did shoot those.

In the early 60's, especially before the GCA of '68, guns weren't demonized.
Aisles of Toys r Us looked like plasticized gun shops.
Dolls for boys!?

TV had a plethora of Westerns, Bonanza, Have Gun Will Travel (Paladin), Death Valley Days, The Rifleman (my fave!), Rawhide, Wanted Dead or Alive.
Oddly enough, despite all this cultural ingraining, I've never owned a traditional SA Cowboy gun.
Uncle Terry somehow sent me a LAWS rocket tube from 'Nam.
I ruled the block when it was time to play army.

First gun: Crosman BB rifle, modeled after a M1 Carbine.
Best Christmas Gift  EVAH!
 I was about 12. Santa left it under the tree for Christmas morning. Not sure I even opened any other presents.
First subscription of my own at 13 years old; Outdoor Life.
Jack O'Conner, sparked an interest in rifles. Years of exposure in popular culture, reading years of "outdoors" magazines built up a powerful, unfulfilled hoplomania. Living in the 'burbs of Chicago, left little room for my disease to progress.

Enter Army. Shoot an honest-to-God M16 in basic. Think over the course of several days training, we got to shoot maybe, maybe 100 rounds max. Only qualified as "marksman". Earned "sharpshooter" with grenade tossing though!
Somewhere in there, got my F.O.I.D., Illinois's solution to keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

Discharge pay from Army was $400 and change. In '79, that was just enough to purchase a brand new 4" Colt Python.
 Sold to me by a high school buddy working the counter at Chucks Guns Shop.

Anyways, thats how it started. We don't have time now to talk about the years of American Handgunner subscriptions, or traveling across state lines in the family mini-van, rear seats removed to hold guns 'n gear, to try and put half-inch holes in paper from far, far away.
My name is Art. I am a shooter

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