Two weeks ago I rambled on a bit about keeping my autistic son safe with guns in the house, but I never addressed the question of why one would own guns in the first place. Well today we'll take a look at that very reasonable question.
Truthfully there are almost as many reasons to own guns as there are gun owners, and each person's reasons will be at least a little bit different from the next. Some are hunters who enjoy the thrill and the excitement of finding game animals to provide meat for their families. Others are concerned for their safety in this often dangerous world as well as that of their loved ones. For me it all started on the target range when I was in the Boy Scouts and was further sharpened when my uncle started teaching me to shoot his duty revolver.
Now don't get me wrong here. I'm a huge believer in self defense. Indeed I wouldn't be a 5th degree Brown Belt in American Kenpo if I didn't, but it was was the thrill of target shooting that first got me hooked on guns. At first it was just seeing who could get nearer to the Bulls eye or who could make the can jump the highest. And truth to tell, there's still some of that to it. Course now it's more can I beat my last score, but there's still that drive to be the best. However now a days I've discovered an almost zen quality to my shooting. When you're on the range, if you're going to do your absolute best, you have to tune out all the distractions around you and narrow your focus down to just the gun and your target. Then, as you prepare to take your shot, even the target fades as the basics becomes your whole world and all your focus comes down to the front sight. Is your grip right? As you prepare to squeeze off the shot is the trigger centered half way between the tip of your trigger finger and the first knuckle? Is the front sight aligned properly with the rear sight being slightly out of focus as is the target? Are you driving the trigger straight back when you pull with an even, steady pressure without pushing it to one side or the other? Is your breathing slow and steady or are you holding it in anticipation? These things become your whole world when you're out there on the shooting line and all the worries of your every day life outside the range just drops away into the mist. True, they'll be back just as urgent as ever once you leave; but for those precious few minutes while you're on the range all those annoying problems may as well not exist and when you're trying to balance the pressures of being treated for cancer with the demands of caring for a special needs child then that gift can be more precious than gold or diamonds. The only time I've experienced anything similar is when I'm practicing my forms in Kenpo, though I've been told by more than one dancer that they experience the same sensation when practicing a dance routine.
So there you have my reason to shoot. A bit existential I admit, but then I never claimed to be normal. In the end, your reason will probably differ from mine at least in some small way; but that's at least part of what makes life so interesting. So until next time dear reader, I wish you fair sky's and clear shooting. And remember, if you're going to do it, do it with attitude!