Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A History of Guns: Part Four

This is the fourth in a personal history of guns in my life. Previous entries: Part One, Part Two, Part Three

The High School Years
Let's talk about Dave, a trailer-park dweller who was slow and smelled kind of bad. I know he smelled bad because I always got paired up to wrestle him in ninth-grade gym class. I didn’t like him, not so much because of anything he did -- he was one of those sort-of invisible people you knew in school who never made an impression on anyone. I disliked him because I hated wrestling him.

After ninth grade, my wrestling days were over and I didn't think about him at all until the day an announcement came over the loudspeaker at my high school saying that Dave had been killed in an accidental shooting. He was working at pizza place and one of Dave’s co-workers decided to show him his gun. Blam! Lights out. Just like at Freddie’s house, except the gun didn’t go off when Freddie pointed it at me.

But, that didn't change my desire to have a gun. And I finally did get a gun of my own on my 16th birthday. My father bought me a Charles Daly over-and-under 20-gauge -- a nice gun. My dad took me skeet shooting and -- occasionally -- quail hunting. I enjoyed spending time with my father. There is kind of a macho big dick thing about shooting a gun.

I remember one day we went skeet shooting at this old gun club out on on Northwest Highway between Dallas and Irving. We ran into an old friend of his who hit every clay that came out of the tower. The only reason I remember this guy is my dad asked him about hunting and he replied that he never went hunting anymore because “he didn’t want to kill anything.” I always thought that was an odd answer. I didn’t understand it at the time.

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