My First Time

I told this story this weekend. It is worth repeating. 
 
The first time I fired a gun was when I was about nine years old. I'll never forget that day.

We always had guns in the house where I grew up. They were not locked up and they were stored with ammo. In fact, the one that I shot that day was typically stored, in the kitchen, on hooks, over the doorway to the "kids play room"! Every house in the county kept their guns that way. That still cracks me up. How the world has changed...

I have three older brothers and on that auspicious day I was out playing in the back yard when two of them were coming back from rabbit hunting. We had 250 acres in farm country of Western New York where my parents owned a shade tree farm. A Nursery. Rabbits wreaked havoc on the plants my father grew, so we had a permit to hunt them year round.

It was a beautiful day. Sunny and breezy and perfect.

My brothers were in an excellent mood because the day was so sweet. I remember the younger of the brothers was drinking an orange soda from a pop-top can. The kind with the pop-tops you hated to step on bare foot. It was empty. I remember that he was shaking it because he had slipped the pop-top into the can after he had pulled it off.
 
He tossed the can about ten yards away and said, "JB, come here and see if you can shoot that can!" Without ceremony, he handed my the double barrel, 20 gauge shotgun and all he said as instructions was, "Just aim and make sure you pull both triggers at the same time..."


 
That asshat.

I gave that can both barrels and landed flat on my back.

My brothers laughed so hard they nearly pissed themselves . Even though it felt like I had been smashed on the shoulder with a baseball bat I couldn't help laughing too.

We never told my parents and I had a hell of a time hiding that bruise, that badge of courage.

--I became a man that day. What's your story?

5 comments:

Sarah said...

I love stories like this.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Long, Involved and Complicated, but it was Rabbit Hunting on my Grandpa's Farm in S.E. Ohio, my Cousins, my Uncle Joe, and a .22LR Lever Gun. But nothing funny, just some good, solid 'This is a Gun, and this is how it works, and this is why you need to be careful" shooting instruction. Must have been around 8 years old, so, summer of '67 was my first shot.

Someday I'll learn how to hit a Target. ; )

Bubblehead Les. said...

FWIW, no bunnies were bagged by myself or my cousins that day. Uncle Joe did get a couple, I think.

Guffaw in AZ said...

Age 6, with my Dad. He always carried HIS dad's (the Marine/RR policeman!)Colt Vest Pocket .25.
We were on a trip 'in the mountains', he set up a can and handed me the gun.
No ears, no eyes, no instruction.
I held the pistol out dueling-style and cranked one off.
Really loud, and my arm went from horizontal to vertical!

CTone said...

I had been shooting rimfires since I was four (with parental assistance), but my first shotgun experience was via a 12 gauge Mossberg 500 when I was about seven. My dad loaded it with low brass #8s and handed it to me, and told me to shoot a water filled beer can about twenty yards away. I missed the can AND ended up on my ass. I've only gotten marginally better since then.