I always found it suprising when my friends or family find out I’m into shooting. You see, I’m orginally from NY. The-we-allow-you-to-have-firearms-but-we-declare-them-evil-so-if-you-want-one-you-must-go-through-hoops-to-register-it-and-pay-a-hefty-fee-plus-hope-the-local-liberal-paper-does-not-publish-your-name & address-so-everyone-knows-what-you-own-because-its-really-just-a-matter-of-public record. Part of the reason why I have a rebel heart. There are those who think its really awesome. I find some kindred spirits. Some ask me how I got into shooting when I was never around firearms growing up.
They ask to come to the range. Then there are the others. They tell me things like: I can’t picture you shooting or you don’t look like shooter (what exactly does a shooter look like), shooting is unbecoming for a woman OR (this one is the BEST) wow…that’s really cool…just don’t tell my kids/show my kids/don’t even put the idea in my childs head that guns aren’t bad/I am not giving you permission so do not teach my child how to shoot just teach them how to make cupcakes.
The last comment always bothers me. For those that know me, I would never put a child in harm’s way. I have always been the first one to put myself in harms way to protect a child. I once had to swallow my fear that one day a poisonious snake was going to bite my ankle and I’d lose my whole entire leg. I was being interviewed at a little Italian restaurant when I was about 24 years old. It was a HOT day. The AC was broken, the ceiling fans were on…you could smell that sweet marinara wafting through the parking lot. The owner’s 2 year old grandson was playing with something in the lobby while I was waiting on a stool at the bar. Being that I never saw a live snake my whole sheltered life (except maybe in a zoo), it did not occur to me that this child was NOT in fact playing with a rattle, but a RATTLER. I don’t know if I spelled that right. Anyway. Thank God the restaurant’s front door was propped open to alleviate some of the heat from the kitchen (and no one was blocking the door or walking in at the time) because I hopped down off my stool at the same moment the childs mother noticed what her son was within inches from and froze in fear. I can honestly say I had no idea what I was doing…I got to the kid just in time as the snake kinda arched itself back, scooped the baby up with my left hand, grabbed the snakes head with my right and hurled the fucker out the door. Then I heard the screaming…for a second I thought the baby got bit…so I start basically undressing the kid in front of an audience to check for bite marks (like I really knew what I was looking for) only to realize I was the one being yelled at for being so stupid. Needless to say, I got the job. No interview necessary.
In fact, when I do have kids, they are going to be raised like I was. My parents made sure that we knew that it was archaic to shove a person into a particular role. Just because I had brothers didn’t mean they weren’t expected to do laundry or some other “womanly” activity. I was not in any way treated like a Princess. The moment I tried to be…well…lets just say it didn’t happen often. I was tossed outside to rake leaves.
The only exception is that guns are going to be a major part of growing up. They will be taught to respect firearms; the dangers and the great responsibility that a firearm brings. It wasn’t unusual to come to my house and see me mowing the lawn and one of my brothers cooking dinner. Except my kids are going to know how to strip an AK and bake cupcakes. And their momma will teach them. Their daddy can teach them how to hunt.