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4.02.2012

KICK BACKS

When I was about 10 or 11 years old my dad took me out to the edge of the field and handed me his shotgun.  He instructed me how to place the butt end of it against my right shoulder.  He told me how to sight down the barrel.  He explained the trigger to me and then pointed off in the distance for something to aim towards.  I had never held a gun before.  I kinda liked the feel of it.  That is until I squeezed the trigger.  That shotgun kicked back on my right shoulder like an unexpected baseball flying through a window.  All 75-80 pounds of me fell backwards with a sharp pain that reverberated through my right shoulder.  I was shocked, stunned and caught off guard by the power of the gun and pain it produced.  Looking up I saw my dad laughing.  He too probably had forgotten the algebraic equation of gun times body weight divided by kick back EQUALS amount of force displaced per pound of body weight.  It was some years later before I picked up another shot gun.  This time I was older, weighed more and understood the kick back principle.  Guns were not associated with violence in the farm setting I grew up on.  Instead, they were used to hunt and occasionally shoot bats or starlings out of the barn.  I am not a member of the NRA, nor do I oppose them either.  Guns are a great deal like other things in life.  They have the power to be used correctly or to be used for harm.  I don't think a gun creates a killer.  Rather, a gun just enables a killer to kill.  The first time I was in Arizona and went in a restaurant/bar I was a bit startled to see people's handguns laying on the tables beside them while they ate.  I briefly heard salon music playing loudly in my head as the saloon doors to "The Long Branch"  Saloon (from the show "Gunsmoke") swung open.  I have a purple squirt gun in the basement that the grand kids use when they come.  Does that count as a weapon? 

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