I have a gun, a .38 pistol that is unique in that, although past is 25th birthday, it has never been fired.  It is still in its original box, wrapped in a oiled based paper and secure, that is away from public view, waiting in case the owner has an improbable use for it. And it probably would not be of much defensive use anyhow because of its location.  The trick is, however, remembering where the drawer key is located, finding it then unlocking  the gun’s drawer, removing the gun from the  box, unwrapping  it from its  confinement then, minutes later, confronting whatever enemy is lurking.  Assuming that the gun is available, aiming it would be another problem for me since marksmanship is not one of my skills although I have had some of the best training available.  I went through basic infantry training although how successful is another question.  I suspect that when I was interviewed for a post basic training assignment,  my marksmanship scores caused me to be given another MOS assignment: clerk.
I grew up in a family where guns were common items in the household.  We had three: a double barreled shotgun, .22 rifle for dispatching hogs, and a shotgun for bird hunting.  While they were never totally secured, they were respected as lethal. The double barrel had a powerful ‘kick’ so it was used very little.
There was a progression to my advancement to using the household weapons.  When I was a child, I remember getting a ‘cap pistol’ for Christmas with its own holster.  I still recall when I opened the included box of ‘caps’ I anticipated having unlimited fun firing the 500 caps but alas, once one was fired unfortunately it practically ruined many others.  It was not necessary, however, even to have caps since shouting “bang, bang” was all it took to win a gun fight.
My next level of gun experience was getting my first air rifle,  a Red Ryder, a fancy model engraved with western motifs and including a rawhide  sling to attach to an imaginary saddle. The BB pellets were great for shooting tin cans and other stationery objects but very rarely used for taking down the really important targets: birds.  They were constantly moving.
I am not against the ownership of guns, a constitutional right,  but  gone are the days when I would even think about using a weapon to kill a bird of any kind; even a snake is exempt.
Someone suggested that the gun bullets I originally had might “go bad” so I have replaced them just to be sure that I am ready in case a situation requiring a gun comes up.
Back to the army rifle training.  I had a problem imagining that I would ever have to use a rifle as a weapon, but it was tame compared to my fellings about the possibility of using the bayonet.
Fortunately the only ‘weapon’ I had to use in my army assignment was a ballpoint pen.
Bill Lee, PO Box 128,
Hamer, SC 29547

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