When I was a child, the very first “gun” I ever received was…and I am not joking…a Red Ryder BB-Gun. But it didn’t have a compass in the stock like the same model in the famous Christmas movie.
Don’t get me wrong, I had fired a .22 rifle under the supervision of my grandfather. But the Red Ryder was the first gun that was “mine”. I kept it in, “My room”. Bought and sourced all the ammunition (BB’s) myself. And fired it at my discretion with no supervision.
I don’t recall my age, but I seem to think I was around 8. And instead of it being given to me on Christmas, I got it on Easter. While out of town visiting my grandmother’s house. Not sure why. We didn’t have a tradition of exchanging gifts on Easter. I just know my father gave it to me then. Actually, he didn’t give it to me. He and I were at the local small-town department store without mom, and he bought it for me. I guess you could say he ambushed mom.
On a personal level, I can’t overstate how important that gift was. I was 8. It was, “a gun”. And it was mine. No different than any other gun a cop or solider carried. Again…I was 8. But little Marky was bit by the gun bug bad. I never outgrew it.
So imagine my surprise a few years ago when I received a call down in the armory. We have some deprivation issues and could we handle it? Turns out it was birds. Every spring a few of them try to do something that damages some of the out buildings.
Well…I certainly don’t want to be firing even a 22 at our buildings. So off to the sporting goods store I marched to pickup a high-speed airgun. It was like I was 8 years old all over again. I came back with the rifle shown here. And every spring, the armory gets the call.
The deprivation process goes like this: we wait for after-hours when most facility staff leave. We then recon the buildings looking for the offending situations. Setup and individually ID the guilty parties. And dispatch them as needed.
This always happens between 7pm and sunset. Usually lasts a week. Maybe 2. And then the airguns are cleaned and checked back in the armory for next year. Maybe I’ll do an armory chat showing this rifle and my original Red Ryder.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”
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