There were three things my father insisted that all five of his children learn how to do: swim, ride a bicycle, and shoot a gun. For the first he sent us to Red Cross lessons. The last two he taught us himself.
Dad was a six year old living in Hilo, Hawai’i when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, and from that time wanted to be a soldier. He was in the Army Reserve for 30 years and on active duty for 13, serving two tours in Vietnam.
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My father has been in the NRA for over 50 years, and owns dozens of rifles and pistols. He shot pistol competitively for many years, and taught me, my brothers and sisters how to shoot. I got an NRA Expert Rifleman certification, and got through the prone portion of the Distinguished Rifleman certification. I shot competitively at a few matches myself. There was what seems to me now an almost Zen quality to it, mindfully managing the inevitable wobble into a semi-regular up-and-down, then timing the gradual squeeze yet never pulling the trigger – because a ‘pull’ would throw the aim off.
But guns are NOT toys, he told us over and over, not to be joked with or kidded around with. They should never be pointed at people without intent to kill, and they should only be loaded when intended for immediate use. Guns are very serious tools, designed to kill, and deserving of utmost respect and caution. American citizens have a right to bear arms, but with that right comes great responsibility.
9:28 PM PT: This is my first diary, and I am still trying to get the hang of it. I support the Brady Campaign, and would like to see weapons restrictions, mandatory training, closed gun show loophole, and federal background checks. I also like to follow the money, and don't like what I see: The NRA-Industrial Complex