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Guns – a personal history

When I was somewhat younger – decades actually – I shot and killed my neighbor, Bobby White, with a .45 caliber Colt “Peacemaker” revolver that had silver bullets in the cylinder and “Lone Ranger” etched on the barrel.

I actually shot and killed Bobby numerous times, although occasionally I would let Bobby shoot and kill me, just so I could die dramatically on his front lawn.

Some time later, I shot my cousin Duncan and my best friend Jon in the back and in the butt with a genuine, lever-action, air-powered, Red Ryder carbine. They, in turn, sometimes shot me. We were soldiers mostly, but sometimes cowboys. The Red Ryder lever-action carbine did not have silver bullets, but it fired real copper BBs with enough muzzle velocity to kill a pigeon or to raise a welt on the skin of a 10-year-old boy.

We quit shooting each other with BB guns when our parents pointed out one of us would eventually lose an eye, but I graduated to a CO2-powered, single shot, .177 caliber pellet pistol with which my younger brother almost put out my eye because neither of us knew there was a pellet in the chamber.

Later in life, I learned to field-strip a .30 caliber M1 Garand, semi-automatic carbine blindfolded, which gave me a certain amount of post-adolescent pride, but I never shot anything with it of note.


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