When Shooting a Gun is Fun… Until it’s Not

Back and forth arguments over guns bring me back to a childhood in Texas. And I have to admit — it’s not so simple.

Photo Credit: andreygonchar on iStock

In our lily-white neighborhood, unlike urban areas of the city besieged by gun violence and police brutality, we had the casual privilege of feeling emboldened, and never fearful, of guns.

We shot empty cans off the top of old boxes, listening for the ping of striking metal. I aimed at pecans in my grandpa’s front-yard tree. My brother and I had BB-gun fights in the house when my parents were gone. The hits stung, but the guns weren’t strong enough to break skin.

Holding a heavy, three-foot rifle is a stark contrast to a weapon that fits in your pocket.

Facing the target, I shot the pistol with one hand, arm extended. I fired one bullet after another. Excitement almost immediately overtook me. It was so easy, and it was so fast. I shudder to remember it now, but I actually imagined myself in an action movie as I shot.

If we expect to have a realistic conversation about guns in America, we would do well to consider not only the ease of acquiring one, nor steep the sole blame for tragedies upon those with mental illness, but also recognize the mindset that sometimes accompanies a gun’s very existence.

When guns are as deeply entrenched in the culture as where I grew up, guns are guns — whether it’s a BB gun, a hunting rifle, or a handgun.

We're having a conversation about the changing roles of men in the 21st century. Main site is https://goodmenproject.com Email us info@goodmenproject.com

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