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(17,038 posts)
188. I started on the Boy Scout range at summer camp in Maine when I was 11.
Mon Jun 20, 2016, 02:23 PM
Jun 2016

It was pretty exciting for an 11 year old to get to do something so "adult". Did that for three more summers or so, but had no guns in our home. I never found it "relaxing", except in the sense of the afterglow from the adrenaline of handling and shooting dangerous weapons. Much like I was soon to discover after I first masturbated. My uncle wanted to give me a hunting rifle when I was 16, but my father said no.

My uncle was a big collector of the octagonal barrel Winchesters. He had over 150 of them, as well as other various oddities (a Spanish blunderbuss?). He woke up one morning to find his well secured and alarmed arms room in the attached barn cleaned out, while he, his wife, and their German Shepherd were asleep. None of the guns ever surfaced that I know of, so we assumed it was a contract job by organized crime for another collector. My uncle was really crushed at losing his life's work collecting those guns. It didn't help that they left his wife's colored glass collection.

In Army basic training, I had a Vietnam era M-16, made by Frigidaire. It was a real piece of shit training weapon, and misfired every third round, so I got a lot of practice clearing it, and always had "two in and one out" during marksmanship training. Then, when we qualified, I shot Expert and won the high score, thereby befuddling my drill sergeants, who had to give me a big plastic trophy when we graduated. (That trophy was such a pain in the ass to drag through the Atlanta airport along with my duffel bag when I went home on leave. )

In the army, I spent most of my time telling artillery crews (105 and 155mm) where to shoot safely during live fire training (all peacetime), and then in the Guard spent time as a mortar section leader with 60mm mortars, and range spotted some for our snipers. I also got to train with the Alpini in Italy for a month and familiarize with their Beretta assault rifle, which everyone liked better than the M-16.

After I got off active duty, I got my hunting licence, after attending an state mandated NRA Safe Hunter course. I went out with a friend, borrowing a single shot rifle and shotgun, for deer and birds. Never shot at any game, and really just liked getting out in the Maine woods.

Inherited one antique long gun, which I sold. Owned no guns for decades, until I rented a place for a couple years in the French Quarter in New Orleans, on an extended work assignment after Katrina. A woman was murdered by a 13 year old on the sidewalk around the block from me while I was cooking dinner. With an unsecured second floor balcony off the main bedroom over the sidewalk, home invasion was an existential threat. I picked up a .380 pistol to keep in the house. I test fired the gun, and put it in a safe by the bed.

I sold that gun to a neighbor (retired AF) after I moved to Colorado. Don't need one. My neighbors do, though. We are surrounded by hay fields, and the only ways to control the prairie dogs are shooting, or gas. I was just out walking the dog across the fields this morning, after the first cut last week. They gassed this spring for the first time, and I saw dozens of heads popping up out of burrows, so I expect to hear a lot of gunfire when their hired man comes back from vacation in a few days. My dog hates gunfire. No more walks, until the grass grows too high to see prairie dogs again.

Guns are a tool. A tool for the military, LEO's, homeowners, and working people of all kinds. It's no coincidence that the rise of the AR-15 platform's popularity, and the NRA's conversion from an ethical sponsor of gun safety to a lobbying branch for gun manufacturers, were together.

AR-15's are good for two things - high volume of fire, and high profits. They are lousy for home defense or hunting, but great for dominating a firefight. They took rifles from being a handmade item of wood and metal requiring skilled craftsmen, to a mass produced bunch of cheap plastic parts any yahoo could throw together for his own custom gun. And boy could they sell them! It was about the same time that the NRA became an advocate of absolute 2A rights, that the movies Rambo and Scarface came out. There was Al Pacino with his M203 (why can't we have those?) And Sly Stallone, eventually upgrading to his M60 machine gun ( made in Maine! - seems reasonable to me) winning their wars of oppression against authority, or something, all sexy as hell. The movies created a generation of wannabe's that missed Vietnam, but got to relive it through Platoon, The Deer Hunter, and Apocalypse Now. Right along side the introduction of the extremely profitable civilianized AR-15 platform to the general public.

And there was the NRA, the respected gun safety group, to legitimize and normalize their use and ownership to the American public. And here we are today, awash in guns in America, with every publicized mass shooting creating an infinite feedback loop of demand for more guns, and more and more guns in inappropriate hands.

I don't know what to do about all the guns out there today. That horse has pretty well left the barn. But I would support some regulations prohibiting the civilian sale of any new long guns that have external magazines larger than five rounds, or shells for shotguns. They aren't needed for work, hunting, or self defense, and target sports are irrelevant - any gun can be used for that.

I'm open minded about other ideas for gun control, short of bans. We need to do something, and we need should start by making these AR platforms less profitable for manufacturers and retailers. Nothing in the 2A says all guns have to be cheap and profitable.

Not since I was in the Corps... Wounded Bear Jun 2016 #1
Same with me for the most part. Release The Hounds Jun 2016 #15
Same here VMA131Marine Jun 2016 #110
I was in VMFA531, and MAG11 Wounded Bear Jun 2016 #115
Machine operator in USMC Ernesto Jun 2016 #182
I have. ZombieHorde Jun 2016 #2
Me too. We used to do a lot of camping Hortensis Jun 2016 #143
Those things shoot like a rainbow deaniac21 Jun 2016 #219
I've done it several times. Agschmid Jun 2016 #3
Off topic, but M.I.A. always seems to have catchy songs. Kang Colby Jun 2016 #9
She quite awesome! Agschmid Jun 2016 #30
Interesting use of "Straight To Hell" mwrguy Jun 2016 #104
I couldn't understand deaniac21 Jun 2016 #220
That's too bad. Agschmid Jun 2016 #236
Have fired a gun and served in the military.... Silver_Witch Jun 2016 #4
Do you think competitive target shooting is weird? hack89 Jun 2016 #11
Except the point is to murder scscholar Jun 2016 #62
That is a pretty fucking stupid thing to say. hack89 Jun 2016 #132
I think shooting a gun for no reason is weird. Silver_Witch Jun 2016 #63
I have never shot a living thing in 35 years of gun ownership hack89 Jun 2016 #133
That's nice! Silver_Witch Jun 2016 #235
Why do we want to knock down pins with a big round ball, SciFiRK Jun 2016 #229
Actually all of those seem silly to me! Silver_Witch Jun 2016 #234
Own 3 metroins Jun 2016 #5
I find cooking relaxing. pangaia Jun 2016 #6
the same could be said about huniting Travis_0004 Jun 2016 #8
Is hunting relaxing and fun? pangaia Jun 2016 #13
I find it relaxing and fun. Brickbat Jun 2016 #157
Think aboout it... world wide wally Jun 2016 #75
Of COURSE the constitution guarantees the right to cook. pangaia Jun 2016 #151
I fired nearly every small arm and rifle the Army fields. Oh, and this: Aristus Jun 2016 #7
LOL! pangaia Jun 2016 #24
Me too GP6971 Jun 2016 #28
+1. Hoyt Jun 2016 #56
You have a way with words, my friend pinboy3niner Jun 2016 #81
Dang, deaniac21 Jun 2016 #221
Thank you. My fellow tankers didn't think so. Aristus Jun 2016 #222
I had a few boyfriends RebelOne Jun 2016 #10
I took my dad to the range yesterday, for father's day. Kang Colby Jun 2016 #20
A few times. The Velveteen Ocelot Jun 2016 #12
Fired a bunch, but grew up and sick of gun yahoos. So not in 40 years. Don't want to either. Hoyt Jun 2016 #14
What kind of gun did you shoot most often, if you mind me asking? Kang Colby Jun 2016 #26
A Winchester "Can o' Beans" and a Remington "Bike Tire". cherokeeprogressive Jun 2016 #48
Also, a Smith & Wesson "Magical Staff": friendly_iconoclast Jun 2016 #60
"ram a staff into his face" ya know I thought he was talking about gathering up all the employees... cherokeeprogressive Jun 2016 #67
LOL, wow. nt Logical Jun 2016 #16
I have drray23 Jun 2016 #17
I used to have a CPL but I found it unnecessary. roamer65 Jun 2016 #18
+10000000000000000000000000 Hoyt Jun 2016 #25
Yup. Agschmid Jun 2016 #36
In Indiana, you need a carry permit to go to the range. Adrahil Jun 2016 #40
That's a dumb law. roamer65 Jun 2016 #49
Yeah, it is dumb. Just one of many dumb laws here. Adrahil Jun 2016 #55
I shoot at clay pigeons about every other year. AngryAmish Jun 2016 #19
Many and often linuxman Jun 2016 #21
I did decades ago. Mz Pip Jun 2016 #22
When I was a young teenager visiting my aunt and uncle who lived on a citrus ranch mnhtnbb Jun 2016 #23
Yes, occasionally Duckhunter935 Jun 2016 #27
40 or so years ago to hunt gwheezie Jun 2016 #29
Not nearly as often as I would like. SeattleVet Jun 2016 #31
Walmart around here tends to have the common calibers at fair prices. n/t Kang Colby Jun 2016 #46
Took my Granddaughter trap and skeet shooting on Friday NashuaDW Jun 2016 #32
Former competitive shooter, still occasionally shoot recreationally Rhythm Jun 2016 #33
I do like plunking with my S&W revolver. roamer65 Jun 2016 #34
I'm an Arizona Democrat LongtimeAZDem Jun 2016 #35
Funny, "Arizona Democrat". Kang Colby Jun 2016 #41
Yes, I have LannyDeVaney Jun 2016 #37
I don't particularly enjoy it. flvegan Jun 2016 #38
Agree. n/t lumberjack_jeff Jun 2016 #105
Yes, I have. 63splitwindow Jun 2016 #39
I'm a hunter and am from a rural area, I grew up shooting guns. Odin2005 Jun 2016 #42
ditto... very much agree...nt virginia mountainman Jun 2016 #96
My rural friends and relatives have horrible, bigoted contempt for fools with guns. hunter Jun 2016 #186
Yes, I have... BooScout Jun 2016 #43
I grew up in the southern Appalachians. Gun culture was - and is - such a part of life Glorfindel Jun 2016 #44
It doesn't relax me... kentuck Jun 2016 #45
I was interested in guns for less than a year PSPS Jun 2016 #47
I'm so sorry. roamer65 Jun 2016 #50
Bunk HoustonDave Jun 2016 #238
They made me sight a rifle through my right eye Warpy Jun 2016 #51
I have fired guns itsrobert Jun 2016 #52
As a kid at summer camp. Don't recall having strong feelings about it. Crunchy Frog Jun 2016 #53
I never have to be honest. romanic Jun 2016 #54
The industry is regulated. Kang Colby Jun 2016 #65
""How would you feel if Republicans used those lists to deny... voting rights,"" vkkv Jun 2016 #240
I shot one once. Scared the shit outta me. cherokeeprogressive Jun 2016 #57
Now that was funny as hell! hack89 Jun 2016 #142
I have fired more than one type of gun. Didn't like shooting Ilsa Jun 2016 #58
I have. 840high Jun 2016 #59
I've had my own pistols that I used for target shooting and I enjoyed it. upaloopa Jun 2016 #61
Fired lots of wpns, mostly Army, used M-16 in VN combat, wounded by AK-47 fire. nt pinboy3niner Jun 2016 #64
Once littlebit Jun 2016 #66
Why didn't you like it? Kang Colby Jun 2016 #71
It was just uncomfortable. littlebit Jun 2016 #107
M-14 AND M-16 Bavorskoami Jun 2016 #68
"really get off on it" No hyperbole there, huh? "get off on it". cherokeeprogressive Jun 2016 #70
I have UnFettered Jun 2016 #69
A few times. 30-6, 10&12 ga. shotgun, Colt six shooter, Glock 9milli. BootinUp Jun 2016 #72
I've fired guns radical noodle Jun 2016 #73
What did you like about the old assault weapons ban? Kang Colby Jun 2016 #79
Honest answer radical noodle Jun 2016 #90
This message was self-deleted by its author rjsquirrel Jun 2016 #74
In the hood and in the Navy Quayblue Jun 2016 #76
M-16 and M-60 in Army ROTC KeepItReal Jun 2016 #77
i have fired different calibres hill2016 Jun 2016 #78
Very few non-military personnel fire guns in anger. cherokeeprogressive Jun 2016 #83
So people that hate guns, never ever fired one? Must be? Rex Jun 2016 #80
That's not what I'm suggesting, Rex. eom Kang Colby Jun 2016 #84
I hate military style weapons, I saw what they did in the Army. Rex Jun 2016 #88
Understood. Kang Colby Jun 2016 #93
Witnessing the carnage wreaked by small arms in combat is a sobering experience pinboy3niner Jun 2016 #118
Seen the damnedest things around here Rex Jun 2016 #230
Shoot Often enough. jmg257 Jun 2016 #82
How many of you have ever thrown a live grenade? JackRiddler Jun 2016 #85
This message was self-deleted by its author Inkfreak Jun 2016 #156
the first time i did that i was scarred, imho only a fool would not. drray23 Jun 2016 #206
and i forgot to mention drray23 Jun 2016 #207
Yes, but not in quite a while. trackfan Jun 2016 #86
Cool. n/t Kang Colby Jun 2016 #94
Looks more like catnhatnh Jun 2016 #164
The dude in the lifeguard shirt pointing the pistol at the other guy doc03 Jun 2016 #214
I know. I'm the other guy, and it was noticed as soon as we first saw the picture. trackfan Jun 2016 #224
Of course I have. I grew up in a real shitty neighborhood with a single parent who worked nights. LeftyMom Jun 2016 #87
When I bought my farm a friend helped my purchase a gun csziggy Jun 2016 #89
"" A gun is a tool to be used for a specific purpose - killing. "" vkkv Jun 2016 #241
Certainly. Thousands of times over the years....which really isn't that much. Just reading posts Jun 2016 #91
Guns are this country's form of martial arts. In China it's Kung fu. rusty quoin Jun 2016 #92
I did, back in college with an old boyfriend. phylny Jun 2016 #95
Boring HockeyMom Jun 2016 #148
Not since I was in the Air Force MrScorpio Jun 2016 #97
I've fired guns. I've gone hunting. I've shot animals. Zynx Jun 2016 #98
I was in the Army as an infantryman. I have fired practically every small arm in the inventory. kairos12 Jun 2016 #99
I'm from the South, so yes. onehandle Jun 2016 #100
I believe that you understand that banning AR-15s will have little if any impact on violence. Kang Colby Jun 2016 #171
national guard yes. I hunt with a bow- I hate noise swhisper1 Jun 2016 #101
I remember the last time I shot. MyNameGoesHere Jun 2016 #102
When I was a teenager, my brother took me out hunting. Frustratedlady Jun 2016 #103
Yes. Multiple times. And I dont particularly like it. The loud sound and the kick. AgadorSparticus Jun 2016 #106
Very unpleasant for me too - I can't shoot a gun without getting a headache womanofthehills Jun 2016 #226
Yes, several times over the course of many decades. And we have a few, not counting Shrike47 Jun 2016 #108
Why yes, I have. Piss on guns. hunter Jun 2016 #109
I own a gun MFM008 Jun 2016 #111
lots...and AR15's should not be in the hands of civilians Demonaut Jun 2016 #112
I have my dad's old shotgun Bayard Jun 2016 #113
Yes Runningdawg Jun 2016 #114
Me. I used to shoot competitively, was on a couple of teams. Rhiannon12866 Jun 2016 #116
Grew up around them, am comfortable with them Ex Lurker Jun 2016 #117
I have and do. Buzz cook Jun 2016 #119
In the Air Force, but not as a civilian. I also threw a few hand grenades in the USAF,... Binkie The Clown Jun 2016 #120
BETTER QUESTIONS: How many have been shot by a gun? Did you like it? nt pinboy3niner Jun 2016 #121
Yup. Agschmid Jun 2016 #129
Fired a weapon while in the military. Agnosticsherbet Jun 2016 #122
Age 12 at summer camp. BB gun n coffee cans flor-de-jasmim Jun 2016 #123
And so it begins... pinboy3niner Jun 2016 #124
Yes. Started target practicing when I was 17. In_The_Wind Jun 2016 #125
I fired a gun as a kid and while I was in the US Army. Sam_Fields Jun 2016 #126
I have UCmeNdc Jun 2016 #127
If video games count, I'm a vertible Wild Bill Hickok. Bensonhurst_braciole Jun 2016 #128
Not yet. merrily Jun 2016 #130
I grew up on a farm and hunted frequently. I wish we had much stronger gun regs. DCBob Jun 2016 #131
Yes... Mike Nelson Jun 2016 #134
AF Marksmanship Ribbon - no - I hate it DrDan Jun 2016 #135
No, but then I've never shot up on heroin either. baldguy Jun 2016 #136
Yes, no, no. GeorgeGist Jun 2016 #137
My Dw and I both carry, but family fun at the range is a blast ileus Jun 2016 #138
I fared a full-auto once. rogerashton Jun 2016 #139
Army vet plus 25 years in R&D of Army weaposn systems. 1939 Jun 2016 #140
As a former R&D guy, what do you think of the return of the 1911 in a slightly updated form? aikoaiko Jun 2016 #166
Believe it or not 1939 Jun 2016 #172
I have. The first time I ever shot a handgun is quite a tale cali Jun 2016 #141
I have owned guns for 50 years and my wife and I regularly target shoot beachbum bob Jun 2016 #144
Yes, I shoot regularly melm00se Jun 2016 #145
Black powder is great fun, I actually enjoy shooting a firelock more than an AR-15... Marengo Jun 2016 #199
You may enjoy shooting buffalo rifles. oneshooter Jun 2016 #202
Thousands of times. Paladin Jun 2016 #146
I owned a Kimber Ultra Aegis II and passed the CHL class, tho I never bothered actually getting it. moriah Jun 2016 #147
I fired a gun after a long history of attendance issues Orrex Jun 2016 #149
A real gun madokie Jun 2016 #150
I have. Did not love it, but it was fun. hueymahl Jun 2016 #152
target shooting couple times with a 22....found i can't hit the broad side of a barn dembotoz Jun 2016 #153
My one and only time. Tracer Jun 2016 #154
I've been a hunter since I was 12 Shrek Jun 2016 #155
Yes, and I enjoy practicing, although I don't get to it as often as I need or want to. Brickbat Jun 2016 #158
Well I fired guns many times growing up. But what is your point? yellowcanine Jun 2016 #159
I have. Starry Messenger Jun 2016 #160
I did once treestar Jun 2016 #161
Yes and no. It was never relaxing. When I was a child it seemed fun but.. JanMichael Jun 2016 #162
I have. Not one of the anti-gun true believers though. Yo_Mama Jun 2016 #163
"Every marine is a rifleman". I never considered it recreational or relaxing though. Tierra_y_Libertad Jun 2016 #165
Fired many guns. It has been a while. I don't get the "relaxing" aspect. NCTraveler Jun 2016 #167
Expert marksman, but no "recreational shooting" L. Coyote Jun 2016 #168
I used to shoot skeet and hunt birds, but it doesn't matter. HuckleB Jun 2016 #169
Air Force basic training Doc_Technical Jun 2016 #170
the scariest thing about a gun... lame54 Jun 2016 #173
< 5. Wasn't particularly fun. DemocratSinceBirth Jun 2016 #174
Glock. And various assault rifles. mainer Jun 2016 #175
Yes bonemachine Jun 2016 #176
i fired my girl friend's sig 220.. artyteacher Jun 2016 #177
Good thread KC. Yes, many firearms. And many times than I care to count. GOLGO 13 Jun 2016 #178
This message was self-deleted by its author Bradical79 Jun 2016 #185
Yes Motley13 Jun 2016 #179
Yes. Act_of_Reparation Jun 2016 #180
Mainly, 12 gauge, 20 gauge, .410 double barrel, .22 rifle, .30-06 etc. xocet Jun 2016 #181
No, I have never fired a gun. geomon666 Jun 2016 #183
I have, and I liked it Bradical79 Jun 2016 #184
It's fun. I also like racing go-karts. I don't want to take a NASCAR vehicle on the freeway. Bucky Jun 2016 #187
I started on the Boy Scout range at summer camp in Maine when I was 11. bluedigger Jun 2016 #188
M-16 in US Army (draftee Vietnam Era) Elwood P Dowd Jun 2016 #189
I have. On one occasion. LWolf Jun 2016 #190
I hunt with a HP rifle, and enjoy it. Do some rec shooting and enjoy that. Eleanors38 Jun 2016 #191
Yes. Bolt-action Target mostly, some Trap with 12 ga..... vkkv Jun 2016 #192
Kang, the NRA is BAD NEWS - cancel your membership, please.... NT vkkv Jun 2016 #193
yeah and whats really annoying is that drray23 Jun 2016 #208
I have. Retired Military, had to maintain marksman for supplemental duty assignments. haele Jun 2016 #194
I grew up with them in my house wysi Jun 2016 #195
I love firing my guns, I love target shooting, I love it obamanut2012 Jun 2016 #196
Why do you have to be forced to give up your guns? oneshooter Jun 2016 #200
Never have and OldHippieChick Jun 2016 #197
Not once, not ever bhikkhu Jun 2016 #198
never..... chillfactor Jun 2016 #201
I grew up in rural PA left-of-center2012 Jun 2016 #203
I did it at Boy Scout camp when I was a kid. NNadir Jun 2016 #204
I was in the Marines JennyMominFL Jun 2016 #205
I've been asked that question several times.... Bigmack Jun 2016 #209
I own several guns and like to shoot once in while, I used to hunt but doc03 Jun 2016 #210
No. I never want to NYFlip Jun 2016 #211
US and foreign weapons certified tabasco Jun 2016 #212
Hard to live subsistence otherwise Scootaloo Jun 2016 #213
us Lounge Lizards kentauros Jun 2016 #215
Cookie guns...now you are talking. Kang Colby Jun 2016 #218
Relaxing? Really? Darb Jun 2016 #216
It's not loud. Kang Colby Jun 2016 #217
Fired a gun, built an ar-15, worked in reloading industry, carried a gun for work in the past The Straight Story Jun 2016 #223
Yes, and I'd rather sit at home watching paint dry. SMC22307 Jun 2016 #225
I have, often. I'd like handguns tightly restricted and registered Recursion Jun 2016 #227
Several. calimary Jun 2016 #228
Have a few Lance Bass esquire Jun 2016 #231
I have. I have fired pistols and rifles. I'm OK with a pistol and a fairly PatrickforO Jun 2016 #232
Springfield rifle musket, 22 pistol and 22 rifle eleny Jun 2016 #233
I have, many times. ladyVet Jun 2016 #237
I have nil desperandum Jun 2016 #239
I have fired a handgun and a shotgun. I do not think anyone should own an assault Pisces Jun 2016 #242
I own several guns. Haven't fired them in quite some time but I used to go Downtown Hound Jun 2016 #243
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