According to our last reader survey, the average TTAG reader is 41. That said, we have plenty of OFWGs (and older folks of other colors) who were gun owners before our average reader was born. In comments, many of them have shared stories of how it used to be, before gun control laws changed America’s firearms culture. If that’s you, please share your firearms freedom memories here with the group. Much obliged.

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56 Responses to Question of the Day: What Was It Like for Guns Back In the Day?

  1. I remember getting out of “shop” class, congregating in the parking area hoping for an invite to hunt some of the private owned land in the area. The guns were in the vehicle. No worry’s of harm or theft. It was high school. It was the late sixties in a small town in southernmost IN. Lots of 22’s and single shot shotguns in the trunks of our $50 cars. Of the nights the news was about a place called Vietnam; none of us knew anything about.

  2. When I was attending a suburban high school, around 1970, my speech class teacher had us all bring an object to class and speak about it in front of the group.

    I brought a working 1903 Springfield and some expended brass.

    Nobody said anything about bringing an evil gun to school.

    • Also in speech class: J.S. Morton East High School, c. 1968.

      One of the students gave a speech on the assassination of JFK and in the midst of the speech brought out his Manlicher-Carcano rifle to prove that Lee Harvey could in fact have worked the bolt three times in the period shown in the Zapruder film.

      He got an A.

  3. I’m in my 50s and grew up in Mississippi. I grew up with guns. Learned to shoot when I was 5.

    First handgun at 10 (Bearcat). Was my constant companion when I was outside (40 acres surrounded by timber).

    First 357 at 13 (S&W Model 28). We could drive at 15 so the 357 lived in my glove box.

    I did so at my peril. Mississippi had Jim Crow laws. Carrying a gun was not permitted. Concealed or otherwise.

    If caught with a weapon, it was a misdemeanor offense. You could use the following in your defense.
    More than 50 miles from home and not a vagrant.
    Carrying large sums of money with you (>$2500).
    Had received credible threat of harm.

    What it all boiled down to was….. the mood of the officer and if he liked you.
    They could arrest you or they could take the weapon (most common) and let you go your way.

    So.. I never had a problem with having a gun taken (lost a knife once – a big knife).

    But a lot of people did. Most people i knew had a handgun in their vehicle.

    Mississippi now has much more liberty for armed defense than Florida (where I live now).

    I like it better with Jim Crow gone and not left to the discretion of the police.

  4. I’m young, but when grandpa was in middle/high school in the 50’s, he regularly:

    1. Rode through town on his bike with a gun slung over his back to meet up with friends for a shooting trip in the woods.

    2 . Walked through neighborhoods with friends for the same reason. No cops called, everyone just waived and said hello.

    3. Dropped his cash on the hardware store counter and walked out with a $250 (adjusted for today’s inflation) numbers matching K98k plus ammo *burning jealousy* No 4473, no NICS, etc

    4. Saw guns in cars and lockers in high school during hunting season or most Fridays. Nobody died.

    5. Saw guns during show and tell in middle school, nobody died.

    All of this happened in suburban Connecticut. Try that today.

  5. Currently age 63.

    Dad brought home a couple of Remington single-shot .22 rifles for my brother and I – our first rifles – that he bought from a friend at work. I was 8, my brother was 4. We only were allowed to shoot them when supervised (at the shooting range on our 10 acre farm).

    At 12, I bought my first shotgun (Savage/Stevens break open single shot 20 gauge) with money earned from picking berries – my brother bought his at the same time. Our Mom drove us to the dealer, who had ordered them for us, and we paid him directly in cash, dealer’s cost, $35 each. We used those to keep the pesky varmints out of the extensive vegetable garden, and were allowed to shoot them without supervision.

  6. I remember senior year of high school 1986, driving my dad’s pickup with my shotguns in the rear window rack. I would get out of school and head up to the gun club and hunt pheasant after school. The shotguns sat all day in the truck in plain view and not a peep from anyone. Try that now………

  7. My HS speech teacher and debate coach was good friends with western actor, Clu Gulager. One day Gulager showed up at school in full cowboy regalia including holstered .44 Colt. He walked around the halls during class changes meeting students and teachers and then visited a few classes. Everybody thought his appearance at school was a cool thing to do. I don’t think the admin. took any particular notice at all. Nowadays the school would go into lock-down, SWAT teams would be called, Gulager arrested, my teacher fired, and upset kids, teachers, and parents sent to counseling. Scheech.

  8. San Diego suburb of Spring Valley. Early ’70’s. Mt. Miguel high.
    After school, me and the rifle team would go to the armory, check out our rifles and a brick of ammo.
    Walk across campus to our cars and load them in the trunk. Drive to the range and get our practice in.
    Drive back, walk them back to the armory. Clean them and put them away.
    I lettered in small bore marksmanship.
    I’m smiling at the flashback.

  9. So when did everybody flip full retard and become afraid of their own shadows?
    I’m barely 40 and I already have a stack of “when I was a kid” stories that would end with kids or parents being arrested today.

    What drives this change from generation to generation and where is it’s head so I can chop it off?

    • You can blame the progressive movement of 100 years ago. That movement and the social reforms done under Presidents Wilson and FDR led to the communist college professors that indoctrinated the students of the 60’s.

      Also didn’t help that there were only 3 channels to watch the news on back then.

      Today it’s the Hollywood crowd and still, the damn teachers in public school and colleges. They were all raised in a re-programming society run by communists and it continues today. The kids in school today aren’t learning, they’re being programmed.

      The fight you think truly is a Hydra; you can cut one head off, but two take its place. The problem is we’re not dealing with one Hydra, but 10 million. The divisions in this nation today can only be rectified through a war that has been brewing for the better part of 50+ years.

    • “So when did everybody flip full retard and become afraid of their own shadows?”

      At about the same time kids activities started being closely monitored by over-protective parents. In my 50’s childhood neighborhood, “supervision” amounted to little more than a general idea of who’s house you were going to and an equally general idea of when you’d be back for lunch.

    • I’m with you, graduated in 1994 from a high school of about 400 on rural Ohio. No one thought anything of kids 10-12 walking the village with .22 rifles, or of shotguns in racks of pickup trucks in the school parking lot. No one got hurt and nothing was damaged. Maybe, just maybe this ‘guns are bad’ stuff has some negative unintended consequences.

    • There were a lot of changes after the Kennedy assassination.
      Prior you could buy a rifle by mail. Pistols were sold in Hardware stores etc..
      This in NY.
      It came about very slowly so when you finally realized what happened it was too late.
      National TV didn’t help either.

  10. My high school had a skeet team. Now my state of residence is dithering over allowing people who are 21 and have a state issued license the legal right to carry on a college campus. And still the left has a meltdown over guns! College professors are stocking up on body armor and Depends for the fall semester in anticipation of Governor Deal signing the legislation.

    And yes the average TTAGer was still in diapers when I purchased my first pistol (an AMT Skipper in 45 Auto). Guess that makes me an official OFWG.

    • I did the the AMT Hardballer in the 80’s. Best way to get all the Gold Cup goodies without paying a mint at the time.

  11. I attended high school in the mid-90s in the rural California foothills. I actually had an opportunity to shoot a select-fire M16 in my senior year as a part of a police science course the school offered… Before we lived out in the country, we lived in Stockton, and just a few months after we moved the elementary school I had attended was shot up by a crazed gunman. National news, and it still comes up when we talk about gun control.
    Thankfully I had a gun-neutral/positive upbringing in terms of ideology, and youth leaders (scouts, church) who were pro-gun and gave me many opportunities to shoot. The gun environment in California is night and day to what I remember it being growing up.

  12. Here’s a little perspective on how things have changed:

    Back in the late ’70s, I was in my high school’s production of “Oklahoma!”, playing the part of Jud. The script calls for Jud to fire a handgun in the air, and the prop department brought up a cap gun. Thinking that this was rather lame, I said “Wouldn’t a real gun loaded with blanks work better? My dad has a .357 Magnum Ruger Blackhawk that he’d let me use.”

    The director’s reaction? “Cool.”

    For two weeks, I brought the .357 to school with me and used it on stage during performances and rehearsals. I think it’s fair to speculate that school officials would react somewhat differently these days.

    • “Somewhat differently” is an understatement. A local school ’round here just put on a production of “Oklahoma” a couple of months back. The prop guns all had to be kept secured under lock and key by the teacher until moments before showtime, then locked right back up immediately after the curtain dropped.

      And no caps to be had… the “shots” were pantomimed, with a “bang” sound effect played through what was probably the world’s most crap-tastic auditorium speakers.

      I felt kinda sorry for those kids.

  13. You could, within the last 45 years, buy dynamite at your local hardware store. The seller usually asked you why you needed it, but blowing something up was assumed to be part of the explanation, so big-pants rules applied.

  14. well, I’m not an ofwg yet, but I do have a story from my grandfather I know well. at the age of 16 and living on a farm in Pencilvania my granddad got his hands on a Sears catalog, for $16 shipping included, he ordered a sears-roebuck tube fed bolt action .22 rifle, it shipped directly to him at the farm.
    he held this rifle in his possession for 55ish years, had it stolen and returned in that timeframe, and about 7 years ago handed it to me, it is old enough to never have had a serial number, and still accurate enough that I shot a dime at 75yd open sights (shot at the shiny glare and probably 50% luck) still have the dime! I’ve always wished I could do a gun purchase like that, but I’d need a bigger house.

  15. I’m in my mid 60’s. My dad took us shooting at the NRA range in Kankakee,Illinois. Still there(I’m not). Very relaxed about guns. My dad had an NRA sticker on the front door too. And all(except the sissies) played war sometimes with highly realistic toy guns. I didn’t really care about shooting(my older brother got a Boy Scout(Life Scout?) merit badge for rifle shooting. I had a wonderful childhood…

  16. I’m almost 70 and when I was young, we didn’t give guns any thought at all. They were simply tools we used for whatever we needed them for. Sears mailed me my first 22 rifle that I got long before I was allowed to drive.

  17. I grew up in the Berkshires – back then, you hit 14, went to a safety course given by the local game warden and then went hunting. My first gun was a Nylon 66 that my grandmother bought with Green Stamps. O tempora, O mores!

  18. Passed the hunters safety course at age ten in 1973 when my Dad was at CGSC in Ft Leavenworth. Busted four out of five birds from the #7 station, low house on the post skeet range shooting a 20ga youth size Remington 1100. My Dad bought me a Winchester 20ga 37A just to take me down a notch and said, “aim true son.” Still have that gun, but now the hammer hits me in the cheek when I shoulder it. Priceless!

  19. In ’82, as a Junior in HS, everybody was asked to bring in their .22 so that we could do riflery in PE class. About half the class had one to bring in and share. I borrowed my Dad’s Sears & Roebuck bolt action. That rifle, now gracing my gun safe, is to this day quite the tack driver.

    • good to see the love for the old Sears bolt .22, I bet same model for the 3 of y that mentioned them, I’m looking for a second one.

  20. I was born and raised in Middletown, NY, 70 miles NNW of New York City. I was there from 1963-1985 and during this time I saw it transform into a bedroom community for NYC folk. My dad, a machinist/tool & die maker, and his friends were casual hunters, black powder buffs, and collectors of surplus firearms from the great wars. Even though I grew up in a “city,” as early as I can remember I was around and got to try out various sorts of firesticks that went bang and made smoke. All of Dad’s firearms and ammo were stored in an unlocked, wood and glass cabinet, in the hallway of the second floor. I had a younger sister and brother, the house saw constant visits from family and friends, and there was never a problem or incident with the firearms.

    When I got to junior high I found there was a gun club where they competed with .22 rifles at the local police department’s indoor range on scheduled nights. I wanted to join the club, so one Saturday my dad took me shopping for my first .22. We visited the two mom & pop gun stores in the heart of downtown Middletown, 1/2 mile from my house. Here we found a used Savage single shot 63K with Mannlicher stock, and at the age of 12 I laid down some saved cash and we walked out of the store with my new-to-me prize (wish I could remember what I paid, and yes I still have it). This was the early to mid 1970’s and as far as I can remember it was an easy transaction. And, that Savage was proudly displayed on my bedroom wall, on an open gun rack I made in shop class.

    At this time, I also joined the local sportsman’s club, the Shawangunk Fish & Game Assoc., located at the Northern edge Middletown, just 2 miles from my house. The youth dues I paid with cash from odd jobs and gifts got me access to stocked Ringneck Pheasant hunting, a stocked fishing pond, and weekends at the trap range. I didn’t own my own shotgun until I was 16 or 17, but my Dad let me use his single shot .410 before then. So, on many a Saturday or Sundays, between the ages of 12 and 16, I would put that .410 in a soft case, sling it over my back, and ride my 10-speed down the city streets and across town to the trap range. I was never stopped or questioned.

    I left NY for a job and freer state 32 years ago, and boy have the times changed. The store I bought my Savage at no longer exists (nor does the building). I can still recall the days of black powder just sitting on the shelf (not behind the counter, or not available at all). The days of being able to handle any long gun or handgun at the counter, anywhere at anytime (in NY you must have a permit to even touch a handgun). And, the times and simplicity of buying ammo almost anywhere. But mostly, I miss cultural acceptance that a gun is just an implement of no concern when handled safely and responsibly. I can only imagine what my father or grandfather would write.

  21. High School ROTC
    Ever run laps with an M1 over your head?
    We weren’t men but we really were viable boys. 🙂
    Ever do drills and catch your white glove inside your M1 when you close the bolt during inspection? Rifle was supposed to be clean but oiled. Gloves were supposed to be spotless. Commanding officer is walking slowly down your line……..
    (which could explain running laps with said M1 over your head.) 🙂

    .22 rifles and a range in basement of school.
    Nations Capital. Can you believe that?

  22. I’m 46 and grew up in a small town in South Louisiana. Dad was a cop and a big shooter. I remember being 12 or so and wearing my dad’s S&W Model 39 in a holster into our neighborhood mom and pop convenience store as we picked up beer flats for targets. Not a batted eye.

    I could walk into that store and buy .22 ammo(50 cents a box, btw) as a tween, then take my Ruger 10/22 into the woods to plink in the afternoons. Walked down the street with a rifle and nobody said a peep.

    Guys in high school had shotguns in their truck gun racks. Not a worry. I also carried a pocket knife from the time I was a little kid. It rode in my pocket during high school and I used it during class. Nobody carried.

    Louisiana is one of the few places where you can walk into a convenience store and buy a bottle of whiskey and a box of ammo at the same time, and nobody thinks its weird.

  23. I grew up in the townships between two Ohio cities. I got my hunter safety certificate from my local high school as a Freshman. That was the same year my Science Fair Project was presented about how a shotgun shell worked. I had fun, but did not score very well.
    My buddy picked me up on his Yamaha 250. I grabbed my 20 guage mossberg and a box of shells and we went back to his house to get his 16. No helmets, we rode through town with 2 shotguns over my back to my Grandpa’s 20 acres to hunt rabbits. After a nice afternoon, we brought our supper and what shells were left back to clean the rabbits and re-load our shells in the Versa-MEC.

    Now I’m an OFWG, too. At 60, I don’t feel old until I tell my kids about how it was back in the day… Don’t even get me started about my Marlin 39. I still have both weapons. Those are the only survivors of a boat capsize.

  24. When I was in high school all the local schools had pistol and rifle teams. They competed against each other. My own school had a 25 yard rifle range in the basement. It closed down in the 80s because of fear about lead.

  25. I’m only 30, but I remember being 18, buying a Savage model 64F, since my friend and I were tired of spending money on BB guns and such. That rifle, 2 Bricks of ammo, cost me $135. We bought cheap brass bulk .22lr at $7.49 a brick.

    I’ve talked with old guys that come through my work occasionally, telling me stories of walking into shops and walking out with rifles for cash, no BGC, no paper work. Hell, I remember just 4 years ago, being able to sell my used guns to guys I met up with in the parking lots of whichever stores, and it wasn’t illegal.

  26. I’m 43 and not fat at all. (Im in fighting shape). I’m getting sick of this OFWG stuff. If your old, fat, and white I don’t care, but may be you should work out. Please don’t become a liberal stereotype. This is my PSA for the day.

    • Gee buddy when I was 43 I could squat with 600 and bench 400…and had low body fat and great endurance. Now 20some years later I’m a wreck. Mostly injured throwing huge furniture and marble statues around as an antique dealer. And I got a kid your age…give us OFWG’s a break. Your cursing yourself boasting of your prowess at a mere 43-shite happens.

      • That’s what you got out of my comment? You are stonger and more manly than me. I can’t lift what you lift, and all I said I was in shape. Is that a bad thing? The article stated the average age of readers was 41, and implied we are mostly OFWGD. The left likes calling us that, and I don’t like it; that’s my opinion take or leave it.

        • You think I care if you take it or leave it? Got a lot to learn grasshopper…

  27. I’m 50 and there were many things better then and worse then. In Ohio, we were only second to Texas at one time in machine-gun ownership. Growing up in the 1970s, people as a whole were more conservative in regard to gun rights in many ways but most thought that machine-gun ownership was illegal. Gun shows here were common and large events as they are today and there of course was no internet in the 1970s or 80s (except for BBS in the 80s which almost no one used) so your gun news came from gun magazines (got my first subscription to Guns & Ammo in 1976), books, classified ads to order newsletters, and gun shows as well as other gun owners shooting the breeze at gun shops. We also had the advantage to speak to many Vietnam, Korea, WW2 and some WW1 vets (kids used to like to learn from older people back then).

    When I was in grade school in the 70s, it was very common for a student to do a “Show & Tell” on hunting and to bring in a gun – I remember at least two times in grade school in which this occurred. My friend who did one of the presentations, brought his gun in with his dad and the teacher put it in her classroom closet until the presentations started. In 1980, I did my 8th grade science fair on machine-guns and brought in my Colt AR-15 SP1 (I got it in 1978 or 79), my stainless MINI-14, my Iver Johnson M-1 Carbine Paratrooper, and a non-gun MP-40 made by Collector’s Armoury. All of the guns were on display in the cafeteria (I chained them to a lunch table) and had various books on display like Ian Hogg’s “The Machine-gun” and posters I made showing how gas systems work, etc. (you can see the photo of my mom and I with the display here: http://www.deniromarketinggroup.com/vincent-deniro-bio.html ). Also, I would go shooting at my friend’s aunt’s house in the country and if I was staying at his house over the weekend, I would bring my gun(s) to school and leave them in the coat closet until his mom would pick us up after school. As far as buying guns, I remember buying a mint sporterized Carcano rifle at the Painesville Armory Gun Show at the age of 15 (only $60!) and ammo was sold now and then to kids without much grief even though there was 1968 GCA BS of logging in ammo sales which went away in 1986. Many of my friends had gun racks in their rooms and many of them had 10/22s, 98 Mausers, Enfields, Marlin models 60s, Marlin or Winchester lever-actions, shotguns of all types,, and a couple had AR-15s like me as well as handguns – we all had handguns and the first new one I got was in 1980 or so – a Sterling .380. In high school, my first job was working for a reloaded ammo manufacturer & FFL building and repairing AR-15s from surplus kits (you used to be able to get all of the parts from govt. auctions less receiver) with lowers from SGW (Olympic Arms, Quality Parts (Bushmaster), Sendra, Pac-West, etc.. CAR-15s were very popular and you could build one for about $275. Many full-autos were cheaper than the tax stamp! A transferable NIB MAC-10 was about $150 in the early 80s and I even bought my first Reising-50 for only $165 as late as 1989. MK-760s were $350 and a new transferable Rock Island CAR-15 went for $550 MSRP in about 1984. Gun stores usually only had a few MSRs like; AR-15s, UZIs, Valmet 62s, Wilkinson Terry Carbines, M-1 carbines were all over the place and Thompson 1927s were not uncommon. It was not uncommon for high schoolers to go hunting in the morning and go right to school with guns still in their cars and I was always reading; Guns & Ammo, Soldier of Fortune, Survive, Survival Guide, GUNS, Shotgun News, etc. in study hall – even loaned one or two to teachers who were bored.

    There was much more responsibility back then and nothing like the sissies that make up much (not all) of the grade school and teenage populations today. We got in fist fights, shot guns, made lighter fluid tennis ball cannons, left in the morning during the summer and came home at night without any cell phones to be tethered to, had BB gun wars (as dangerous/stupid as that was it still went on), blew things up with fireworks, etc. – and we still made it to this day. Also, growing up we all hated communists, loved God, and although we got out of line with our parents now and then, we obeyed them for the most part – partly because the let us do stuff and be boys.

    Today, has some advantages as there is CCW in almost every state, AR-15s are the new lever action (unless unfortunately you live in CA, NY, MD, etc. as things in the 70s and 80s were much better for you then) and when you fight gun control now, you can get info instantly from pro-2A sources at an instant with the internet (heck, I thought I was high tech fighting gun control in the 80s because I had a fax machine! See link above about me fighting the first city “assault weapons” ban in 1989). Although I rag on millennials now and then, I do see that the ones who are pro-gun gun know the gun issues much better than most young gun owners did in my generation and the young gun owners of today are not Fudds – we had a lot of Fudds back then. One thing that I do see as negative with the young gun owners these days is a level of arrogance regarding firearms knowledge without real experience but overall they are doing a very good job and I feel better about passing the torch to them.

  28. Rural Missouri. High school in the 1970s. In the school student parking lot, plenty of shotguns and rifles on racks in pickup trucks. Not a big deal then.

  29. My topic for high school speech class in ’71 or so was how to disassemble and reassemble an AR-15. I was surprised that the teacher was somewhat nervous when I brought in my “prop.” I often had it (and other guns) in my pickup in the parking lot.

  30. I grew up in the People’s Republic of New Jersey but spent two weeks with my
    NE Pennsylvania cousins every summer during the late 1950s and early 60s. We walked or rode bikes just about everywhere with our old bolt action .22s -mine was a very beat up Remington. I saved my change for ice cream cones and 50 round boxes of .22 shells – shorts if money was tight and long rifles if you were feeling rich that day. If you could see over the counter at the local hardware store, they’d sell ammo to you. The clerks knew my aunt and uncle and my parents so I was one of the “good kids”. The cousins and I had some fun with pyrotechnics. We threw paint cans and small propane tanks into bonfires and ran as fast as we could. We even experimented with ammonium nitrate. That was my Uncle Frank’s idea. He was the other 10 year old kid in our group. We’d all be in jail today but back then nobody got hurt or killed and we all survived to became reasonably productive citizens – except Uncle Frank. He was still doing crazy stuff when he died at age 88. I miss him.

  31. I’m 57 and when I was in about the 8th grade I had an entire 7.7 Jap rifle at school. I was refinishing the stock in wood shop and the metal shop teacher was using the rest of it to teach bluing to his classes. I still have the rifle although the bluing never took. In those days it was still common to see gun racks in pickups. They were most often empty in the city, but most of them had a rifle or a shot gun or both in East Texas where our extended family lived. It was common to see pickups in the high school parking lots out there with guns in the racks.I guess we were open carrying in a way, although we didn’t think much of it. The practice pretty much stopped because of theft in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

  32. In 1967 at age 14, a buddy and I were on our way to his dad’s hunting place some 30 miles south of San Antonio. On the back seat were eight or ten rifles and a shotgun; some in scabbards or cases, some not. He was speeding and we got pulled over. Deputy saw them and asked where we were heading in such a hurry. After checking our brand new driver’s licenses, he just told us to mind our speed and to have a safe weekend. We did.

  33. I’m currently 64 and grew up in the desert of Arizona. I got my 1st gun at about age 5, a Daisy BB gun. I continued to acquire more weaponry and by the time I was 12 I had several shotguns, some .22’s, a lovely 6 mm Sako with a mannlicher stock, a Rem 700 BDL in 7 MM Mag and a S&W Highway Patrol in .357. I had a full reloading bench setup in my bedroom and spent my evening, after homework, reloading 12 Ga shells so I could go shoot trap and skeet on the weekends.

    When I was in High School many of us had guns in our vehicles, often going hunting before school started and after it ended. Nobody ever got shot or even hurt. We ALL understood the ramifications of owning and using firearms. I took an NRA safety course when I was 12, as I recall.

    Life was much different. We were much more responsible. We knew right from wrong!

  34. I was on my high school’s rifle club. The school had a 25 yard rifle range in the basement, but when the pool (yeah, we had one of those too) was expanded, the rifle range was sacrificed.

    I graduated in 1964 from that high school in New York City. In the years since, the school has gone so far down hill that it can be compared to an open sewer. But, on the bright side, it has not one but several gun clubs. One wears red bandannas. One wears blue. Another wears black and gold.

    You get the picture?

    • We had race riots 3 out of 4 years in high school Ralph…not long after you graduated. Thankfully no one got shot.

  35. I just turned thirty and when I was in high school I brought in a paintball marker to do a physics expiriment involving trajectory and terminal velocity. Good luck seeing that 12 years later in RI

  36. I’m 53 and I remember more than one kid who made a new stock for a rifle in shop class. Also, had a friend who made a crossbow in 8th grade shop class.

    Of course, back then you could get chemistry sets that still had chemicals in them that were “interesting” and when you ran out, you could get more at the local pharmacy/hardware store. Now, you would be sitting in a supermax prison for trying to buy such chemicals.

  37. 1950s teenager, small town. My friends and I often road out of town on our bicycles with our 22 rifles across the handle bars. Older boys often had rifles or shotguns in their cars at school. Teachers also.
    No one said or thought anything about it, just the way it was.

    We also didn’t hear about shootings, rapes, molestation….they were not tolerated.

  38. I assume most know the reasons for the change in society today as apposed to the 50’s-80’s.Schools were vastly different culturally. We didn’t shoot each other,we may get mad at each other and have a real good fist fight then the next day we were playing football together. No one dreamed of shooting another person.The thought never came to mind.Then things started changing within the culture,violence,theft,robberies,no morals, single parenthood and government over control.Today is what we have left for now, and if we are not careful and watchful it will be worst for the next generation of citizens.Our freedoms and liberties are being destroyed by the creeping Socialism and Progressive politics of certain political parties.If we continue on our current path 1984 will become our death and future.

  39. Lhstr, What I remember in the 60’s thru early 80’s instruction was not easyly found Defense lessons become more available after that period. My first lessons came from WWII vets, good boys. Once a month for over 35 years now. All lessons have sure changed with the crazy laws forcing them to change. At 76 I am still picking up on new things. Watch your six, always.

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