As I sit here writing this, I am forced to decide what firearm I should sell to come up with the extra money to pay my mortgage this month. It pains me to sell any of them not because they are high end, not because they were handed down (they weren’t…for the most part) or even that desirable, but because they are mine . . .
I didn’t think about guns that much when I was a kid. I went thru my states hunting program as soon as I was old enough but my stepfather took me only once. As I grew alittle older, the normal interests a teen has got hold of me too….cars, girls, you know the deal. Firearms were not even close to catching my attention.
As I became a sophomore in high school, I realized that I needed to decide on what to do with my life after I graduated. I decided on the military. According to what I’ve been told ( yes, I know recruiters will say anything) my a.s.v.a.b scores and my grades would qualify for most any job. To everyone’s astonishment, I choose infantry…I even picked the longer enlistment.
Basic training was rough, but not the hell I had expected, and it was my first real training with weapons. I remember gaining more respect for my rifle than my first car. I was hooked. I needed more. More types of rifles, more knowledge about how they function, their limitations. Just more. We were scheduled to go to the range and learn to shoot the M60 but a hurricane came thru and the higher ups rescheduled the training. I was pissed. We were supposed to be infantry. Tough, able to go into any element and get the job done and they were afraid of rain? I guess the 60 would wait.
My first duty station was Ft. Hood. I loved it there and my company had some great NCO’s but the thing that stuck out most, for me atleast, was that here I was, smack dab in the middle of the biggest base on American soil, ready to put my life on the line and we soldiers were not allowed to have our weapons. I remember thinking that if anyone were to declare war and attack the U.S. that a direct attack on military installations would make sense. I brushed the thought off as I figured that A) an attack against us would be suicide, and B) I was just a private, I was sure the brass would’ve thought about that and have an s.o.p. in place. I was pissed as hell when I learned of the shootings at Ft. Hood a few years later.
I subsequently got out of the Army and moved back home. Turns out that infantry didn’t give me the skill set that serious employers were looking for so I got a job as a dishwasher. Making minimum wage was tough, but I scrimped and saved. Just enough for my first concealed carry permit and my first gun. A nice, slightly used Smith and Wesson .357 mag with a 6″ barrel. Yes, I know, hardly a conceal gun but I was still learning the ropes. I did end up selling it and buying a GLOCK because, well, GLOCK and it’s considerably easier to conceal.
Since then, I have gotten better jobs, but life always managed to throw a wrench in my plans. That rifle I was saving for? Too bad, my car died. The Barret I had my eye on? Maybe after I get another job because I got laid off. I don’t mind so much anymore because since my daughters were born, I realise that they need me more than I need a safe full of guns. I just need three. A rifle, a pistol and the .22 I bought to teach my daughters what life has taught me.