A reader who prefers to remain anonymous writes . . .
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 some bills. 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 state’s hunting program as soon as I was old enough, but my stepfather took me only once. As I grew a little older, the normal interests of a teen got hold of me…cars, girls, you know the deal. Firearms weren’t 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 ASVAB scores and my grades qualified me for most any job. To everyone’s astonishment, I choose the 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 and 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 the infantry. Tough, able to go into any element and get the job done and they were afraid of a little rain? The M60 would have to wait.
My first duty station was at Ft. Hood. I loved it there and my company had some great NCO’s. The one thing that stuck out most, for me at least, was that there I was, smack dab in the middle of the biggest base on American soil, ready to put my life on the line and we weren’t 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 perfect 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 a SOP in place.
I was pissed as hell when I learned of the shooting at Ft. Hood a few years later.
I subsequently got out of the Army and moved back home. It turned out that infantry didn’t give me the skill set that serious employers were really looking for so I got a job as a dishwasher.
Making minimum wage was tough, but I scrimped and saved enough for my first concealed carry permit and my first gun; a nice, slightly used Smith & Wesson .357 mag with a 6″ barrel.
Yes, I know, that’s hardly a concealed carry gun, but I was still learning the ropes. I ended up selling it and buying a GLOCK because, well, GLOCK and it was 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 Barrett 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 realize 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.
What guns do you really need?