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Lining Up the Sights [Contest Entry]

Glock 17_1

By Mr. B.

He stole into the shop one night.
He crept and sleuthed, his footfalls light,
As I adjusted the rear sight
Of my Glock 17.

There was no warning of his entry.
(That dog, what a lousy sentry.)
No lock! It was elementary
To sneak in, sight unseen.

The bench top – crowded, misaligned –
Caught a shadow from behind.
I twisted ‘round. The light outlined
A figure coming near.

Onward came the bold invader,
(His height: 4 feet, maybe greater;
Shorter than a second-grader),
Grinning ear to ear.

“What are you working on?” he said,
Disheveled hair upon his head.
I told him, “Son, get back to bed.
It’s way past your bedtime.”

“I saw your light and couldn’t sleep,
Then snuck out here without a peep.”
His mother must be counting sheep,
Or else she’d know his crime.

“Can I stay up and watch you work?”
If I said no, I’d be a jerk.
I said, “Alright.” And with a smirk,
“Just don’t tell Mom, okay?”

He gazed about the bench and floor:
Rem Oil, gun parts, brass, and more.
“What’s all that stuff?” he did implore,
In such a tender way.

I told him, “These are Daddy’s guns.
I use them for sport, having fun,
Hunting, and our protection, son.
Each gun here has its role.”

He stared with curiosity
At every gun that he could see
“What’s that one called?” he cried with glee.
“That long one, black as coal?”

I guess the time had come at last
For my firstborn to know the past
Of all the guns I had amassed,
And all that they’d been through.

To learn of all their histories;
Of all idiosyncrasies;
Which guns were crafted overseas
And used in World War II.

Which gun I received as a gift;
And which one’s easiest to lift;
The one that shoulders, clean and swift,
For shooting on the wing.

These tales, and more, he had to learn
So that he may, one day, in turn
Own these guns, make powder burn,
And make the rifles sing.

I broke out from my reverie:
“That’s a Model 918T.
It’s made by Marlin, and, you see,
This gun never misses.”

“It was the first that I called mine,
You uncle had one, just as fine.
He was eleven, I was nine,
We got them for Christmas.”

“Grandpa bought them both for us to shoot
At targets, pop cans, rabbits, coots,
Or anything that chose to root
Around the house and farm.”

My son looked at the gun with awe,
“That’s an awesome gift from Grandpa.”
He climbed onto my knee and saw
More of my firearms.

“What’s that one called?” he questioned me.
“This is my 12 gauge Benelli.
When hunting pheasants, doves, and geese
It always brings them down.”

“I bought it when I turned eighteen
For hunting birds near Aberdeen.
I try to keep it dry and clean
So it won’t get rundown.”

“I also have this Savage here
For hunting game like elk or deer
The Vortex scope will let you peer
At objects far away.”

This rifle truly caught his eye.
“Would it be okay if I try
To hold it, like you do, to my
Shoulder?” he requested.

He moved his head behind the glass.
He felt the rifle’s shape, it’s mass;
The buttstock sleeve for extra brass
On which his check was rested.

“I know we’ve covered this before –
You memorized Rules one through four –
But always practice safety or
You’ll end up hurt, or dead.”

“Daddy,” he said, “I’ll be careful.
I’ll treat all guns as if they’re full,
And the trigger I will not pull
‘til I am on target.”

As a gun dad I sure was proud
To hear him say those words aloud.
Those principles are what I vowed
To instill in my son.

I took the rifle from my boy.
“I’m glad you know that they’re not toys.
These guns are made to kill, destroy,
Injure, and hurt, not stun.”

“Please tell me more about that one,”
He pointed at my oldest gun.
“That’s a rifle my Grandpa won,
Now it belongs to me.”

“This gun is from 1905.
It’s the only Enfield that I’ve
Ever shot and I always strive
To keep its history.”

“My Grandad won this at auction.
He used it for sniping foxes
So they wouldn’t raid the boxes
That his chickens used.”

“It shoots this round, the .303,
Which used to make the Kaiser flee.
But this gun’s a retiree,
I won’t see it abused.”

“She’s displayed on the mantelpiece.
I keep her dust-free, oiled, and greased.
Though her value still may increase
I’d sell her to no one.”

My son, with a bewildered stare:
“Even if the price was fair?
If it made you a millionaire,
You wouldn’t sell the gun?”

“This gun belongs to you,” I said
and tousled blonde hair on his head.
“You can have it once I’m dead.
I’m keeping it ‘til then.”

“I will pass all these onto you,
and you’re little sister, too.
They’ll be yours someday. Yes, it’s true,
As long as you are good.”

“This whole thing may seem fantastic:
These firearms are dynastic;
This birthright of steel and plastic,
Aluminum and wood.”

We talked at length into the night.
An interest in guns did ignite.
He sat and listened with delight
To all I had to say.

We snuck back in at one o’clock,
I closed the door and turned the lock,
Took off the holster with the Glock
And put it all away.

I told my boy, “Please be quiet.
If mom wakes up, there’ll be a riot.
If she asks, you must deny it.”
He smiled, and slunk upstairs.

And there he went, along his way,
My flesh and blood, my DNA,
To sleep away cares of the day,
To bed to say his prayers.

I hope he retains what I’ve taught,
That all I’ve said won’t come to naught.
And that maybe he’ll give some thought
To all ideas he’s binged.

Next day, he said to his sister,
(To her mind, just a tongue twister)
In an attempt to enlist her:
“Shall not be infringed.”

My heart was filled with pride and joy
To hear those words come from my boy.
He learned: “For guns to be enjoyed
We must first have our rights.”

I’ll keep teaching him these lessons,
On Ruger, Colt, and Smith & Wesson,
This heritage, this succession
Of lining up the sights.


  1. avatar AR says:

    Thank you for this!

  2. avatar Doran says:

    Can only say that this is VERY GOOD!!

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Face Palm!

  3. avatar JK says:

    Way to make a grown man cry. As a father, and as a son who has lost his father, I’ll be hanging this on the wall. Remembering this conversation with my dad, and imagining this conversation with my own son in a couple years made me realize why I’m so passionate about guns. Sure, its about self protection, independence and liberty and all those good things, but most importantly… It’s about family and heritage. Thanks for this.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    Nice work!

  5. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    It’s like a soliloquy.

    I can’t. I just can’t.

  6. avatar dlj95118 says:

    …well done!

  7. avatar Katy says:

    I was going to try to write something, but it isn’t worth it. You can close the contest.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      From your comments here in TTAG Katy, I can tell giving up easily wasn’t in your upbringing.

      Write it and submit it, please… 🙂

      (Evil, aren’t I?)

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Do it Katy!

  8. avatar Bill says:

    Well Done.

    On a side note: the new setup of having “links added by Viglink” randomly inserted throughout the articles really distracts and waters down the impact of them (looking at you, RF). Especially when they don’t actually link to anything relevant.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      +1,000, as I expressed in an earlier comment today…

    2. avatar Chief Master says:

      Definitely agreed. Links in articles on this website used to link to relevant information. Now it’s just trashy. I usually avoid websites that include links like this.

    3. avatar CoolHand says:

      What links?

      THAT is exactly why I run an ad-blocker and a script/java blocker.

      Too much bullshit to wade through = blocked.

      If you want people to stop using ad-blockers, stop using the most obnoxious advertising forms possible.

      1. avatar Next Pres picks the President says:


  9. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:


  10. avatar CP says:


  11. avatar TStew says:

    Mighty fine, mighty fine! Great work, thank you for taking the time to write this.

  12. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    To MR B:

    trying to enjoy my dinner
    washed down with a beer
    tried to read through the poem
    failed, thanks to the friggin’ tears……..

    made me cry like a little b!tch,

    This will be shared with my daughter………

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Yup. I’m on a break outside the shop. I’m going to blame allergies for the moist eyes…

      Damn fine writing!

  13. avatar AaronW says:

    Fantastic piece of work!

  14. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    (His height: 4 feet, maybe greater;
    Shorter than a second-grader),
    He gazed about the bench and floor:
    Rem Oil, gun parts, brass, and more.
    “What’s all that stuff?” he did implore,
    In such a tender way.
    I told him, “These are Daddy’s guns.
    Gee, at this age I was fairly familiar with the family guns.
    Great recipe for the ignorant kid to mess around and shoot something or someone.
    Poor parenting.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Double Face Palm!

    2. avatar Mudshark says:

      Oh geesh, yah gotta be kidding me. “Poor parenting”? Lighten up dude

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        Yea – the poem didn’t say he left guns around on the floor and bench all the time unsupervised. According to the logic above, anytime you get out the guns to work on them – poor parenting ensues. Lol. Overreaction. But we all know the real reason – it’s because Tom’s submission to the contest isn’t going to win! Lol.

    3. avatar Bohucka says:

      Sheesh! Ever heard of poetic license?

    4. avatar WuzNtMe says:

      Well, I hope you’re just as open to have your parent’s parenting criticized… but, I doubt it.

    5. avatar Anonymous says:

      Tom’s upset because his submission to the contest isn’t going to win!


  15. avatar notalima says:


  16. avatar Rob says:

    Nostalgia, sentiment, and traditions
    Go hand in hand with good munitions
    Though many converts to Amendment Two
    Have no rich heritage like you do

    My loving folks alas were Fudds
    Their ammo cache was merely duds
    When from the nest my wings did spread
    I got some guns to stay undead

    With boys now of my very own
    Living with guns locked in our home
    Its time to buy just a few more
    And through good use give them lore

    Our Savage is no longer “gear”
    Since my wife used it to pop a deer
    Its a treasured memory for us
    Despite is lack of historic rust

    We’ll have adventures with our guns
    And someday give them to our youngs
    Making memories the best we can
    To help our boys become a man

    After learning rules 1 through 4
    We’ll practice them a lot indoors
    Then I’ll take my young 3 boys
    Into the hills to make some noise

    We’ll learn about the Ar too
    Not to shoot it pew pew pew
    It guards our family from the neerdowell
    For I would send him straight to hell

    The point to this obnoxious poem:
    Inspire newcomers. Don’t bemoan!
    We can make traditions new
    So our kin can feel special too

  17. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Poetry normally doesn’t do much for me, but this is awesome.

  18. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    Good job!

  19. avatar Mudshark says:

    Ha glad to see the other post about moist eye allergies, yeh me too. That ones a winner

  20. avatar Gregolas says:

    Very well done !
    Thank you.

  21. avatar COstew says:

    That is a great piece, good work! As a soon-to-be father myself, of twins, you summed up what I’m excited to share with them. Very well done!

  22. avatar Bonega says:

    This should be read aloud by Sam Elliott.

  23. avatar wrightl3 says:

    Awesome job. Give this man a prize.

  24. avatar Mortdecai says:

    Both poems were excellent. Thank you.

  25. avatar Joe3 says:

    Well done all!

  26. avatar Anonymous says:

    I cried like a small baby.

    The contest had just begun,
    But now it was no more fun,
    For the truth about the gun,
    A winner was unofficially declared.

  27. avatar Scoutino says:

    I’m glad I read this now, while my wife sleeps and not before. It would be hard to explain why my eyes are “sweating”.
    Great writing and I don’t even usually like poetry.

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