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All my grandparents were dead (two murdered by the Nazis) before I was born. My old man owned guns, but he never took me shooting. My Mom was resolutely anti-gun. My interest in firearms began when I moved to Georgia in the 80’s, after checking out a firing range called The Bullet Stop. My girls are all familiar with guns and gun safety, but only one of them is into it. What’s your family’s firearm history?

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  1. Hmm. I don't have much of a gun history. My dad served in WWII (where the 21" guns on the U.S.S. Missouri did a number on his hearing) and he kept a revolver around the house when I was a kid. We were NEVER allowed near it.

    Two summers in a row, my mom hauled me and my sister to the Sheriff's gun range out North of town, where we took a rifle safety course. The first year it was B-B Guns. The second year, pellet guns. We didn't go back the third year, which was supposed to up the ante to .22LRs. Both years, I remember earning my "marksmanship" patches.

    When I was 13 or so, he decided that I needed to learn Something About Guns – so he bought a .410, single shot with a full choke – the kind that breaks open. We went out exactly one time to shoot. Didn't see anything but buzzards. (And I can tell you that even hitting a buzzard, dead-on, a .410 merely caused them to lose about 5 feet of altitude, then keep flying.)

    As an adult, I ran into a situation where an ex-roommate flipped out and my dad (as well as my friends) thought I needed something around to protect me and mine, so I got a pump 12 gauge at a pawn shop and had the barrel shortened. Turns out that it was possibly the worst gun ever made. It was a product of a Smith & Wesson acquisition, and was such a pile of crap, S&W came close to recalling every one ever made. I eventually sold it and replaced it with an 870 Wingmaster.

    A few years back, I realized that it might be a good idea to exercise my 2nd Amendment right to self defense, and I started going to the range to learn how to shoot. I purchased a 1911, and then got interested in IDPA shooting. And that's about it.

    I am trying to pass along my newly-acquired knowledge and affinity of guns to my daughter. She's the proud owner of an Airsoft pistol, a .22LR semi-auto rifle, and she's gotten to shoot my weapons as well (under close, personal supervision, of course).

  2. I grew up in the woods in Arkansas.

    All families there were, by mere nature, gun families.

    I didn't know any families who weren't until I moved away from home.

    My mother taught me how to shoot.

    When she was a child, one of her favorite games was to shoot a nickel off a fencepost with her BB gun.

    I started with my own BB gun at age 8.

    My first gun job was at age 12, when my grandfather handed me his shotgun, and told me to keep the crows out of the corn.

  3. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY but moved to PA when I was 14. I got into hunting from friends and the area culture. My father was not a gun guy at all, and still isn't to this day. However, he did his best to make me happy and took me shooting when I wanted to go (twice a month or so). He also bought me a rifle for Christmas when I was 15, and also helped me pick out my shotgun and .22LR. The old man took me out deer and turkey hunting, but I went small-game and bird hunting with my friends. As I got older, my dad gave up hunting as he really only did it for me.

    Today, I'm into hunting still, but not nearly as much as I was back then. Then again, living in PA I could literally hunt in my backyard. Out here in AZ, it's a bit of a drive to do any sort of hunting activity. I bought my first pistol a few years ago and have gotten into firearms and firearm technology heavily ever since. I love engineering and mechanical things, so firearms fit well with my other hobbies (woodworking, cars, electronics, etc).

  4. I grew up in a rural suburb an hour West of Chicago. My parents never owned guns but they did give me a BB gun for a birthday gift. I didn't seriously get into firearms until I was out of college and a good friend of mine took me to a gun range in TX. Got hooked after that. I bought a Springfield Armory "loaded" 1911 and later a HK USC. I even got my father into gun shooting. He now has a Browning .22 pistol and a S&W .357 revolver.

    Sadly, I had to move to CA for work and I left my guns with someone for safe keeping as I do not trust the CA govt.

  5. I've been the only 'gun person' in my family. I got into shooting when I was in junior high school, and my guns were the first and only guns in the house. I'm grateful that my parents always supported my interest in guns and required that I show the responsibility required to possess them. My father has always wondered where I got the shooting and hunting itch, but my mother thinks it must be some echo of her Montana farm upbringing.

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