|Gun fighter Nicky, age @ 5|
When I was a child, I always had toy guns with which to play. I never owned or touched a real gun until I was in college. As a kid I didn't even have a BB gun; my father, a WWII veteran, was opposed to guns.
That last statement isn't entirely true. When I was a bout 3 years old I found my then retired grandfather Nick's police revolver in a bureau drawer at our house. According to the story (I can't remember the event) I opened the bathroom door where my mother was sitting on the commode and, pointing the (loaded) pistol at her, asked, "Who bringed my dis gun?" My mother got the gun away from me and my father immediately got it out of the house.
|With my mother and father at UK|
At the University of Kentucky, I was an R.O.T.C. cadet. It was then that I purchased and fired my first firearms (both .22 cal.) on the cadet firing range. My idea was, if I was going to be an army officer and if I was going to end up in Viet Nam, I had best be an able marksman.
|Savage .22 carbine|
|Erma Luger, .22 cal.|
After graduation and commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in Armor Branch (tanks) of the United States Army, I qualified as Expert Marksman with the .45 cal. pistol while stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
|Expert Marksman Badge (pistol), United States Army|
|M1911 Colt .45 cal automatic|
I also learned to fire a much larger gun!
|M60A1 tank, 52 tons. 105 mm main gun|
As an army officer, I taught marksmanship courses for:
|.45 cal "grease gun" semi-automatic - "the tankers' friend"|
After leaving military active duty, I kept the carbine and Luger but never fired either again. I added one more pistol to the collect when, after the death of my Uncle Frank, as we were moving his bedroom dresser, an automatic pistol fell out of a drawer.
|Colt .25 cal. automatic pistol|
When I saw the little Colt, I remembered the story of how it came into my uncle's possession. Late one night during Prohibition the owner of the company for which my uncle worked (and later retired as vice-president) telephoned him and asked him to go to a police station. The owner's son had been arrested in a raid on a speak easy and my uncle was asked to bail him out. When my uncle arrived, he was able to speak with the young man before he had been processed. The kid reached into his coat pocket and slid something into my uncle's coat pocket. It was the Colt, for which the young man had no license to carry. My uncle put it in his dresser drawer and it stayed their for almost 60 years.
I kept all of those guns until, during my first pastorate, I decided that, since I would/could never shoot any one, I had no reason to keep them. So I disposed of all of them.
Today I lobby for gun control.
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