Today is my nephew's Birthday, he's 10 years old. At a very young age he got intrigued by everything pirate. Arrrrrgh.
Ships, swords, knives and Jolly Rogers are a sure way to get his attention. He's already started a WW1 and WW2 bayonet collection. With the exception of his insistence of calling “bowie” knives “buoy” knives(must be a pirate thingie), he’s got a knife catalog thicker than my telephone book and is teaching himself well about all manners of bladed weapons.
He carries at least one knife at all times in his pocket. At this point, he sees it as a tool rather than a defensive weapon since it takes him a full five minutes for him to dig it out from the bottom of his pocket after he empties out all the agates, petrified wood chips and cool looking marbles that are sitting on top of it.
He whittles, he’s abandoned the 102 piece tool set I got him when he was 6 in lieu for a damn nice Swiss army knife with all the goodies and he’s got the bayonets “just for lookin’ at.”
I took him to his first gun show last year and he naturally gravitated towards the .22 Crickets and Chipmunks. He entered the show with $120 in cash that he earned by mowing lawns and washing cars. When he found a Cricket that even gave me a bit of wood priced at $169, he asked me how old he had to be before he bought a gun.
I told him that I would buy him a .22 when he was mature enough, by my definition, my judgment, my decision. He responded that he had a coin jar at home and probably already had enough money to buy it himself.
I thought for a nanosecond about trying to explain the NICS, straw purchases, form 4473 in general and a host of other issues that ya’ll are already aware of. After counting to ten and breathing deeply, I fell back to Plan B and simply pulled rank; telling him that neither I nor his Father would allow him to own a firearm until we both agreed that he was ready to take on that responsibility.
My Brother is not an anti in the sense that gun-control is not anywhere near his radar when he pulls the lever. But my Brother is also nowhere near a pro-2A supporter. Best definition is that he’s an uniformed and uninterested neutral. I blame this on the fact that he’s left-handed and never got much enjoyment trying to switch-hit as a righty.
As passionate as I am about continuing the tradition of firearm ownership within my family, I will not dismiss my Older Brother’s wishes. He already knows that his son will one day own firearms, That cement has already hardened. The only decision before us is when.
I remember asking my Father how old he was when he got his first gun when I was very young. He said that he got a 12 gauge pump-action shotgun at the age of ten. Obviously reading my facial expression, my Father told me that he would give me a .22 rifle at the age of 12, if I proved myself worthy. Reading my facial expression further, he explained that his generation matured faster than mine, just as HIS Father’s generation matured faster than his.
I didn’t understand at the time.
But, I understand now.
I got my .22 bolt-action rifle when I was 12, after shooting that exact gun for 6 years. I’ll probably do a whole post about that exact exchange and the conversation with my Father during that moment in my history.
Happy Birthday, Miles.
I’ll be buying you another knife or some more silver coins for your pirate chest, but the .22 will have to wait until you prove yourself worthy,
I do this because I Love You.