Tag Archiv: bb gun

History of a different BB gun

"Holes In A Shooting Target" by anankkml from freedigitalphotos.net

“Holes In A Shooting Target” by anankkml from freedigitalphotos.net

Boy one inherited his father’s one eye raised about my pioneer leanings. But few boys are immune to the allure of a BB gun. When it was time we got him his own.

He also came pre-programmed with an “adherence to rules” setting (we are still looking for the flexibility button). We knew he would follow “no chickadees,” and safety guidelines carefully and he did. Target practice became a source of great joy.

This brings us to his 11th birthday. We suggested that he invite old friends, but to be brave and invite at least one friend from his new school. Boy one chose Turd (not his real name) and I picked them up from school. Turd spoke in sentences and was comfortable acknowledging my existence. Promising, I thought. Turd also discussed the BB gun he had and loved at home.

There was an hour or so before the party started. I sent the boys outside.

Would you mind if we did some target practice with my BB gun? asked Boy one.

Normally, I would not allow this, but Turd clearly seemed like a country boy, he owned his own gun, and besides, he spoke in sentences.

Ok until other people get here, but ALL the same rules still apply.

I know, Mom. Don’t worry.

Ten minutes, or was it twenty, minutes later, Boy one was at the door, his mouth dripping blood.

“Ter sho mah too,” he said, conveying rather unclearly that Turd HAD SHOT HIS TOOTH.

We left emergency messages for our dentist. In the meantime, we had a party. Boy one was in pain, but propped up with ibuprofen and icepacks. He kept a brave face while everyone else ate pizza. Never was it discovered, why, when Boy one said, “let’s go in now,” and started walking across the field, Turd lifted the gun and shot him in the mouth.

Boy one’s tooth was fixed as best as can be until he is older. The BB gun sat untouched after that.

I really can’t even look at it, said Boy One softly.

I apologized many times for my failure to protect. I ached for the delight that had become a sorrow, and life went on. Two weeks ago, Boy one (who appreciates most company except his own) stayed outside after everyone was in.

What’s he up to? I asked Boy two.

Target practice.

Oh, I said. I didn’t say more because I didn’t want to admit how much I wanted all this to be ok now. I wanted Boy one free to not be ok.

Did you see my target? Boy one asked a few days later. I strung cans on baling twine so I can hang it from a tree.

Great idea, said my husband

Yeah, pretty cool, huh? Boy one kicked off his shoes. I love target practice. It’s just so relaxing.


And me mother heart breathes out again.

History of a BB Gun

1-IMG_8324When I was about 10, my brother and I were given a BB gun. Few gifts have ever meant more to me. I owned a BB gun and I could shoot things. I feel the need to apologize now (me having been a girl and all) for the delight I took in that gun. I didn’t have any apologies then. I was a pioneer for heaven’s sake, stuck by no fault of my own in the 1980’s. Obviously, I needed a gun.

I was born believing that the end of modern technology and a return to simpler times was merely a matter of time. Call it unflinching optimism. Whenever the pioneer times did return, I had no intention of gathering herbs or stirring pots. I needed hunting experience if I wanted to save myself from the gatherers fate assigned to my gender.

Harper Lee’s, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” references the sadness of innocent life, killed for no purpose. It’s one of my favourite books of all time. I love the story, but I also know about that bird.

My goal was to get a rabbit and bring it home for dinner. Bring it in the back door, say nothing, and put it on the kitchen counter like I did it every day. Even a squirrel would have made me happy, but every time I went out walking, I saw nothing but trees and grass.

Which is when I thought of chickadees. There was a big bush at the top of the bank by our front yard. Birds came to eat the berries. They flew off en mass all a flutter when I laid down on the grass nearby, but after a while, one came back. I shot it because that had been my plan. It fell to the ground. I dropped my gun and stumbled forward knelt and touched it. It was wounded but not yet dead. I laid on the ground beside the chickadee and sobbed. I stroked it softly at first, tears falling, then realized I didn’t have the right. The miracle I begged for did not come. When it was over, I buried the bird, still weeping.

I have explained the title of Harper Lee’s book to classes of thirteen year olds. I know, I have told them. I have done this thing. The darkness is not out there somewhere. It is inside us. Not all the lines you cross can be uncrossed. It is a thing in need of many tears, a thing to look in the face long enough to be sure you can say afterwards, no, never again.