It was all so innocent.
My Dad wasn't a hunter. He was a microbiologist. We didn't go tromping around in the woods, except to get firewood. And we didn't have guns.
When I went to Marine Corps boot camp, people were amazed by the fact that I was from North Idaho -and had never shot a gun. It seemed like most of the guys there grew up hunting, and playing football. I played trombone in the pep band. Trust me, I often wondered how I ended up joining the Marines myself.
A couple years ago, I had a neighbor ask me if I wanted to buy a gun. I actually had thought about buying a pistol, just for taking camping to shoot at cans. He had a semi-automatic Smith & Wesson .22 pistol, that had a 12 round clip. The price seemed right (like I would know!), so I decided to buy it.
At first, it made me really nervous. I kept it in a high cupboard out in the garage, and stored the ammo somewhere else. Some people thought it was strange that I wouldn't keep it loaded next to the bed. I didn't see any reason to, other than to make it easily accessible for the kids.
I occasionally took it in the woods, and did just what I bought it for - shot at beer cans. It was fun, but I didn't have any urge to go buy 10 more guns. It's still the only gun I've ever owned.
A few weeks ago, I had someone offer to make me a holster for my pistol as a birthday present. I'm always cool with handmade gifts, and I needed a holster anyway. I sent the gun his way. What I got back is nothing short of amazing. (Click on the pictures for a closer view).
This thing is totally custom made for my gun. The leather was wetted, stretched, and clamped around the gun itself. The stitches were done by hand, and the belt slits were given much consideration so it wouldn't "bottom out" if I sat down with it on. It's given me a whole new appreciation for guns in general.
I love the way it fits so tightly, but the pistol slides right out. The retainer snap is easily undone with a flick of my thumb. I can't help but strap this sucker on, and see how fast I can draw, like I'm in the Wild West.
Someday, when my kids are older, I'll probably take them out shooting. In the world we live in, I want them to understand, appreciate, and fear what guns are capable of. If they're interested, I might even learn to hunt - with them. I don't really have anything against hunting, I just wasn't raised to understand it. Maybe there will be a time with my kids.
I'll probably need something bigger than my .22 pistol, though. I better get more guns.