I grew up in Swaziland, a small country in between South Africa and Mozambique. My parents were medical missionaries. I lived there from six weeks of age until I was 15 years old.
When I was five years old, my mother found out that there was a lion three miles from our house and that a hunting party of missionaries had been sent to deal with it because it was killing Africans. We pulled up just as the last shot was being fired. My father bought a 30'06 Springfield after that and he also picked up a .22 revolver and some snake loads to take care of the mambas, boomslangs, cobras, pythons and puff adders that were plentiful.
When I was ten years old we went back to America for one year and a man in our church gave us a Sears and Roebuck 16 gauge bolt action. We took it back to Swaziland and I used it for doves and guinea fowl. Every spare moment I was in the wilderness with the shotgun and my dog. The hunting was a pleasant and necessary activity because we lived on the meat that we shot and the vegetables that we grew. Our clothes were used clothing sent from churches in America.
When I was 15 we returned to America and at first we lived in Oakland. I learned that I could not discuss weapons with most Americans. In Africa we always considered a weapon to be a tool. Americans were the first people that I had met that had the idea that a weapon could be evil by itself. I learned to shut up about weapons and I only went shooting or hunting with my father and I did not discuss it with anybody that I did not know well.
After a high tech career in Silicon Valley, I moved to Utah to get away from the California madness. I love living in Utah because I enjoy hiking in the mountain wilderness areas and my passion for shooting sports is considered normal here.
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