Dodge City,Kansas.Circa early 1980s. A young boy walks with apprehension towards the sporting goods counter at the local Wal-mart ( i think it was Wal-Mart anyway).Having saved for weeks to purchase a Red Ryder, an object of absolute obsession after witnessing older neighborhood kids shooting cans.Gathering courage,he grabs the box containing his prize and goes to counter to pay."You have to have an adult with you to buy that" says the evil minion of Satan behind the counter.I havn't even hit puberty and THE MAN is already trying to keep me down.Then,salvation appears, a kindly old man standing nearby say's "I'll get it" with a wave of his hand.It was like the Archangel Gabriel waving his fiery sword.Instantly the hellspawn courtesy clerk shrunk and did as he was told.(A straw purchase !!!)He rings it up,OH NOOOOOO!! What evil is this! TAX!! I had exactly the cost on the tag (I think this whole thing started my hate of overbearing government)Once again my benefactor waves his hand and pays the extra and tells them to put some bb's on there too.I get my bag and turn to thank my hero but he was gone.
Fast forward a few years.
I have a natural knack for shooting it seems and my bb guns have steadily increased in power.But real honest to god firearms were still something I had never tried. Enter Tom Rogers,an Electrical engineer who had written for Guns & Ammo in the 60's,had been on safari's to Africa, and had a collection of gorgeus weapons,from M1 Garands to huge double rifles and an even vaster library of books,Ruark,Hemingway,Capstick,etc as well as books on the Constitution,the Founding Fathers,John Locke,etc.It was with his guidance that I first started really learning first hand from an experienced shooter about guns and it was his prized M1 Garand which was the first firearm I shot and which subsequently led to my lifelong love affair with it's progeny ,the M14.Sadly,Tom was in frail health and passed a few years later so most instruction was verbal and I spent many a happy hour reading through his vast collection of books.Among his possesions was 2 sealed tins of ammo for the Garand and a book "Handbook for the American Resistance" as I recall that included explosives recipes and detailed instructions on making a submachine gun.My first intro to survival preps.
There have since been many others who have helped me along,from the Vietnam vet and Marine sniper who's instruction and friendship I hold in the highest regard to the random shooter on the line who passes on tips and tricks.I'd like to say thank you to them all.So,please,Take a kid shooting,instruct the neophyte at the range rather than looking down your nose at them,openly discuss your'e passion.You'd be suprised at who shows interest and what a small act of kindness will reap years down the road.