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Posted on 2010.09.01 at 07:45
Current Location: 75409
Current Music: Bernstein - Spring in Central Park
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In 1996 during a fierce and lengthy winter in Korea, I became aware of Airsoft guns. My civilian contractor friend who lived off-base, kept getting shot by the kids of his apartment complex every time he took the trash to the dumpster. So...one day, surprising them all - he fired back! The neighborhood kids loved him. He took me to the shop downtown and I purchased two Glock 23's (notice the lack of U.S. mandated bright coloring around the barrel indicating, "toy"). These were amazingly accurate replicas - I once shot a cigarette in half out of a buddy's mouth because he said I couldn't. When I needed more firepower power, I eventually purchased (yes, that's me in Korea in 1996) the gun used in Robocop and an H&K MP5. However, over time...they stopped being accurate. Or being able to fire effectively at range. Or even hold ammo. This was right around the time I was teaching my son gun safety.

Now outside my wife's pump shotgun we have no guns in the house. Nonetheless, I want my children to be prepared if they come across one. Its just good stuff to know. And we do live in Texas, after all. So when he showed interest, I pulled out the Glocks and for a full weekend, without being allowed to pull the trigger, he had to hand it to me properly (butt first, safety on), walk with it properly (finger down the slide, barrel down), and drop the magazine and check the chamber every. single. time I handed him the gun. Before drax0r hands me a gun, he drops the magazine and checks the chamber. I watch him do this. I know the gun is not loaded and a round isn't chambered. Nonetheless I mimic him entirely as soon as its in my hands. Its just a good idea.

After I was sufficiently pleased with his understanding of what I'd taught him (rule #1, never point your weapon at another person) we shot empty cans in our backyard at about 10-feet. They make a nice sound. But after a few weeks of use, the guns degraded further. So last weekend I went on a hunt for new Airsoft guns. The kind that actually meet U.S. specifications for safety. I don't want my son shot if some jackass thinks he's carting around a real gun (rule #2 weapons never leave the house except in the back yard). I picked him up a small Sig Exeter-NH which is perfect for his 10-year-old hand and easy to pull the slide back , and myself a large-frame Stinger P312. Both are here for comparison.

He also wanted something a little more accurate than the *plink* sounds the cans made, so we got a pack of paper targets. Yes, the plastic bb's will pop through that paper something fierce. (even though we bought some more ammo, I've been carting that particular Korean bottle around for fourteen years so it deserved its own picture). To add balance to the force, I do also train my daughter in all these things as well. She didn't do as well, and is now banned from handling the weapons. I'll give her another year.

So with school having started, and our daily softball games a wash, we spend a little time every day after work target shooting. I'm finding good aim takes time to adjust with a new gun, but my boy is getting better every day.


michelle1963 at 2010-09-01 13:14 (UTC) (Link)
My dad learned these gun safety and how to shoot accurately at his grandpa's knee. Later my dad taught me these things.

My dad hunted with his grandpa when he was a kid; hunting was not something he did as an adult, except for our "live off the land summer". I believe he viewed hunting as something to be done out of necessity and not pleasure.

And then there's the whole home security issue.
ehowton at 2010-09-03 22:03 (UTC) (Link)
That's really cool. I had a great childhood, but I strive for my children to have a better one...without, you know, spoiling them or whatnot. A better father than my father was to me - I know he was a better father than his was to him. Its challenging at times.

"Live off the land summer" sounds magnificent. My son didn't enjoy his overnight Cub Scouts weekend because there was no electric fan :/
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