Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Boys Just Wanna...

Recently I’ve had several conversations about hunting and have had the craving to buy a hunting rifle. I no longer have one since I moved to Austin and sometime that time out in the wild and the adventure of hunting one’s own food is just too appealing.

The idea of it came to the forefront in the last couple weeks as the “unmentionable’s” brothers have expressed and interest in going to the air soft range near their home. Air soft was something new to me. I remember a few years ago when paint-pellet ranges and competitions were all the rage, but did not know they had been replaced by something else.

The “unmentionable” has been highly concerned about his brothers’ safety and vocally objects to there participation in this sport.

I, on the other hand, grew up in the country before even the paint guns came around. When my friends and I wanted to play war, we just broke out the b-b guns and as we got older, the pellet guns.

Since the invention of projectile weaponry, I’m convinced that boys just wannna shoot each other. It is simply a boy thing.

Growing up we were always responsible about the b-b gun wars. We knew enough to wear safety glasses as none of us wanted to put an eye out. When we graduated to pellet guns, we had the two-pump rule.

Each pump on a pellet gun increases the amount of air to project the b-b or the pellet from the gun with ten pumps being the maximum recommended by any of the manufactures. Two pumps gave a slight sting at about 25 yards - safe but effective.

Now the kids can shoot foam projectiles that far.

Because we were always careful, none of my friends lost an eye, and in fact, none of us even had a skin-break from being shot during the various gun wars. The closest call was when my brother K was shot on the cheekbone during a particularly close battle after violating the two-pump rule to shoot B through the tin wall of the barn.

Really - B never should have hidden behind the tin.

Nevertheless, after being severely stung by K’s b-b, B also violated the two-pump rule and returned fire catching K on the cheekbone just as mom turned in the driveway.

Our driveway was .2 miles long, so the shot had a chance to take great effect by the time she made it to the house. Concentric circles radiated out across K’s cheek. The b-b did not penetrate the skin, but it certainly made a spectacular bruise.

All my friends took the long way across the pasture as they fled my house.

For quite some time afterward we were limited to cow-dung wars.

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