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LAWRENCE - MESA, AZ


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Growing up in my day I donít know that there were any boys that didnít want an air rifle. Thinking back to being about ten years old, I can remember it seemed as though every kid in the neighborhood had a bb gun but me. My parents, more specifically my mom wasnít really hot on the idea of me shooting a gun, even if it was only an air gun. She may have kept me from owning an bb gun for a few more years but she never could keep me from joining my friends at a faux shooting range.

We were never unsupervised when we shot at cans, old Frisbeeís, and even old worn out dolls, but my dad always gave me permission to shoot the guns though my mom had no idea I that my father had allowed me to do this. She was always worried Iíd get hurt or hurt someone else which now, as an adult I have a full respect and understanding for. We were typical kids shooting bb guns at cans but none of us where really misbehaved or mischievous so no one ever got hurt.

When I began talking to some of my friends about bb guns for my own boys, a few were apprehensive and while I can respect their opinions, I am not certain their reasoning behind it. They remind me of my mother overly worried that a bb gun will cause some type of physical harm but I have to laugh because some of their kids do things that are much more hazardous to their physical being than shooting an air rifle. My boys have been asking me for air rifles at a relentless pace since the end of the summer. As we moved out to the desert many of the kids out here are like my group of friends was in that they all own and shoot bb guns.

I think perhaps if I was still living in the city I may have a different opinion regarding my boys and the guns they want and most likely would explain to them that there was just simply no place to shoot. Now that we are in an area where the houses are quite far apart and human traffic is far less likely near the home I am not opposed to such requests from my boys.

I will however need to keep my boys in check. They are far more rambunctious that I ever was and while thatís ok, I believe it might cause problems when theyíre handing something like a bb guns. Though theyíre just air guns, my mother was right and they can cause injury should someone use them carelessly. What my boys do not know yet is that, should I actually buy them air guns, they arenít going to shoot them until Iíve taught them how to do care for themselves and the guns.

Todayís outlook towards guns of any type is quite different than it was in the 70ís and 80ís when I was a young child. It is for this reason that I am glad that weíre now living in the desert as the people out here seem to have the attitude many people had so long ago. The people in the city, including many of my friends feel that allowing a child, though mine are 14 and 16, is a fool hearted decision on my part. I have to disagree as the decision to allow children to engage in any activity can result in trouble if they are undedicated, to young, or unsupervised.

In any event I will likely get both of my boys a bb gun when their birthdayís come around which is in April. Iím sure that is an eternity to them for me itís simply the blink of an eye.