A TTAG reader writes . . .
As I sit here writing this, I am forced to decide what firearm I should sell to come up some extra money to pay my mortgage this month. It pains me to sell any of them, not because they are high-end, not because they were handed down (they weren’t, for the most part) or even that desirable, but because they are mine.
I didn’t think about guns that much when I was a kid. I went thru my state’s hunting program as soon as I was old enough, but my stepfather took me only once. As I grew a little older, the normal interests of a typical teen got hold of me, too….cars, girls, you know the deal. Firearms weren’t even close to catching my attention.
When I was a sophomore in high school, I began to realize that I needed to decide on what to do with my life after I graduated. I decided on the military. According to what I’ve been told ( yes, I know recruiters will say anything) my ASVAB scores and my grades would qualified me for most any job. To everyone’s astonishment, I choose the infantry…I even picked the longer enlistment.
Basic training was rough, but not the hell I expected, and it was my first real training with weapons. I remember gaining more respect for my rifle than my first car. I was hooked and I needed more. More types of rifles, more knowledge about how they function and their limitations. Just more.
We were scheduled to go to the range and learn to shoot the M60, but a hurricane came thru and the higher-ups rescheduled the training. I was pissed. We were supposed to be infantry. Tough, able to go into any element and get the job done and they were afraid of some rain? I guess the 60 would havre to wait.
My first duty station was at Ft. Hood. I loved it there and my company had some great NCO’s, but the thing that stuck out the most — for me at least — was that here I was, smack-dab in the middle of the biggest base on American soil, ready to put my life on the line and we soldiers weren’t allowed to have our weapons.
I remember thinking that if anyone were to declare war and attack the U.S.,a direct attack on military installations would make sense. I brushed that thought off as I figured that A) an attack against us would be suicide, and B) I was just a private. I was sure the brass would’ve thought about that and have an SOP in place. I was pissed as hell when I learned of the shootings at Ft. Hood a few years later.
I subsequently got out of the Army and moved back home. It turned out that the infantry didn’t give me the skill set that serious employers were looking for, so I got a job as a dishwasher. Making minimum wage was tough, but I scrimped and saved…just enough for my first concealed carry permit and my first gun.
I bought a nice, slightly used Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolver with a 6″ barrel. Yes, I know, that’s hardly a concealable gun, but I was still learning the ropes. I ended up selling it and buying a GLOCK because, well, GLOCK and it’s considerably easier to conceal.
Since then, I’ve gotten better jobs, but life always managed to throw a wrench in my plans. That rifle I was saving for? Too bad, my car died. The Barrett I had my eye on? Maybe after I get another job because I got laid off.
I don’t mind so much anymore because since my daughters were born, I realize that they need me more than I need a safe full of guns. I only really need three. A rifle, a pistol and the .22 I bought to teach my daughters what life has taught me.