The 4 rules of gun safety

*The 1st Law of Gun Safety - The Gun Is Always Loaded!

*The 2nd Law of Gun Safety - Never Point A Gun At Something You're Not Prepared To Destroy!

*The 3rd Law of Gun Safety - Always Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Behind It!

*The 4th Law of Gun Safety - Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target!

Monday, March 7, 2011

John Shoots Pistols

Hmmm, where to begin. I had been watching my kids play paintball and airsoft with their friends for a while and I was looking for a new hobby. I had in the past shot firearms before and wondered if I should get back into shooting.

A little history. Being a fire control technician in the Navy for 6 years, I was introduced to pistols, rifles, shotguns, machine guns, and grenade launchers through my enlistment. I was qualified on the .45acp pistol, the M-14 rifle, Model 870 .12 gauge shotgun, M-79 grenade launcher, M60 7.62mm machine gun and the 50cal M2 machine gun. Working with the Gunners Mates on board, I also qualified for duty Gunners Mate and became a member of the Ships Self Defense Force. I even had purchased my own 9mm handgun (Ruger P85 semi-automatic pistol) and kept it in the armory. Many of the guys in my work center and our partner work center were handgun owners. Between the 10 of us, we had multiple revolvers and pistols from .22lr target pistol up to a .44 magnum revolver and we spent a lot of time at the local range in Norfolk whenever we were in port.

So, as I said, I was looking for a new hobby. I started re-searching taking target shooting back as a hobby. Heck, the only reason I parted ways with my Ruger P85 was that I was married and we were talking about having kids. Neither my wife nor I really wanted guns in the house when the kids were young, so I bit the bullet and sold the gun. Now my kids are older, 13 and 15 respectively, and had an interest in guns in general and thoughts of joining the military after high school. I tentatively and very much on egg-shells asked my wife what she thought about me taking the boys to the gun range, rent some guns and go over firearms safety and do some shooting. I was flabbergasted. She was all for it. Truthfully, she had done some shooting with me when we were dating while I was still in the Navy. Although she preferred my good friends Smith and Wesson .357 magnum over my P85. Still, I was surprised she was all for it.

So, after making the kids watch some safety videos and going over the rules with them, we headed to Elite Training Academy in Monroe, NC. I had contacted them earlier about bringing my boys over and they were very helpful and knowledgeable. We spent a little less than 2 hours shooting a Ruger MkIII .22lr and a Sig Sauer P226 9mm pistol and my co-workers S&W .357 magnum. My co-worker, Mike Williams joined us. He was a flight officer in the Navy flying in E2C - Hawkeye aircraft. Kids had a great time and were decent shots. I was surprised how quickly I fell back into my old training and was shooting relatively well.

I think that day pretty much started the fire in me for wanting to shoot. I asked my wife (Deb) if I could purchase a couple of guns and with no reluctance other than making sure they were locked up and separating the guns from ammo, she agreed.

I started looking at what it would take to get a pistol in North Carolina and each state is a little different. Here, I needed to fill out some paperwork and send it to the county sheriff for approval. I live in Union County in North Carolina, so my paperwork may have been different from what you'd be seeing, but it was 3 sheets long with the cursory information about where I live and how I plan to shoot the gun/s. It also had about 20 questions regarding criminal and psychological background. Thankfully, I'm not a felon or under psychiatric treatment. The paperwork also wants to know where you've lived for the last 10 years. That was more trouble than I thought it would be, but my wife had all our old addresses and dates we lived there. Don't know where I'd be without her, but most likely lost somewhere. A couple days after mailing the forms in, I received a phone call from the sheriff's department saying my permits were available for pickup.

Well, that's enough for now. I'll post further on my search for guns, my purchases, gun shows, ducking ejected shells, and sending guns in for repairs.

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