Sunday, November 23, 2008

High-Caliber Male Bonding

"Dad, would you take me hunting?"

I was surprised by the question from my teenager, but grateful. I've been struggling, since I've been home with him more, to find ways to spend positive quality time with him. He sees to hate me more than he values me, which is disheatening to say the least. I keep looking for opportunities to change that.

Hunting? Probably not right for us right now. I'm not opposed to hunting. Been there, done that. Not in while though and I would have to get back up to speed on it before I could teach him. Plus, I can't say that I would feel completely safe with him out in the woods with him for an extended period with a loaded firearm. He's more than a little clumsy, and it's a long way to the emergency room.

"How about target shooting instead? With a real gun?"

"Yeah, that would be great!" His excitement seemed real. I was hopeful.

So, I took the necessary steps.

Paid a trip to the local gun store. (Where, by the way, guns were flying off of the shelf pre-election with the knowledge that our frontrunner for President would quickly ban them. Better get them while you can. So, I did.) Found a nice used scoped .22 rifle for him. Something orders of magnitude more fierce for me - you wouldn't want to mess with me, just sayin'.

A nice handgun or two. One his size. One my size.

A membership to a gun range. Eye protection and ear plugs. We were ready.

Not Mrs. SCM. She doesn't need to know, as far as I'm concerned. She'll just worry. This is just between us guys.

So, we set off by ourselves for a Saturday adventure at the range. I told him where we were going after we got in the car. Talked to him about gun safety all the way there. Put the fear of God, and me, in him about safety. I also told him that I could teach him to be a marksman just as I was in the military many years ago.

We took our time at the range. Stood in the chill air and learned to load a clip. To keep the barrel down range at all time. To use his scope. To check that the gun was clear after shooting before any thing else to check that the range was clear before running to check his target.

I got his attention right away by blowing apart a two liter coke bottle at close range with a military round. Ka-BAM! I showed him the ragged tear in the hard plastic. Imagine if that was the skin, and that spilled coke was the blood, of someone that you loved but accidently shot. What would happen to them? "They would be dead", he said somberly. "That's right. Now let's have fun learning how to shoot safely."

An hour later, and a lot of spent brass later, we packed up. The kid listened well and is a pretty good shot. A nice pattern in his target. And ole Dad could still put one where I wanted it at 100 yards with just the sights. That felt good.

High quality male bonding, via ballistically punching holes in paper with hot lead. Fun. We need more of this in our lives.

I taught him to use his weapon confidentally and safely. Hmmmmmm, that reminds me that we still need to have the sex talk...
posted by Semi-Celibate Man @ 10:04 PM | 0 comments


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