Firearm Foolery

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
A lapse in basic firearm safety serves as a reminder and a sermon!

Submitted: December 31, 2016

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Submitted: December 31, 2016



Young Tipene’s parents, as all parents do, wanted him to grow up to be a peaceful and worthy young man. Part of his nurturing process was not to allow toys or words of violence into the house. To protect him. So there were no guns, no talk of cowboys or bush rangers and definitely no television or movies of that ilk!

I’m no expert, but my pennyworth was that you can’t shelter kids from anything these days and a little education goes further than an outright ban! If you think about it, the poor kid could hardly move because he couldn’t go fishing, he couldn’t test himself against his peers and he couldn’t even watch the television news!

Geographically we are distant, so I never saw Tipene again until he was about eighteen, he had grown up to be a big, strapping lad with a broad grin. Imagine my surprise when I asked him what his favourite pastime was and his reply was hunting! So presumably at some time he was bound to have disappointed his parents! But that’s the thing about parenting, there will always be outside influences on their offspring.

This past Boxing Day we received a message that Tipene was in hospital, and although I don’t do Facebook, he had posted a message about the event, making himself out to be somewhat of a hero. I didn’t read the message but this is what I’ve been told: The family were doing some target ‘practice’ with an air rifle – ‘the most powerful type that there is!’ Tipene was shot in his bum cheek and the slug went through the muscle almost to his anus! The surgeon recommended leaving the slug in there, despite it being a lead slug! Question: Duck shooters aren’t allowed to use lead pellets, so how come air rifle slugs can be made of lead? Anyway; adding to the ‘hero’ bit, the slug that Tipene took in his behind, had he not been ‘in the way’, would have struck a ten year old child in the head!

So here’s my sermon, oh would-be-gun-toters and players-with-firearms: First learn some firearm safety from an expert! Second, don’t make shooting a family affair – sure kids can learn to shoot, but one on one with an a-d-u-l-t! Third is firearm safety 101, never point a firearm at anyone – even if you think it is unloaded; that’s n-e-v-e-r! Fourth, and the forty-odd year old uncle did this, don’t pull the trigger unless you are absolutely certain of your target! As well and associated, be certain that the area behind the target is s-a-f-e (should you miss the target)!

A final thing, manufacturers fit a safety catch to their firearms. With all due respect to them, don’t ever put your faith in a safety catch! In fact if you can remove it, so you can’t put any trust in it and follow the safety rules.

Firearms are built to kill things, don’t forget that!



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