Air Rifles, No Matter the Brand, Must Be Handled With Care, Safety
Since I Was The Age of Six
I have had the pleasure of owning two air rifles, one at different ages in my life. The first BB air rifle was a Christmas present from my parents when I was six, and talk about happiness, I was the happiest little guy in the neighborhood—jumping, yelling, and celebrating what might have been, THE best gift that anyone could have given me. I was so proud.
My dad showed me the various operations of my Daisy BB Gun and with each instruction, I was growing more and more excited about going outside and shooting “things” just to see my new air rifle would operate. So when the instructions were finished, dad had to go to town to get groceries or something and I made good use of my time outside and began scouting for things to shoot at and really have a great time.
I had told my mom that I was going to be outside with my Daily air rifle and of course, she added, be careful, to along with what my dad had told me. So off I went cuddling my air rifle in my arms and even the crisp winter weather did not phase the excitement that I was enjoying. And if you have ever been blessed for someone to give you an air rifle, then you can relate.
There My Target Perched
on a limb of a tree that stood a few yards in front of me. My heart beat so fast that I thought that I was going to faint. This small bird was just sitting on the limb not hurting anyone or anything, and what made me cock the air rifle I can only tell you that it was a case of not knowing what I was doing. That did sound a lot better.
I did hesitate as I slowly aimed my trusty Daisy air rifle and even with the winter wind, my hands shook, but the bird never offered to fly away. I tried to listen to what my dad had said about if you cock the air rifle and aim it, then you must shoot it. I wish now that I had not listened to that. I slowly pulled the trigger and with a split-second, the small bird fell (almost like slow motion) to the ground and I stood there in shock mixed with happiness. Of the two emotions, shock won out.
I walked to the dead bird and hoped that it would awake and flutter away. I even said this out-loud, but as I reached to pick the bird up in my hand, it was dead. I felt awful. I began weeping that knowing, even at age six, I was responsible for taking the life of an innocent being. I could not deal with this tragedy.
I took my air rifle and bird and gave them to my mom who sensed what had happened and she listened intently (as moms are gifted to do) and I told her that I did NOT want to see this air rifle again and this dead bird was the reason why. She tried to hold back her laughter and for the most part, did a grand job. I did not hold back the tears, but let the pain come out of my spirit.
But as My Life Went by
I learned that what had happened, although considered a childish error, and NOT the Daily BB gun’s fault, I started picking-up my air rifle once again, but this time, I had a new respect for this gun, not a toy. This wise move taught me to always know without a doubt what I was shooting and what would happen if I did shoot. Something that has stayed with me.
(Check This Air Rifle (and more) at This Site:
The Next Air Rifle
that I owned was when I was 60 years old. No joke. I really don’t know what happened to my first air rifle, my treasured Daisy BB gun, but now I was a man, adult, ready to take on the world and thought that being 60 meant that I was a wiser man from the six-year-old who had killed his first bird. Not.
At our home, my wife and I are sometimes aggravated by stray dogs that run free through our yard space and attack our cats and eat their food due to the cats living in the carport near our home. Do we get irritated at this nuisance? You really need me to answer that? Of course we do. Now, in order to rid our yard of the stray dogs, we both at various times, have opened our kitchen door and yelled for the dogs to get away and they will, but sometimes they are not going to leave until they eat the rest of our cat food. Stubborn dogs is something that I cannot stand.
And this time I was not going to hurt the dogs, cats, and birds if I could help it. I had kept my first experience with an air rifle at age six, so I was being cautious. Not my wife. No, sir. She wanted to take action and she did. In the days ahead, Christmas Day was coming and I had forgotten about the stray dogs and when Christmas came, I did not pay that much attention to the long, cardboard box wrapped so pretty and standing near our Christmas tree. I was just happy that it would be me, Pam, and Angie, our daughter who had not married and moved out. Thank God!
The gifts were opened and we all had a great time. I had saved that pretty-wrapped long box near the Christmas tree and my wife insisted that I open it up immediately. Until this time, I had not seen her act so impatient. But now within a five-minute span of time, I the wrapping paper torn from the box and my eyes teared-up because prior to Christmas, I had remarked to Pam, who then was working at our local Wamart (before she retired), that I sure would love to have a Red Ryder air rifle. She replied, like "Ralphie," (Peter Billingsley) the kid in the film, “A Christmas Story,” with Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillion, who had begged his parents for a Red Ryder and upon Christmas morning, he received it.
Then when he went outside to do some fancy shooting, he shot at the fence behind their home and the BB ricocheted – landing in his right eye causing him to cry and going to see his mom and try to cover-up his first outing with his Red Ryder.
Of course, in real life, my Daisy air rifle and I got to be close in the years to come. I did shoot a lot of tin cans that were empty and not perched on a tree limb, but no more birds to be shot. The birds had lives to live, families to raise, so I made peace with them and went about my life.
And There it Was: My New Red Ryder
that Pam had given me, I learned that the gift was not entirely for me, but for her because of the pack of stray dogs that loved to visit our carport. But during the Christmas holidays, the dogs respected us enough as to stay away. But I was prepared. I had my Red Ryder filled with bb’s and sitting near the door ready to protect our home and lives.
Except when the stays came running a few days later, I did not move. Pam did. In just like a lightning bolt being that swift, the Red Ryder was in her hand firing my air rifle like a pro. But she must have been raised to respect life like I had been taught for she only shot at the ground where the dogs had stopped to rest. But they did run off of our yard space.
Life was good again.
(Look at These Air Rifles (and more) at This Site:
August 10, 2019____________________________________________________
© 2019 Kenneth Avery