How I Became a Gun Owner.

Beretta Neos - .22 Caliber Target Pistol

A little more than a year ago I went shooting for the very first time. Growing up I always thought of guns as a means of hunting, being into archery I never had much interest in them. While I’ve never gone hunting, its always something that I have wanted to do. Its been a few years since I last shot my old bow, but I’ve come to enjoy firearms.

Like I was saying, a little more than a year ago I went shooting for the very first time. A very close friend of mine was planning on attending “mans weekend” at a friends cabin in Central PA. The idea was to head up to this cabin, with about a dozen guys, and spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The cabin is surrounded by 550 acres and has no electric, conventional plumbing, television, or phone. For heat we split firewood and fed it into a wood stove.

Each day we would wake up and have a huge breakfast then get to work. Work consisted of clearing downed trees, cutting firewood, and doing any repairs needed on the cabin. When lunch rolled around, we would have something quick to eat and begin to unwind. Next we would unpack our weapons and head to th home made firing range. This was basically an area where we shot down into a valley.

Once finished shooting, we would pack up the guns and start a campfire. For the rest of the night we would have a few beverages and laugh. It was a great time and incredibly nice to get away from everything, even if for only a weekend.

After the weekend was over, I thought long and hard about getting myself a firearm so that I would have one of my own for the next trip. After talking it over with my wife, who was very reluctant, I went out and got myself an inexpensive SKS Rifle. This was one of the guns that I shot at mans weekend. It gave me a decent sized bruise across my shoulder from all of the rounds fired, but I enjoyed shooting it the most.

A couple of months later I became interested in picking up a pistol for concealed carry. Just like before, my wife was very reluctant but has always been open to my hobbies. Shortly after I met up with a couple of friends and they took me to the gun shop they frequented. With a tight budget, I picked up an old, used, Beretta Model 70S in .380 Auto.

When I got home, I went to my local gun shop to speak with the owner. I asked if he knew anyone that offered a Pistol training class for myself and my wife. He recommended an instructor to teach a certified NRA Basic Pistol Safety Class. A few weeks later, my wife and I were on our way to become educated on basic pistol safety.

I was very adamant about my wife attending this class. I wanted her to feel absolutely comfortable with my new pistol in the house. What happened next really surprised me. She began shooting the instructors .22 Beretta Neos and had a great time. After class, she went on and on about how much fun it was and began talking about possibly getting a pistol of her own (she didn’t enjoy my .380 nearly as much).

A few weeks later she found a brand new Beretta Neos Target Pistol under the Christmas Tree. While we don’t get out to shoot nearly as much as we would like, its something fun that we can do together on a weekend when we don’t have any other plans.

Have you ever been out shooting?
If so, what was your first time like?

4 comments On How I Became a Gun Owner.

  • I have owned a Smith and Wesson 908s 9mm for about 3 years, and I have had my CCW for about that long. I have always enjoyed like guns, but this is the first time I have owned one. I was taken to the range by a friend and loved shooting.

    I think if more Americans went to the range and were comfortable around guns, many issues would go away. People like to just accuse guns of killing people, but a load firearm on a table will never kill anyone. Someone has to pick it up and fire it.

    I always carry my sidearm with me and I feel naked with out it. It is like grabbing my watch, wallet, keys and side arm. Just a natural thing. I hope to NEVER have to pull it let alone shoot anyone, but if anyone threatens me or my family, they will not like the outcome.

    Every law abiding American should be able to own and carry a sidearm with the proper training.

    Get to your local range and fire a gun, it is an amazing experience. Studies have been done that when kids are taught about guns, they will not play with them. Parents teach your kids about guns and that they are not toys, no matter what they see on TV.

    Great article Walt!

  • Walt-
    You may or may not know… I’m a half Japanese, southern US hybrid. What does this mean? Being raised in Florida by people who grew up in the great depression… I was taught at a VERY early age how to handle and shoot firearms. When times are tough, a firearm can be a means to get food, protection, or anything else for that matter.

    I’d say I was 4 years old when I fired my first shot from a .22 rifle, and quickly graduated to a Smith & Wesson .38 special (I still own this gun). From there and into adulthood, its been a variety of guns, shotguns, and rifles. As of now, my sidearm is a Glock .45 (model 36), but I still enjoy the Mossberg 12 guage, Colt .45, Ruger .45, .38 special, and stuff I can’t even remember that I have in the safe.

    Cool article!

  • We use to do alot of skeet shooting using a 20 gauge shotgun. I wasn’t half bad. By this account, I mean I hit about half of what was thrown. It was really fun but as houses were built closer to our land, we had to give it up due to the crowding. My husband and I own several guns and I use a 9mm. Even though it is more difficult for me to load, I find that I do prefer the automatics over revolvers.

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