Guns As They Really Are

My apologies to my son, husband and father:
This is may sound like an awfully girly post about guns.
Humor me, please; I learned a lesson.

I shot my first gun, a Stevens single shot bolt action .22 rifle. A family friend gave it to my son, and coincidentally, it was the same type of gun that my father had as a young man, too.

I grew up in a suburban home where my parents were focused on raising a family, providing for our needs and educating us. My dad didn’t hunt, and neither does my husband, so guns haven’t been a big part of my life. After my parents moved to a more rural community after we all left home, another side of my dad appeared—the one with Montana farm-boy roots.

Whenever we visit their farm, now, my dad is eager to engage my husband and son in some of these activities, like shooting rifles and shotguns, that are new to me.  They are serious about their equipment and safety and their time together.

I appreciate that for them as much as I appreciated that EH and I could watch the midnight showing of Eclipse together. But I usually stay in the house during their adventures.

On this trip, however, my sister’s husband wanted to introduce his children, boys and girl, to the sport of shooting that was so much a part of his growing up years. So, I thought I’d see what this sport involved.

I took my shot. And, honestly, I could take it or leave it.

While I don’t have to like every hobby my family members embrace, I do want to understand their learning, skill and enjoyment.

Another perspective surfaced as I sat on the sidelines considering the importance to these fathers of introducing this next generation to the sport. Beyond allowing them to learn a new skill and develop safe gun practices, these youth were being exposed to guns as they really are, not as they appear to be on the screen.

Target practice on the farm is markedly different than playing video games. Although shooting is simulated on many screens in our culture today, the functional reality is lost without an understanding of the strict rules that need to govern their use, the skill developed over time and practice, and the physical awkwardness of guns and the sore shoulders that result.

I’m reminded of this message given by David A Bednar:

A simulation or model can lead to spiritual impairment and danger if the fidelity is high and the purposes are bad—such as experimenting with actions contrary to God’s commandments or enticing us to think or do things we would not otherwise think or do “because it is only a game.”

I raise an apostolic voice of warning about the potentially stifling, suffocating, suppressing, and constraining impact of some kinds of cyberspace interactions and experiences upon our souls. The concerns I raise are not new; they apply equally to other types of media, such as television, movies, and music. But in a cyber world, these challenges are more pervasive and intense. I plead with you to beware of the sense-dulling and spiritually destructive influence of cyberspace technologies that are used to produce high fidelity and that promote degrading and evil purposes.

Now I recognized the importance of giving my son and my daughters experiences that will keep them grounded in the physical world, beyond the virtual one,  to really understood how to choose well.

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5 Comments

  1. David
    Jul 13, 2010

    Thanks for putting this subject in an interesting and different way. Many of us are not able to express ourselves such, but when we read it we say, “that is exactly how I feel”.

  2. Tina
    Jul 13, 2010

    hey, good thoughts. I have hunting boys in my home and I’m grateful too for them having the ‘opportunity’ to see what those things are like in the real world. I too hope that by being out there they are able to keep the realities of life seperate from all those other things that are more readily available.

  3. Tami Siebert
    Jul 13, 2010

    You hit some very important things here! Nice insight. I also think it’s so important for them to have the opportunities to bond and create good memories together.

  4. Emalee
    Jul 13, 2010

    You put it nicely I believe. This is an important one too for them to see them as they really are. It is also something that we are learning about realistically due to reasons similar to yours and feel that it has been very beneficial.

  5. Camille
    Jul 19, 2010

    I’d love to chat some time about your insights and mine as the wife of the man who wanted to introduce guns to our children. I’m not opposed and do appreciate how he is teaching them safety and a positive way to use guns. I didn’t realize that you joined in down by the shed because of us. That experience on the farm and then others since then have brought a mixture of emotions and a world that I never thought to be a part of.

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