What got you started?


October 4, 2004, 02:32 PM
I'm in my mid 50's now so I know that I came from a different environment from some of you all. (raised on a farm in Hawaii).
My grandfather had a small farm where he had a little mom and pop store and he also grew plants and raised chickens and other "pets" but we were in a valley where we were isolated enough that his farm was often "visited" by stray/wild animals that tried to kill his animals...so at night, he would hand me his flashlight so that I could light up the fighting animals(mostly feral dogs or cats against his animals) and he would more often than not "shoot" the attacking animal with his .22 rifle. i was four at the time and he would show me how to shoot....
Never forgot the excitement of those nights..."hunting" wild dogs....
How about you all? Who got you started? Or what got you started?

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October 4, 2004, 02:49 PM
I'd have to say it was my best friends, a set of twins, who got me started w/ firearms.

Their grandparents had cattle and in the hay barn, there were lots of huge rats.

They both had Daisy single shot .22 rifles and we'd take turns finding the rats and shooting them.

I remember the barn being dark and us, at 10 or 11 years old, being afraid of those huge rats. We'd sit and wait until we heard something and do our best to make out what/where it was in that dark barn. Every now and then we'd get some direct rays of sunlight to peer through the deteriorating tin roof, but that was seldom.

Ahh, the good ole days...

October 4, 2004, 02:59 PM
I've always liked guns.

Who doesn't? Especially young boys! :confused:

Anyhow, one day I just sorta realized "hey! I'm 21 now and can buy guns!"

I was pissed at myself that I forgot that I can buy long guns at 18, but oh well.....:banghead:

So shortly after my 21st birthday, I went and bought a Mossberg Shotgun and Beretta 96.

Then I found TFL via Bladeforums, and you guys helped run me into the poor house where I currently reside.

It's an extremely well-armed poor house though....:D :D :D

And I'm allright with that. :)

October 4, 2004, 03:01 PM
My daddy took me rabbit hunting when I was 12. We used to go goose hunting and duck hunting. He survived the depression by hunting and fishing and it may just be that there wasn't a season on at the time, but those times were different.

He made a crossing shot on a goose at 70 yards, I know because I stepped it off. The big gander dropped deader than a doornail. My brother I were rightly impressed.

He did not deer hunt, so my brother and I had to try to figure that out on our own. Dad died in 1976 and I talk with him often, specailly in the field.

Headless Thompson Gunner
October 4, 2004, 04:54 PM
High school ROTC got me interested in marksmanship. Target shooting was a game unlike anything else going in high school. It stressed self-control, independence, and finesse. All of the other sports required brute force, team-interdependence and "sacrifice" (whatever the heck that meant). I was hooked on shooting instantly.

After a few years they made me graduate. I went off to college and didn't think about shooting for a year or two. But gradually I began to miss shooting. It was a nagging feeling in the back of my mind, that I'd hoped would go away. It didn't. I pushed it away, and went on with my studies.

Then I stumbled upon Oleg's website. It had never occured to me that there were people who were trying to keep me from owning guns. The idea disturbed me. It should be my choice whether or not I own guns, or anything else, and not theirs. That nagging feeling came crashing back, and I just had to own a gun.

That afternoon I made a tour of town, phone book in hand, stopping by every gunshop that was listed. Most of the store workers blew me off, and one outright laughed at me. But I managed to find a small store with a helpful staff that actually showed genuine interest in me. I walked out of that shop with a rusty old Springfield 1903.

It was all downhill from there. I'm convinced that it's not humanly possible to own just one gun. You can own lots of guns, or none at all, but just one simply isn't an option. My Springfield soon had a sibling, and then another. Now there's a big happy family, and more are doubtlessly on the way.

October 4, 2004, 04:56 PM
I was about 5 years old. Did a lot of backyard BB gun shooting of soda cans. My father took me to the gun range where I shot the trusty ol .22 Marlin.

Most memorable moment was when I shot the 20 guage for the first time, knocked me straight on my ass. :D

Black Snowman
October 4, 2004, 05:06 PM
My Dad tought me archery, shooting with the air rifle, then the 22 rilfe, then a 22 revolver. I got a shotty from my parents for my 18th birthday and I saved up for a handgun for my 21st. My Dad contributed and old rifle to trade in tward my handgun purchase. Both were good birthdays.

I think the main catalyst for the EXTENT of my interest in guns is my good friend Kamicosmos. Otherwise I'd probably be doing what I did when I was younger and be blindly bouncing between hobbies looking for something that could hold my interest. Firearms have so much depth to them they've replaced all my other hobbies. Anyone want to buy some RC cars ;)

October 4, 2004, 05:14 PM
My Dad got me started. Use to go out along the Kansas river west of Bonner and shoot at whatever was washed up along the oposite shore. He got me a Marlin 22 on my 16th Birthday after completing the hunter safety course. Hope to get both of my kids into it real soon.

buy guns
October 4, 2004, 05:34 PM
ive always liked guns in general so after moving to florida last year from chicago i figured i should get one.

October 4, 2004, 05:39 PM
It's a family tradition. I seriously believe that you would have been disowned in my family if you didn't like guns. Also grew up shooting archery and hunting as well as fishing.

And I will carry it on with my children as well. While I don't hunt or fish any more I still collect and shoot. My oldest daughter got her first gun at age 5 and the other three rugrats (ages 4, 3 and 3) are all fascinated by guns or anything gun related (You can get some funny looks in the grocery store when your 3 year old spots a gun rag in the magazine racks and starts screaming " Look Daddy, gun Daddy. I want the gun Daddy!!). Even my wife didn't like guns when we got married. The standard "guns are deadly" and "I don't want guns in the house with the kids". Now my biggest problem with her is trying to figure out how to stop her from "borrowing" my guns for her own use. Because in this case "borrowing" means they are now her guns and I may, on rare occasions, be allowed to shoot them.

October 4, 2004, 06:05 PM
My dad has been a life long shooter. But, I didn't live with him. One the few occasions that I did go visit him he would take me to shoot a .22 rifle. This only happened once or twice between tha ages of 10 and 15.

Fast forward 15 years. My wife is pregnant with our son. We live in a Neighborhood on the outskirts downtown Houston. Three nights in a row there wsere attempts to break into our house. I realized that we had no way to protect ourselves or our unborn child.

We went out and bought a handgun. During my range trips to become familiar with the gun I found that it was fun. In fact, what started out as merely a way to protect my family has turned into a very expensive obsession.

October 4, 2004, 06:37 PM
Guns have always been in my family, not really at the forefront, but always present in the background. Grandpa went deer, squirel and rabbit hunting every year. Dad would occasionally join him. I had a BB gun like every other kid...or so it seemed.

Turned 21, and me and some friends decided one day 'We're 21, let's go look at guns'. I bought a .44 Mag Redhawk. Never really thought I'd get so involved with guns and shooting and reloading...it just kinda snowballed on me.

Which is all right with me!


October 4, 2004, 06:59 PM
The prospect of Al Gore becoming President, I was 18 at the time I bought my first AR15.


October 4, 2004, 07:19 PM
Moving from New York to Virginia. I was always was interested in handguns, especially S&W's and 1911's. Mostly from old TV shows and police I knew personally. Kind of out of the question up there, though.

Then I move to VA.
Whole 'nother world.

Standing Wolf
October 4, 2004, 07:47 PM
Ten rounds through a .22 caliber rifle at Boy Scout camp as a boy of about ten: I was hooked for life.

October 4, 2004, 07:51 PM
My dad had/has a small selection of arms that I grew up knowing about, seen and handled a couple of times but never shot. Paul Kersey (Bronson) in the "Death Wish" movies had me sold from a young age, now just having turned 21 and getting my first handgun (USP tactical), i'm already on the slippery slope.

October 4, 2004, 08:16 PM
My father hunted and took me some as a kid, although I don't think I ever shot anything. I had a bb gun and got to shoot some cans with his .22 and can remember at one point shooting his friends black powder pistol.

Bill Clinton got me interested in gun rights, though.

October 4, 2004, 11:03 PM
Dad got me started hunting. About three months after I turned 18, I got a bad urge for a 1911, fell in love with the Springer GI, and settled for a stainless (had to find one in a private trade). A few months later, I seen a Dunhams ad for Mausers. Remember wanting one since I was little, when Dad told me NO, because they were old junk guns. I really haven't looked back from the mil-surp! Went from 0 - 6 in the last three months!

October 4, 2004, 11:09 PM
I never really thought about guns anymore than I did the broom in the corner or the washrag in the sink. When I stayed with my Grandma she had some kind of old revolver sitting on the arm rest of her chair. She carried it upstairs with the chamber pot at bedtime and we listened to the Grand Ole Oprey on the transistor radio and it was pure bliss on the screened in sleeping porch in the dead of winter in a feather bed and enough quits on you it felt like you were lifting lead when you needed to turn over. Ah yes the clock that she wound up and that actually ticked. Then my father always had his hangun within reach. Someone knocked on the door and there that handgun went into the small of his back while he answered the door. The many times as a child I just knew a monster was under the bed or in the closet or outside my window I knew he would come and check every corner to reassure me I was safe. He died 5 years ago and is missed. He gave me my first handgun at age 18 to keep me safe while traveling 25 miles to the university and yep it stayed in the dorm with me as well. Turned 35 and got to go hunting and now I'm hooked. Got the internet and found out about the Emerson case and read that MY Government was arguing that I did not have a right own my firearms. I bought many more joined the NRA,GOA, JPFO etc. My mon who is now 73 went with me and we both got our CCW and both carry. Man what a life.!!!!!!!!!! Oh just got my 2nd LARGE gunsafe last week.:D

Captain Bligh
October 5, 2004, 12:18 AM
I started following my Daddy and Grandpa around the woods before I was old enough to go to school. In some families men play golf or watch football. In my family, men hunted and fished.

Captain Bligh

October 5, 2004, 01:26 AM
Like Captain Bligh, that's what men in my family did, hunt and fish. On my sixth birthday in 1937, I got a used Stevens Favorite single shot .22 and a box of .22 Shorts. I started putting squirrels and rabbits on the family table.

I most often hunted by myself as the men were working or looking for work. Dad didn't mind me hunting with the family adults if he was at work but I couldn't hunt with other kids because he didn't know how they'd been trained.

I honestly cannot remember when I caught my first fish but I catching them, cleaning them and bringing them home before that sixth birthday.


October 5, 2004, 01:54 AM
Up into my twenties, I hated (was afraid of) guns. i came from a liberal Jewish family, and knew that GUNS WERE BAD.

One day at a colege friend's house, one of his old high school buddies comes over, to show off his new 357 Magnum revolver. I told my friend that either the gun left, or I did (to be fair, the guy was ignoring Rules 1 and 2). I ended up leaving. On the drive home, I was angry at the situation, and I thought I'd handled it well, but I realized that if I hadn't been able to leave, or if I had had to handle the gun, I wouldn't have known what to do.

So I decided to educate myself about guns-after all, I could argue against them so much more persuasively if I knew something about them, right? ;)

Two years later, having read everything I could get my hands on and stopping at every pawn shop and sporting goods store in the Eastern United States to hold 'em and chew the ears of "experts", I went to the range to shoot for the first time...

So, who wants to hear about my new Yugo M59/66 SKS? :D :D :D

October 5, 2004, 10:30 AM
My Dad was a small-arms expert in the Korean War. He talked fondly of firearms (especially the quad-50 halftrack he commanded), but never owned one once he left the Army.

Being a city boy, he never hunted, either.

When I first moved to Texas, I was in my mid-20's and had never owned a gun. But I got to thinking about it, and bought a .357 magnum revolver. I remember telling the salesman, "I just want it for target practice. I have no illusions of defending my home against an intruder."

A few weeks later, someone tried breaking in. I scared him off, thank God.

But since then, I've bought a few more guns, learned to hunt a little (Dad never did approve of that), and no one has ever been able to convince me that private ownership of firearms is a bad idea.

Bwana John
October 5, 2004, 10:41 AM
My maternal Grandfather started me shooting, and gave me my first firearms (a .22 @ 10yo, A M1917 .30-06 Enfield @ 12yo)
Heres a pic of him on the Yangtze River in 1930 pulling a deck watch with a Thompson SMG

Red X :cuss: Try the attachment 3 posts down.

October 5, 2004, 10:43 AM
The've been around my whole life. My dad thought of them as tools, so they were more of an afterthought. 25 years later on a 4th date, I get into this argument with this girl over gun control. She thought a 3 day waiting period was a good idea. We fought about it for an hour when she finally asked me if I owned any guns. I said "yeah, but they are hunting guns I keep at my parents." Asked why I care then. I said it was our right.

A few months later she attends a "Women in the Outdoors" weekend camping/fishing/huning outing and shoots a .357. She asked me if I had one. I said "No, just a few shotguns and .22's." She said "you should get a .357"

We're married now...

I'm convinced that it's not humanly possible to own just one gun. AMEN!

Oh just got my 2nd LARGE gunsafe last week. I so envy you!!!:)

Bwana John
October 5, 2004, 10:47 AM
Lets try grandpas picture again
Red X:banghead:

Bwana John
October 5, 2004, 11:00 AM
I got the RedX on the last two pics, Lets try this one more time

My Grandpa (who started me shooting) on the Yangtze River, pulling a deck watch with a Thompson SMG

Black Dragon
October 5, 2004, 12:38 PM
My grandfather and father took me Deer hunting. My uncle, one of Uncle
Sam's Misguide Childern (USMC), was a drill sgt who taught weapons to
the newest memebers of Uncle Sam's Misguide Childern. Between the
three of them I learned how to hunt, shoot and stay alive outdoors for long
periods of time. Then a Mini-14 fell into my hands for next to nothing and
it was all over from there.:)

October 5, 2004, 03:33 PM
This is a great topic. I enjoyed reading all the responses.

I'm a city (Chicago) boy. I've gone on the occasional fishing trip, but have never really been hunting. Before I was ten years old my older brother got a Daisy Red Rider for Christmas. Soon enough, he had a hi-powered pellet gun and I got the Red Rider. I was promised that if I used common sense and didn't injure anyone I too would get a hi-power pellet gun. Within a year I had one. We pretty much shot up everything in the unfinished basement of our Chicago bungalow. (With Dad's consent) My dad also bought us our own bows and we practiced frequently.

My dad owned firearms as a kid, but we never really had money while growing up so he never owned a firearm while I knew him. He wasn't anti, although his sisters were (are) probably mainly because their father turned a gun on himself years earlier in a bout of depression.

Some of my best childhood buddies had brothers who were kind enough to lend out their guns to us as we got older. I so wanted one, but just couldn't afford it. (My friend's brother loaned me a Taurus PT-92 and it was the first semi-auto I really shot...and liked) After graduating college I went back to looking to purchase a firearm, and my girlfriend at the time was ok with that. I never bought one, mainly because the sales guy was trying to sell my an H&K uber expensive gun I couldn't afford. (I'll never understand that)

Well, I married my g/f, we settled down, and had a couple of kids. Finally, after some years of working and paying down debt I had some discretionary income. However, my now wife was dead-set against having a firearm in the house with children. September 11th changed my way of thinking, and I realized that I may need a firearm to defend my family. So, just a few short years ago I decided to purchase my first firearm, a Glock 19 9mm. I now own 2 firearms (along with a SA 1911 loaded) and am looking for a third. My wife doesn't know I have them (a story in itself, I suppose) but I thought it better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

Andrew Rothman
October 5, 2004, 06:11 PM
Born and raised a liberal by New York Jews. Shot .22 rifles at camp at about 12 or 13, but never thought much about it.

At 19, took a friend's .22 target pistol to the range, because I'd never fired a handgun. It was fun, but I never though much about it.

As the years went by and my libertarian views solidified, I still never thought much about owning a gun.

Then, a year and a half ago, Minnesota went shall-issue. Suddenly, t made sense to own a gun!

The wife didn't like it -- really, really didn't like it. She said that I wasn't to carry while out with her or the kids. :rolleyes:

I showed her, with Snap Caps loaded, how the SmartCarry (http://www.smartcarry.com) holster covered the trigger, and how hard it was to pull a 12-lb trigger. She grudgingly admitted that the gun wouldn't "go off" on its own.

Some weeks later, we went to a nice restaurant in a less-than-nice neighborhood. She surprised me by saying, "you better have been carrying."

Of course I was -- I carried all the time. Still do.

She still thinks my life is too safe to need a gun, and won't get one herself, or come with me to the range, but she accepts that I now am, and always will be a gun owner.

(And I think, as time goes by, she'll come around. I just hope she doesn't have to learn the hard way.)

October 5, 2004, 06:15 PM
10 years old, Boy Scout summer camp, .22 range. Never looked back. I ran that same range when I was in college. I always hoped I inspired a few scouts to take up shooting.

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