guns in public "once upon a time"


March 8, 2006, 04:50 PM
The thread about the member who had some shotshells in his truck had a number of "we used to ....."

It would be interesting for us to see where we came from, It may help us tell where we are going.:

I used to take my uncased 30# bow and a quiver of arrows to the end of the bus line and go hunting. Later I got a good bicycle and rode there. My nephew had a .22LR that he took cased in the bus to an indoor range. This was Milwaukee, WI circa 1960. Then came GCA 1968 and it all changed.

Any other stories?

Next post sometime. When did the "Nanny State" start?

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March 8, 2006, 05:17 PM
It was common to see uncased rifles and shotguns in pickup truck, back window gun racks, well into the 1970's around here. Boxes of ammo were almost always on the dash.


March 8, 2006, 05:32 PM
It was common to see uncased rifles and shotguns in pickup truck, back window gun racks, well into the 1970's around here. Boxes of ammo were almost always on the dash.

When I was growing up I remember my uncles carrying (at least) a shotgun and a rifle most of the time. This was norm for most trucks in the small town I grew up in. I don't know if this is still legal today or not as it became so common to me that I stoped noticing whether or not a truck with gun rack had a gun in it or not. However, I don't see them making guns in gun racks of truck illegal due to southern heritage.

March 8, 2006, 05:37 PM
You may find this hard to believe, but I used to fly all the time with guns. I usually had a handgun of some sort in my carryon, long guns were cased and carried on as well. I'd hand them to the stewardess (that's what they were called a long time ago!) and she'd (ALWAYS a "she") put them in the coat closet with the hanging bags and hand them to me as I got off the plane.

That was before the infamous D.B. Cooper incident. That's when all that really started changing.

March 8, 2006, 05:38 PM
getting shotguns in the mail from Sears.

...and walking through the center of town with a couple of friends all of us carrying .22's on our way bunny hunting and never getting as much as a second glance from anybody.

Whoever said you can't go home again was right.

March 8, 2006, 05:42 PM

Shot ROTC marksmanship at high school.

Nobody thought twice about it.

March 8, 2006, 05:45 PM
Another "hard to believe", but in high school, I took my rabbit gun to school with me so I could go hunting straight from school. Lots of us used to do that. Heck, you'd even see pickup trucks in the student parking lot with guns in the gun rack. I even remember a kid when I was in 3rd or 4th grade bringing in a German Luger to "show and tell". Can you imagine that today!!!!

These days people make comments like "Where do kids get these guns?" and I think about us. Hell, at least 75% of the boys in my graduating class probably owned at least one gun of their own by then. I keep telling people that it's not the guns and it's not access to guns. Back in the fifties in rural america just about every kid had access to guns and there were no school shootings. If we had a beef with someone we went out by the bleachers and had a knock down drag out and that was it. It never occured to us to go get our gun and shoot someone!

March 8, 2006, 06:02 PM
I graduated from high school in 2001 and I remember when I was in middle school the high schoolers would bring their bows and paintball guns to school on the bus to show various teachers who were into that sort of stuff. I'm from an extremely small town, about 2 thousand including all the hill folk (myself included) and to this day when I go home I still see people driving around with guns in the gun racks in their trucks.

of course I remember looking across the valley into deliverence on summer nights watching the spot lights as people jack light deer in the farm fields.

March 8, 2006, 06:04 PM
Yup ... I recall ordering my revolvers and rifles by mail in the 60's while in the Air Force in California (can you believe that ?), taking my shotgun, more likely my cousins, a box of shells an going across the street to the railroad tracks ... we use to walk along the tracks and shoot squirrels, anything that flew by and rabbits. I was maybe 10, my cousin and his friends about the same. This was in Wisconsin, across the river from Minneapolis. Before4 10, it'd be BB guns and the likely kid had a .177 pellet rifle.

Ahhh the simple and naive life was sure wonderful. :)

Standing Wolf
March 8, 2006, 06:06 PM
A week or ten days after John Kennedy's assassination, a high school friend brought his rifle—identical or nearly identical to Oswald's—to school for show and tell during history class.

The principal or assistant principal stopped him on the way in to make sure it was unloaded, heard what the purpose of bringing it to school was, and suggested he leave it in his locker until class and not forget to take it home at the end of the day.

Nobody got shot. Isn't that amazing?

March 8, 2006, 06:14 PM
Early 1960' bus driver carried a (cased) double barrel 12 gauge behind his seat. Ten kids left on the bus when we saw pheasants in a nearby corn field....bus driver stops, his son got the shotgun, poked it out the bus window and tagged a rooster. Rest of us kids went running out to see who'd be first to get the pheasant. Do that today and you'd be on every network news channel....if not in jail.

March 8, 2006, 06:18 PM
My dad was a high school teacher and a hunter safety instructor. He taught his hunter safety class at the high school after hours. One time he forgot to bring the rifle and shotgun he was going to use as props, so he asked me to bring them from our house to his classroom. I ran into the principal as I was entering the high school. The principal made a joke about not shooting anybody and went on his way. ;)

March 8, 2006, 06:23 PM
nwgunslinger: "...and there were no school shootings."
No, see... that's the thing. There were school shootings. There were occasionally gun-related crimes, and according to most statistics there was a lot more physical violence (in terms of fights and such) than there is now. The difference is media attention, and people's attitude towards personal responsibility.

A kid in Kentucky built 12 pipe bombs and hid them under his school. When he set them off, one of the rooms was wrecked, but most of the bombs were duds and no one was hurt. The interesting thing about that case? Nobody wanted to ban gunpowder and plumbing because of it. No one blamed the media or the books the kid had been reading, or the music he'd been listening to, or the people he was hanging around with. This was in 1916, and people blamed the kid and the parents who raised him.

But anyway...

When I was a kid growing up in WV, if you were more than 12 or 13 years old and didn't have a .22 and a shotgun of some kind (commonly a .16 or .20 gauge) then people just assumed you were morally deficient or something. On Saturday mornings we'd all grab our shotguns and go "sight hunting" (shooting whatever happened to pop into your sights) for birds, squirrels, rabbits, whatever. Nobody would see us or hear from us until the sun was about to go down - and nobody worried about it.

March 8, 2006, 06:31 PM
I graduated from High School in 1974, and more days than not I had guns in my vehicle in the school parking lot, even in plain sight when I drove a pick-up. This was much more convenient than having to go home first before hunting jack rabbits, doves, quail, and other small game in the appropriate seasons.

I took guns to school as drama props, and even once for a "show and tell" sort of activity in a public speaking class.

We would check un-neutered M14s (with "da' switch") out of the ROTC arms room for drill, cleaning, etc., and could also check .22 match rifles out to fire on the indoor range.

Really strange that none of us gunned down our class mates, what were we doing wrong?

beaucoup ammo
March 8, 2006, 06:54 PM
One of our Dad's would drop us off for a 2 or 3 week stay in the summer. Had a little screened in shack with a boat right on the water. Always had our 22's along..neighbors 100 yards away on the left and right..never a problem..just a friendly wave.

See You At The Range

March 8, 2006, 07:11 PM
When I was in 7th grade (1979) taking Hunter Safety, the teacher wanted us to bring our guns to school for "gun cleaning day". Imagine virtually every boy in 7th grade showing up with a shotgun, .22, or deer rifle; we came on foot, by bus, etc. I rode my bike.

March 8, 2006, 08:04 PM
For one of my 10th grade (1974) metal shop classes I made a hunting knife with a 6" blade from a power hack saw blade.

When my younger brother was in gym class (1977ish) they had archery and the teacher allowed all who hunted to bring their own equipment to class instead of the cheap fiberglass recurves the school provided.

March 8, 2006, 08:14 PM
Heck, I'm only nineteen and I remember a time back when I was younger when folks rode around with rifles in their trucks all the time, talked about hunting all the time, and actually had good places to go hunting...and yes, they actually went hunting often.
It's still around these days, but not as much...
Of course, I live in a pretty rural area.

March 8, 2006, 08:16 PM
My high school principal was a big hunter, and he used to "teach" a study hall class (blow off class for seniors).

I remember taking that study hall and spending every class in the back of the room with a compound bow and foam target working on techniques and talking about the upcoming hunting season.

March 8, 2006, 08:17 PM
It was common to see uncased rifles and shotguns in pickup truck, back window gun racks, well into the 1970's around here. Boxes of ammo were almost always on the dash.

Same here and carried a 22 rifle in the back of my Mustang. Everyone could see it

March 8, 2006, 08:20 PM
This wasn't me, but a fellow on another board had a high school story. At the time many of the students had rifles and shotguns in their cars for deer season. One day, a notice went out over the louspeaker announcing that, due to a recent rash of daytime car break-ins, students were advised to bring their firearms into school for the day.

March 8, 2006, 08:28 PM
"This was in 1916, and people blamed the kid and the parents who raised him."

there is the difference, to day the blame gets spread so thin as to make the crime nearly irrevelant.
personal responsability, then, now and always, no matter what "they" say.:banghead:

March 8, 2006, 08:35 PM
Philomath, Oregon, circa 1983-84: It was not uncommon for kids to bring rifles to school in their vehicles during hunting season. My best friend and I often brought rifles so we could go plink* at the local gravel pit in the afternoons. Also, any self-respecting boy always had a pocketknife in those days.

I know it's hard to imagine, but nobody ever got hurt. Strange, but true. :rolleyes:

* - Maybe plinking isn't the right word with a .270 - it's amazing what that does to a glass bottle (remember those?) filled solid with water...

March 8, 2006, 08:45 PM
Its sad, but funny. People are always asking me for my pocket knife or flashlight (mini maglight) its sad because they are so helpful, yet no one carries them anymore, and funny because...well...i dunno why.

March 8, 2006, 08:49 PM
When I was 16 (1970) a friend's father gave me a little RG .22LR revolver. A real piece of crap gun but hey, it was my first handgun (already owned several long guns by then) and I had a lot of fun with it. The thing is, the guy that gave it to me was a sergeant on the local police department. Can you imagine what would happen to a cop today who gave a handgun to a juvenile?

I carried that gun to school in my car everyday so I could go plinking in nearby woods after school, or shoot at the Optimist Club's range which was set up next to their club house.

Before I could drive I often carried a gun across the handle bars of my bicycle. Some days it was a Daisy BB gun that was a dead ringer for a Winchester Model 94. Other days it was a Stevens Favorite .22 rifle, or my Winchester Model 37 shotgun. It just depended on where I was going and the type of shooting I was planning. Nobody ever paid me any attention.

Old Time Hunter
March 8, 2006, 08:58 PM
Boy did that strike a memory nerve! BigFatKen remembers Milwaukee in the early '60s, riding the bus with a gun, uncased! Spent my early-mid teenage years in the Milwaukee area during the '60s. First gun I bought was at Treasure Island, 30-30 Glenfield for $49.95, when I was 16 years old. Bought a box of shells and hitch hiked (actually picked up by a county cop,who thought it was better to drive me rather than scare the wits out of the city folk!) over to the Nike site for a special deer hunt on the base in early November. Had the gun over my shoulder walking down the road!

March 8, 2006, 09:08 PM
I recall similar stories as others have posted here during the '70's.

We shot after school sometimes. I shot in my backyard while mom
was inside looking out the window over the kitchen sink. My buddy
and I would be hand throwing clay pigeons, both at my house and
his. During HS it was very common to have a .22 and/or shotgun
in our car(s).

I recall once getting into a fight (sticking up for a smaller kid). I got
paddled and kicked out of school, along with the big bad kid.
Years later - after all the media attention on this topic - I recalled that at the time I had a .22 in my car. This was during 10th grade, it never occurred
to me to go get my gun and shoot anyone. My dad also took the belt to me later. Oh, and he congratulated me for steping in and
helping the smaller kid out. Kinda odd, I don't know why he also
whipped me???? No one ever mentioned the fact there was a gun
in my car.

Were we just all accidents waiting to happen? Why do none of us
seem "plussed" about the fact kids had easy access to guns?

Have people really changed that much?

March 8, 2006, 09:32 PM
Sunnyvale High School, my sophmore year, got the principal's permission to bring my Browning Nomad to speech and debate class for discussion. The year was 70/71.

At about the same time, we had a cabin about two or three miles outside of Boulder Creek (in the Santa Cruz mountains). Used to hike on fire roads from the cabin into town and go the general store to buy penny candy. All the while wearing a Ruger Single Six in a Hunter holster on a web belt. Sometimes carrying a Remington Nylon 66.

No one, and I mean no one, batted an eye, even though this was in what later became one of the most liberal parts of the state of ********** (outside L.A.).

Had some good times back then, sigh.......:rolleyes:

March 8, 2006, 09:40 PM
I am from the land of the gun rack...also known as West Virginia. I can remember riding out to the house in my grandfather's truck and one of his shotguns bouncing off the rack and hitting me very hard on the head. It was nothing to see guys riding through town in the bed of a pick-up with rifles stapped to them.

March 8, 2006, 09:55 PM
I remember in grade school, around 1962, bringing a .22 to Catholic school for show and tell, and the Nun holding the gun and working the bolt. Other times after school the guys in the neighborhood would walk down Route 1 just outside Boston with shotguns to head to the woods near the "Blue Hills' and around Dedham, no one cared. We might get a honk or two on the way home if we were carrying pheasants.

Lastly I remember riding the bus from the center of town in Norwood up to the area near Walpole State Prison to hunt pigeons and other birds. Some of the guns might be cased, but that just meant you had domething else to carry, or had to end up back where we started to pick up the case, so most time we carried the shotguns in the open.

I also remember buying bullets at the local sporting good store with a note from my father before I was 15.

March 8, 2006, 10:21 PM
As I am born and raised in San Fransisco and am only 24 I havent got such stories but theses make me miss the "good old days," as well.

March 8, 2006, 11:07 PM
I used to take my rifle (a 30-30 Marlin 336 DT) to high school for 2 weeks of every year (firearms deer season in Michigan) and lock it in my locker... so i was ready to go to hunting camp after school... this was 1984-1988...

Knob Creeker
March 8, 2006, 11:22 PM
Around here I still see a lot of shotguns and rifles in the back windows of trucks. Not as much as I used to due to theft. With all the meth problems and what not, there are too many people willing to smash in a window and steal a gun if it’s right there in the open.

As for stories, when I was in fifth grade, 1988-89, I made a .22 pistol for the science fair. I just followed the instructions out of TM 31-210 Improvised Munitions. It wasn’t very reliable but it did work. I got a C on it, my teacher didn’t like the idea of me making a gun, didn’t think it was ‘scientific’ enough I guess. All the same, I got to display it in the gym along with all those crappy baking soda volcanoes and Styrofoam solar systems. I’ve still got it somewhere, but since I have grown a little wiser with age, there is no way I would try and test fire it again.

Jtward01: I have actually still got one of those RG-.22 short revolvers; had it since I was about 15. I would get rid of it but I don’t think anyone would even give $30 for that turd. I have shot at tin cans and watched the bullets bounce off, leaving just a slight dent.

ryan in maine
March 8, 2006, 11:33 PM
Well jeez fellas, come on up here to Maine if you can stand the taxes. There's still a healthy and thriving population of folks who proudly display their rifles on the gun rack in their truck.

Heck, there's even some folks with gun racks in their cars!

March 8, 2006, 11:51 PM
I used to bring my deer rifles/shotguns to school (trunk of my car) to go huunting after school with friends. I used to bring my Guns and Ammo magazines to read during study halls. I graduated in a class of 110 or so in 1985.

March 9, 2006, 12:54 AM
I used to leave my 870 in the back seat of my car all day in highschool, and go off to shoot with other day students; one had a little range set up out back of his house. One time we went by a local grocery store, picked up some past ripe watermellons, and tested a couple of brands of buckshot on them. The sad thing is, this was 1993, and if you tried that now, you'd be in a lot of trouble if anyone noticed. We've lost a lot of ground in a very short time.

Brian Dale
March 9, 2006, 01:06 AM
Like Sistema1927, I took a rifle as a high school drama prop: we performed the musical entitled Showboat in the summer of 1976, in a large suburb of Minneapolis.

There was risk involved, though: rust fingerprints would have been bad on an original 1873 Winchester rifle. :eek:

Vermont Guy
March 9, 2006, 12:59 PM
Oh yeah.

Early sixty's, small Kansas town. The student body president brought his flintlock rifle to the football games and fired off a round whenever we scored.

The history teacher brought her husband's cap and ball revolver to class when we were studying the Civil War and passed it around for us all to handle.

March 9, 2006, 01:02 PM
Vermont guy, we did the same thing when studying the civil war. We passed around a pistol and a sword from the era. This was in the early-mid 70's. I wonder how well that would go over today.

beaucoup ammo
March 9, 2006, 01:24 PM
We'd drive up to Goose Island State Park, north of Rock Port, Texas on the coast. All in our teens and 20's..we'd have our dad's .45's, hunting rifles, 22's, you name it. We'd blast away at the city dump adjacent to the state park all week end..camping out over night.

Park rangers would drive by and wave. All was well because we weren't in the park. They'd even stop and take a couple of shots with their issues!

See You At The Range

March 10, 2006, 10:58 PM
In high-school it was the tradition to celebrate July 24 (Utah statehood day) by wearing cowboy garb. Probably around 25% of the guys would wear gunbelts, with guns. Wasn't a big deal and nothing untoward ever happened.

March 11, 2006, 02:35 AM
my dad told me about he and his friends would take the city bus, with their rilfles open carry , on the bus , to the end of the city line, then go hunting. i think this was pacific northwest, back in the 50's r60's.

March 11, 2006, 02:49 AM
I am not really old enough to remember any stories being as I was born in 78 of such things. Only ting I can relate to is there are still some places, where there is alot of hunting land that the cops pay you no mind during hunting season if you have guns. I went hunting this lastnovember and we drove through a rather highly populated area not too far from the forest and such where everyone was hunting(10-15 miles) I with my CCW had my handgun under my coat but my friend without his had his hand made gun belt and ruger blackhawk in it hanging on his hip. The gun belt also had 36 live rounds in it as well as the loaded gun. Walked into conveinience store and grocery store. Nobody ever said a word other then nice gun. I was riding around with mine between the bucket seats in the front of my truck. Unloaded as per law, but in plain view. Cop even stood 10 feet from me and watched my pull my rifle out(in town) and set it on top the hood, to get to my other coat. I removed my coat(in public oh no) which showed off my gun to the whole world. I changed coats put the rifle back between the seats and the only comment I got was "those are a couple of damn nice guns there" from the cop. Tillamook Oregon population unknown but pretty damn big. I live in SE Portland now, having your shirt blow up in the wind and exposing your gun even if your hands are in the air is enough to get our cops to draw and fire upon you. SIGH. Oh well. Interestingly enough I'm considering moving to Tillamook after I graduate with my degree.

Rev. Michael

March 11, 2006, 05:20 AM
Not too big of a deal, but I remember when I was about 5 years old, (born in 1983), I was able to buy swisher sweets and .22 shells for my dad at Finches. I just pointed to the vehicle that he was in, (a tracker at the time), and told the clerk that my dad wanted me to get these. No problems after the first time, even then, the clerk just looked out the window to make sure that the vehicle was actually there.

Also, when I was in 10th grade, a brother of my friend asked me if I wanted to see his rifles, (at school). I said sure, so he popped open his trunk and let me gander at them. The only thought that entered my mind was "umm, you can't hunt in town you know?" He laughed, and told me it was for after school. Made sense to me, so I let it go at that. Granted, nobody knew he had a firearm in his vehicle besides me and him, but I didn't find it that big of a deal.

During hunting season around here, you regularly hear the report of the rifle. No big deal around here. If it wasn't for the darn F&G with thier damn planes, it's just how I imagine it was in a by-gone era. You can't hear those things unless they're right on top of you! Damn planes. I wonder what they would have to say about hunting with an AK with a 75 round drum? It's not against any statute since no restrictions on magazine capacity exist in WA.

March 11, 2006, 06:21 AM
I remember my dad receiving and unwrapping two winchester 12 guage shotguns. in California. On the flipside I have a 6 or 7 lead musket balls found in europe with a metal detector that my son brought to show and tell. The teacher promptly confiscated them saying that they were weapons:what:
Lead round balls can you imagine that. Needless to say I recovered them from the school.:mad:

March 11, 2006, 08:44 AM
We, as did friends, used to shoot in our residential backyards not far from Annapolis, Maryland in the mid to late 1960s.

How things have been changed.


March 11, 2006, 09:15 AM
The Southern communities are just as peaceful and religious as the Northern. The Southerner may be more highly cultured, and anything he does is naturally conspicuous. Carrying a revolver is a fad, just a fad or a fashion; but the revolvers are mightly harmless. Of course there are desperadoes on the frontier, but that is the only part of the world they live in. Their deeds give a false character to their district. I have carried a revolver; lots of us do, but they are the most innocent things in the world.
- "Mark Twain Put to the Question" interview, Adelaide South Australian Register, 10/14/1895

March 11, 2006, 09:57 AM
I was born too late, I think. I would've loved to experience this kind of openness about firearms - everywhere I've been, there's a taboo on them. I tell someone that I own old rifles from WWII and before, they give me a look and ask what the heck I need THOSE for, aren't they for KILLING? :banghead:

People amaze me with their stupidity.

March 11, 2006, 10:00 AM
Late 60's, I'm on my way from N.M. to Salt Lake City, when the engine dies in my car. Retrieving my duffel, deer rifle and my dog Chad from the car I started to hitch. I made sure that the rifle was in very plain sight, perched atop the bag. I had no problems getting rides. No one even mentioned it. Everyone liked my dog :) .

Not sure I could do this now, perhaps someone from , N.M. or UT. would comment.

March 11, 2006, 10:15 AM
When I was a kid growing up in WV, if you were more than 12 or 13 years old and didn't have a .22 and a shotgun of some kind (commonly a .16 or .20 gauge) then people just assumed you were morally deficient or something.

I like that. Used to carry my 20 ga double on the school bus to rabbit hunt. I'd drop it off at my friends, then ride to his house that night and go hunting. I wore long underwear and work boots to school so I'd be ready to go. Guess it'd be hard to rabbit hunt in the Nike shoes and Starter jackets kids wear now

Funny, every farm house had a .22 and a shotgun and I don't every remember anybody getting shot. I sharted shooting .22's at maybe 7 or 8 (by myself).

El Tejon
March 11, 2006, 10:23 AM
Here's my favorite: my father used to shoot rats at the city dump in the late '40s/early '50s. He and his friends would tie their rifles to their bike handles or sling them over their backs, ride to the dump, shoot rats all morning (with the blessing of the city!), and ride back to downtown to the "soda shop" for lunch.

During lunch the wife of the owner made them put their guns up by the front door , where people usually left their umbrellas or coats, while they sat at the counter. Sometimes a city cop would be there and talk to them about their adventures or about guns. Dad told me once a cop bought him a milkshake because he shot the most rats.

This was Bloomington, Indiana, circa 1947 to 1953.

Another I like is that my paternal grandfather ran a hardware store in Bloomington. One day a barrel full of Liberators was on the truck from Indianapolis (after WWII the factories around Indy were drowning in war surplus--a lot went up in smoke or was thrown into rivers). Grandfather bought the barrel, opened the barrel and stuck a "for sale" sign in them near the cash register like an impulse buy item!:eek: Many were apparently sold as "toy guns", painted bright colors and used to play "Lone Ranger" or "The Shadow".

My grandfather told me that he would not sell guns to kids, unless he knew their parents or they had a note from a relative!:eek: Oh, and he sold ammo by the round. Different times, different planet. Can you imagine any of this happening now, even in my state? The SWAT team would cart kids away like gangsters and the politicians would be doing backflips over the "horrific danger to our children.":banghead:

March 11, 2006, 01:20 PM
I was a schoolboy back in 1985 in Switzerland. President Reagan was meeting with Soviet leader Gorbatchev in Geneva to discuss arms cuts.
In my school playground, the Swiss Army had deployed an anti aircraft battery. I remember playing with the off-duty soldiers and their (unloaded) guns at every playtime.
Just imagine what the media would say if such a thing happened nowadays!

March 11, 2006, 01:29 PM
I tell someone that I own old rifles from WWII and before, they give me a look and ask what the heck I need THOSE for, aren't they for KILLING?

Tell them they are "for" whatever you decide. In your case tell them they are historical artifacts that serve two puposes. To be beautiful and historic works of craftmanship and to put holes in little pieces of paper. Unless you actually hunt with them then add a 3rd. Few people that collect antique teapots actually use them to make tea.

Used to carry my 20 ga double on the school bus to rabbit hunt.

When we got on the school bus during hunting season we had to let the driver check to make sure they were not loaded. This was not that long ago. This was WV also.

March 11, 2006, 02:09 PM
I just turned 16 and you guys don't understand how envious I am.

March 11, 2006, 02:10 PM
I just turned 16 and you guys don't understand how envious I am.
You are 16, you don't understand how envious alot of us are. :)

March 11, 2006, 02:38 PM
When I was in the Senior Class Play in high school in 1969, the director of the play (a teacher) asked if anyone had a shotgun they could bring to use in the play.

I volunteered my pump 12 gauge. Teacher said, “OK.”

So, when it was the night of the dress rehearsal, I swung the 12 gauge over my shoulder and wanted into the school and to the auditorium

Did the same thing for both nights of the play.

The teacher asked me to make certain that it was unloaded. Those were my only instructions. No one blinked or asked a single question when they saw the weapon.

Fudgie Ghost
March 11, 2006, 04:26 PM
Dig this if you will----when I was a freshman in high school, 1970/71, one of the gym "electives" you could take was riflery. The school had a pistol range under the cafeteria and we shot single-shot .22's on those NRA targets. I forget, but they were like 9 or 12 small targets on a sheet.

Now you're probably thinking the ole' Fudgie Ghost went to high school in some gun friendly place out west or down south. Wrong meatball hips! This was in the same suburban town I live in now--not 25 miles from Manhattan--thats NYC, not Kansas. Oh The times they--uh, DID done changed. . . to paraphrase Mr. Dylan. . . That's where I first smelled that funny smell of cordite--and all this in between classes in Westchester! Who'd a thunk it?

Today, in this same community, a good friends's son, some years ago, in his grammar school art class, tore a piece of paper and remarked that it looked like a gun---got a note or call to his mom for it. His Vietnam Vet dad was pretty steamed. Ah progress. . .

March 11, 2006, 04:31 PM
when I was a freshman in high school, 1970/71
Man, you are old. :)
Seriously, cool story though.

PS- What is a fudgie ghost? Is that a spectre with a loose bowl? :)

March 11, 2006, 04:55 PM
In the early 80s, my dad was breaking in a new puppy to the world of hunting. I rode with him out of town, and we stopped at a random corn field. Dad pulled out a 410 shotgun, and he shot a box of shells, starting with the dog in the car and gradually moving the dog in closer. About halfway through, the farmer pulls up in his truck. My dad introduces himself, then he and the farmer start talking about dogs and exchanging training tips. The farmer then invited my dad to come out in the fall to go pheasant hunting with him, wished us good luck with the new dog, and drove away. There were evil farmers back in those days too, but today i even get nervous loading a shotgun into the trunk. The neighbors might see me.

Another thing i remember, at least in the late 70s, was that people would still display operational firearms by hanging them on the walls. And glass display cabinets were popular too. I've been in more than a few houses (including both my sets of grandparents) where these displayed firearms were visible from outside the house. Nowadays, some gun owners brag about how they keep their firearms disassembled, with a trigger lock, in a safe, with their ammo in another safe. That is probably a generational (and geographical) thing though. Why does it not surprise me that maine still has a fairly open gun culture? So does northwoods minnesota. (My friend's uncle had somewhere in excess of 30 guns stolen, safe and a good chunk of the concrete, out of his garage in rural illinois a few years back, and i am by no means recommending we display our firearms like back in the good ol' days. Times change.)

Then there was the time my uncle took a pellet gun, sat on top of a building downtown, and shot a whole bunch of pigeons that were doing their pigeon thing on the cars in the parking lot below. I'm sure he was seen up there, as the building was on main street and he did it over lunch hour on a work day. And i'm sure he was smoking cigarettes while he was doing it too :)

Malone LaVeigh
March 11, 2006, 04:58 PM
engineer, they still have JROTC at Gulfport High.

In the 60s, we used to ride through town with our .22s on our handlebars. I did find out the hard way that I was not supposed to shoot on the riverbank inside city limits. Got arrested with my brother and friend. The police took us to the station and called our parents. Then volunteered to take us to the police range whenever we wanted to shoot. I was 12 or 13.

Later, it used to be common to carry a shotgun or rifle downtown when going to the gun shop. I remember feeling especially responsible because I carried my shotgun broken open.

March 11, 2006, 06:58 PM
I wonder how it will be in another 20-30 years.

March 11, 2006, 10:56 PM
When we were studying the Revolutionary War in maybe 3rd grade in about 1958, I took an old Revolutionary War Flintlock of my dad's to school. No problems at all, no complaints. On the way home, I accidentally bayonetted the ceiling in my mom's Studebaker Commander. After my dad died, I HAD to have that rifle. :)
Like of lot of the older guys in here, I could go on and on. We gotta pick and choose our stories. :)

March 11, 2006, 11:26 PM
Gee guys, I don't know what the big deal is...

I'm only 23 and all these "good old days" tales sound like my childhood! By the time I could drive people stopped keeping their guns in the gunrack during hunting season because they had a close call with some kids stashing guns in the school in the next valley over, almost a Columbine situation. We just stashed our guns under the seat. In college I went out with a gal from Pennsylvania who went to a highschool with a rifle range underneath the auditorium.

SO, these kinda places still exsit, it's just that not many people live here!

Guy B. Meredith
March 11, 2006, 11:40 PM
As a high school student in Orange County, CA we walked out across the fields between the intersection of two major (not dirt) roads with pistol in hand, CB caps and .22 short. No problem. Sat in our front yard about the same age cleaning our rifles after a trip to the range. Again, nothing worth anyone's note.

In the late 60's Orange Coast Community College in Costa Mesa, CA still had several of the barracks on campus that indicated it's history as a military base. In the second story of one of the barracks was a shooting range for .22 rifles and a selection of the finest target .22s I'd seen to that point.

March 12, 2006, 10:56 AM
Today, in this same community, a good friends's son, some years ago, in his grammar school art class, tore a piece of paper and remarked that it looked like a gun---got a note or call to his mom for it. His Vietnam Vet dad was pretty steamed. Ah progress. . .

I think that if we had a list of disasters that we see on TV or the paper, today, the list would be in the thousands and the thread would run forever.

Perhaps someone should start a thread with the worst "weapon" stories.

I'll start. In ~2002 or 2003, Sarasota, FL an Honor student went to class in her mother's car. Mom had used the car to move that weekend. A steel butter knive with a dull serated edge, but round point had fell out of a box of household flatware and was in the car. For some reason, a search of cars in the high school lot was performed for drugs and this weapon was found. With a zero tolerance for bringing knives onto campus, the girl was expelled or suppended when finals were being given so with a zero on all exams she failed.

No Honor gaduation. No scholarship. I moved about then so I don't know the ending. There was a criminal investigation. Anyone know what happened?

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