From: Norman Johnson <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: (Fwd) Re: Hey "old timers" tell us some stories
Date: 24 Feb 2001 08:05:55 -0500
##Recently I was at a gunstore with some "old timers" they were telling me
##stories about the good old days when they took thier .22 rifles with
##them to school on the bus to shoot after school on the rifle team, and a
##few other interesting stories...
There has been a dramatic change in mentalities in
just 40 years. I can remember standing in front of neighbor's
houses shooting sparrows right in the middle of town, with a
bunch of my friends using a "shot rifle" (smooth barreled rifle)
and .22 shot shells. We were between about 16 and not one
neighbor was the least concerned that we might damage
anything - which we certainly did not. In those days
guns did not have evil personalities, they were just guns.
Cops did not fear kids. Kids feared not the cops but rather their
parents. Nearly all kids (at least all that were interested) were trained
in gunmanship. All were trained to have the general responsibility
that goes with being a good citizen. We believed that others
came before self. That makes for a remarkably different culture
than what we have today.
I carried my .22 to school and put it in my locker until rifle practice
that took place in a basement under a store downtown. My rifle
over my shoulder right thru downtown got no attention.
With a note from Dad, I could buy a rifle or shotgun from the
local hardware. Ammo required no note. Today, it is difficult
to find a real hardware and if one can, it will certainly not have
During hunting seasons in my late grammar school and first
junior high year, when I would get all fired up about the hunt,
I would come home after school, grab my BB or pellet gun and
go skulking through the neighbor's back-yards in search of the
vicious blue jay or starling. It may seem strange now, but the
neighbor women, looking out their kitchen windows while doing
dishes, waved at me and smiled. When we played ball next to
their houses, we were sometimes admonished to be careful
of the windows - but not when we had guns.
Different times. I would give up permanent press, computers, jet
airplanes, and (maybe) even modern medicine a hundred times
over to live in those days when people really loved each other,
when self came second, when a barn burned down the whole
community rallied to get the family back in business - and had
a grand time doing it.