So What About Guns?

Shooting range, a gun and a target used.

As an author I just have to write stories that include guns. Why?

First things first.

My dear dad Ed used to work for an airline. One day he came home and asked me if I would like to join the ‘Airline Gun Club’. I was eight years old at the time, so I was very excited to be old enough to finally have a chance to shoot a real .22 caliber target rifle instead of just imitation ‘cap’ guns. I began to like it so much that I started going twice a week – Tuesday and Thursday evenings – until I was in my mid-teens and began playing guitar and dating. I can’t recall ever missing a single night at the range over those early years, unless of course the club was closed for a holiday.

Lots of good training and companionship

By the age of fifteen I had developed into a very good marksman and ended up winning lots of awards and a significant championship.

It has been said that the harder you work the luckier you get, as well as that practice makes perfect. These two sayings were especially true when it came to my training to be a competitive shooter. By the age of fifteen I had developed into a very good marksman and ended up winning lots of awards and a significant championship. By the age of fifteen I had developed into a very good marksman and ended up winning lots of awards and a significant championship. This success resulted in my being asked to become a ‘Hunter-Safety Instructor’. After passing written and field-test exams to ensure that I knew the rules and could exercise them in the great outdoors (for example, safely handle a rifle while climbing over and under fences and in and out of boats without shooting anything accidentally), I was awarded my instructors’ permit. As a result of this, I had the opportunity to mentor other shooters and make some good friends. I always smile when I think back on all the great fun I had at the shooting range.

Shooting up a storm!

Since those early days, I have belonged to many gun clubs and have shot with both pistols and rifles. I have also been trap shooting with my shotguns. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute of my experiences with guns. In fact, as I write this I am about to join yet another gun club after a lengthy absence.

I have been shooting with one of my sons and grandson at my place in the north woods over recent years, but that has been using only BB and pellet rifles and pistols for plinking pop cans (shooting fur-bearing critters and birds has always been a no-no to us). I have no objection to someone hunting if they are going to eat what they shoot, but killing any animal merely for its horns or hide is a sin and a crime as far as I am concerned.

Shoot safe and stay safe

I have about a dozen long guns, including some shotguns, that have all remained unused and been locked in a gun safe for quite a while now. It’s about time I started using them once again. Since I’ve always been a fan of the shooting sports and developed my skills over the years with safety foremost, I simply can’t accept careless attitudes when it comes to guns. Only responsible people should be permitted to own and use them. I’m all for thorough background checks so criminals and unstable people can’t buy them legally, especially not assault rifles and other such weapons that are meant for war.

After all, folks should only own a gun if it is meant for sporting uses but they must obey some basic rules. If you own a gun of any type and you’re often doped up on drugs or alcohol, or too mentally unstable to behave responsibly with it for the sake of your family and others, then I sure hope that the police know who you are and will soon have reason to arrest you.

My murder-mystery novels will always have some characters in them that use and own guns legally or illegally, but remember: my novels are fictional. Any issues with legality or poor choices don’t necessarily reflect how I feel guns should be handled. In reality it takes everyone pulling together to make sure we all stay safe. What can you do? Stay informed and be attentive to anything related to guns going on in your area. If you see or hear something that you feel isn’t right and needs attention, please be sure to speak up! Tell someone that you think may be able to do something to correct the situation.

Stephen Winn

1 Comment

  1. by Chris on October 6, 2016  8:03 pm Reply

    An interesting article, thank you for sharing!

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