|Ron the Skunk Hunter - I'm not really a hunter - I just play one on TV|
The first gun I had was a Daisy air rifle, also known as a "bee bee" gun. The year was about 1952, and like some of the cooler kids on my block of Washington Avenue in Downingtown, PA, I wanted a bee bee gun.
I don't remember the circumstances of if someone bought me a bee bee gun or loaned me one. But this is what I do remember. As soon as I got my greasy 12 year old paws on that bee bee gun I went outside of the apartment building that we lived in the
|I put one of these out of its misery when I was only 12 years old|
"BANG!" Actually, it was more like a "SWOOSH!" Bee bee guns don't "BANG!"
I looked up and saw the robin fall from the telephone line, where he/she wasn't bothering anybody until "keeping up with my peers" self ventured out into the street to end that bird's life. Guess what happened? I didn't feel good about what I just did. Where was the fun? Where was the excitement? Wasn't there folks. Just didn't happen for me. For sure I was gay even then.
But wait! My cousin and my much loved uncle, (who never married, come to your own conclusions) were devoted and avid hunters. And both were very nice men. What's up with that?
|My beloved Uncle George with his kill|
My father was a hunter. I think all of my father's ten brothers were hunters. Ironically, neither I nor my two younger brothers were hunters. We just never expressed any interest in killing animals for the "sport of it." Not that there is anything wrong with that (actually there is but that's a subject for another whole blog posting).
I think my brothers had their Come to Jesus Moment with guns when my one brother accidentally shot my other brother in the back with a 22 rifle. Yes, they were teenagers messing around. The rifle went off, ricocheted off of one off of our father's shack and the 22 caliber bullet lodged into the small of my brother John's back. Nice move Isaac. They were 14 and 15 when this happened. John had the bullet removed and, as far as I know, they never got into our father's gun cabinet again.
|My brothers John and Isaac Tipton - still here|
In fact, when my father died in 2000, our Mother said we could have the guns. Split them up, there were about six of them. No assault weapons, just your regular deer hunting rifles which could kill a teenage boy playing around with it as easily. We told a neighbor he could have the guns. They're gone.
|My father and my uncle with their kill|
In the years since both me and my brothers, who are fiercely, till they die, conservative, have not owned any guns nor do we intend to own any guns. For you see, we're of that ilk who depends on the local police for protection. You won't see us at the front door, with a 30 clip assault weapon, defending the family from intruders, and the latest made up threat, those black helicopters.
|My friend Bob and Me in Provincetown with our best Village People impersonation - 1974|