Firearms and Fireworks Form a Fond and Firm Foundation

Please forgive the alliterative title … I’ve been paying too much attention at church (love you Pastor Tim!). But it’s true. Since childhood, firearms and fireworks have been a part of my life.  My attitude towards guns and support for the 2nd Amendment is based in no small part on my childhood experience.

Some friends and I were talking about this very thing. How is it so many adults today actually -fear- guns. Not the people who might hurt them with one but the object itself. Clearly they don’t understand firearms.

We shared our experiences and how they shaped our thinking today. I thought to share a couple of my stories with you.  Perhaps if more people have positive experiences early on things will be different.

It started with bottle rockets; a gateway firework if ever there  was one. After stern adult warnings, we stopped shooting them at each other. For a while, anyway. We began tossing them in the air after lighting the fuse. Until someone made one spin in the air like a baton. Imagine the possibilities! Then one ignited and shot right back at us! As that was not much different than actually shooting at each other, we just went back to that.

This, when we were not laying bottle rockets in a old piece of gutter we found and, using crude elevation and rudimentary Kentucky windage, trying to hit the chimney on a neighbor’s roof. When the cops arrived, there were spent bottle rocket sticks laying in plain sight on the roof.  It wasn’t a raid. No arrests were made. They shook their heads and told us not to do it again since we could catch the roof on fire. We had honestly never thought of that.

All this when we were not creeping around in fields of tall grass in the dark throwing lit fire crackers at each other like grenades.

But my best memories of shooting are tied to model cars and ships.

With the cars, we heated up a knife blade and, after putting the wheel on, flattened the end of the axle. The wheel was on AND would turn. With the model finished, we would roll it down a hill and shoot BB guns at it. By then we had learned the hard way to all shoot from the same side of the road. Bobby DeNiro in “Ronin” had nothin’ on us!

Which brings me to “the boat!” They used to make models of US warships you could put a battery in. It would float and the screws would turn to power it. We built one.

On THE day, before we put it in the water, we smeared some model glue on the superstructure and fixed a cherry bomb inside the hull. We hooked up the battery, put the superstructure on, lit the glue on fire and set the boat in a pond. Scampering around to get a right angle on our shots we were awestruck.

We saw an honest to God, US warship on fire, under power and streaming thick, black smoke as it steamed across the pond. We started firing and the BBs hitting the water recreated scenes from “Sink the Bismarck” with geysers of water spraying up around it.

My future ex-brother-in-law squeezed off a perfect shot and blew the bow off the boat which was then driven under water until it disappeared – spouting flames and smoke and leaving an oily residue behind on the water’s surface. It was AWESOME …

Did I mention we put a cherry bomb in it? Or that cherry bomb fuses are waterproof? Just before submerging, the fire must have hit the fuse because a moment after the boat hit the inky depths of Davy Jones locker, there was an ENORMOUS underwater explosion! We went crazy!! It was pure snakes, snails and puppy dog tails!

We spent a couple of years and a small fortune trying to do it again. No joy. But guns and fireworks? We were hooked and these remain fond memories. As we aged we moved on to .22s, 12 gauges and .45s. But over 40 years later the foundation remains.

Today, I don’t fear guns. They are work tools or a wonderful hobby. Perhaps if people spent time building memories instead of tearing down legacies there would be more – you know – diversity and tolerance.

But as long as gun laws are made by those who fear guns and not those who understand and appreciate them, Liberty is in jeopardy.

Ken Marrero

The Blue Collar Muse

Obama's Political Action Group Loses Complaint Against Website Address Owner
Mum's The Word About Hillary's Health
  • GarandFan

    That’s what makes libs so dangerous. They want to ban everything they have little or no knowledge of…….and therefore FEAR. After all, it’s for our own good, and ‘it’s for the children’.

  • SteveCrickmore075

    Firearms and Fireworks Form a Fond and Firm Foundation but for what? Ken, I saw your increased exaltation from throwing “lit firecrackers at each other” to blowing up, everything you could lay your hands on in the pond, to smitherines,”We went crazy!! It was pure snakes, snails and puppy dog tails!” You did succeed in making the case that firearms are child’s play, for gun lovers’, I will grant you that.

    • Blue Collar Muse

      It’s a great foundation to understand and appreciate guns as an adult. It means I’m not afraid of them and don’t see the need to knee jerk react to every tragedy by banning more guns.

      • SteveCrickmore075

        as an adult? Have any of you really changed, or grown up? Sounds like all of you are nostalgia for time when your main source of pleasure was trying to frighten people or bully people. I would have thought seven years old would have been the expiration date of that.

        • Blue Collar Muse

          As you wish, Steve … we are all just immature, ignorant 7 year olds … So sad that you cannot let folks remember their past and the beauty it brings their present. Perhaps you have no warm and pleasant memories from your past and so you have to discredit those of others. Perhaps all your warm memories are sitting around the campfire with Al Gore singing Union organizing songs. Who knows … but I tried to engage you respectfully … you are determined to make me out to be a moron for having been a kid who grew up and learned valuable lessons. I don’t have any more time for you. I have more excellent memories to make because I never stop growing … Comment again when you have your inner child under control and are over it’s temper fit …

          • The projection is strong with that one.

          • I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt and think he’s nowhere near like that in real life.

            But yeah, there’s a lot of overcompensation and projection going on with him, I think. The overriding fear of the ‘progressive liberal’ is that someone, somewhere, is doing something fun THEY don’t like.

          • SteveCrickmore075

            JLawson, then why do you consider what you were doing was foolish? I’m past my younger, foolish days. Wouldn’t it have been better not to have done it, in the first place? Listen, I was put in jail in a cell as a student, in Clark County, Las Vegas, with prisoners who were being transferred from Leavonworth to Terminal Island, for gate crashing Elvis Presley’s opening night at the International, when I was hitchiking to L.A. I didn’t consider my action foolish, or particularly reprehensible. I didn’t have any money to pay the ticket, if they were any available. But I wasn’t doing harm to others..throwing lit firecrackers at other kids or blowing up frogs maybe sport to some.. Hey, I’m just getting a better idea at what makes a conservative tick from his youth. I had no idea you were all like that! This post has been instructional.. i suppose I had too much love and regard of nature to want to blow it up for fun, even at a tender young age.,and I couldn’t ignore the consequences of my actions.. Sometimes, I’m glad that I have two young daughters,not interested in sport, instead of two young sons, they don’t have to go endure these ‘ manly’ incoherent American rites of passages´in sport like the Rutgers varsity basketball players ,or blowing up frogs. Didn’t any of you discover girls or have a crush on Annette Funicello when you were seven years old? That was more thrilling for me!

          • I really don’t get it, Steve. You have your interests, other people have theirs – why do you feel a need to belittle others?

            Is it some sort of pathological need to feel superior?

          • herddog505

            Bingo!

            — *I* know that the Second Amendment was written solely for the benefit of slaveowners! See how much more informed I am than those wingnuts?

            — *I* didn’t have bottlerocket wars or shoot guns when I was a boy. See how much more civilized and mature I am than those wingnuts?

            — *I* support gun control, even if it’s only symbolic (i.e. will do exactly f*ck-all to reduce violent crime). See how much more compassionate and how much more I care about children than those wingnuts?

            — *I* think that guns are only for bullies and paranoids. See how much more manly I am than those wingnuts?

          • SteveCrickmore075

            JLawson. I probably should not have even entered the discussion, full stop. I knew it would entail risks. I thought all these tales of hijinks could have provided “a firm foundation” to keep guns regulated as to forfeit gun control measures, for example to beef up online sales which may have prevented http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/11/176974961/pastor-rick-warren-son-committed-suicide-with-unregistered-gun?utm_source=NPR&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=20130412

          • Steve, that’s a horrible occurance. But the law wouldn’t have prevented it. It’s already illegal to sell a gun over the internet without going through FFLs, and…

            “It’s illegal in California to buy a gun without a background check and purchasers are supposed to register their firearms. Defacing a gun’s serial number is a federal offense.”

            So… by making it doubly illegal, the criminals won’t do the things that are illegal? How many laws do you have to have making something illegal?

            (For what it’s worth, if someone’s looking to commit suicide, they’ll find a way. Look at Japan for that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_Japan – much higher than in the US.)

            The serial number was scratched off that makes me think it’s been floating around the fringes for a while. If he was ‘self-medicating’ to help his mental illness – well, the assholes who sell that sort of crap illegally won’t mind selling an ‘unregistered’ firearm.

            Buying online – it would have been an illegal transaction without going through an FFL and getting a background check done – and then they’d have a record of the sale.

            I’m sorry – but you really, really don’t seem to get the idea that you can’t buy a gun from a business – whether it be on the internet, at a gun show by a seller, at a pawn shop or a sporting goods store WITHOUT having a background check… AND having a readable serial number on the firearm.

            Any business selling a firearm HAS to abide by the law.
            Criminals don’t. That’s what makes them criminals in the first place.

          • What doubt.

          • I always try to give folks the benefit of the doubt. May not always be possible – but I try.

          • Blue Collar Muse

            I’ve always understood the benefit of the doubt to be a gift one gives to another – hence “giving” the benefit of the doubt.

            But gifts have another characteristic. They can be refused. We can give the benefit – but when a man continually refuses to accept it – after a while I tire of having my gifts thrown back at me …

            I’m not judgin’ … I’m just sayin’ …

          • Well, the gift is cheap, so to speak, and in the end I feel better for having made the attempt… even if I’m proved wrong, I’ll have learned something more about the person.

            Whether it’s a good thing or not depends on what I learn, lol…

            Sometimes folks just seem hard-wired to their opinions, other times you can get them to consider things they hadn’t before. If it’s any good for the long run, I couldn’t say – but who knows?

          • I say again, at this point, what doubt?

          • So I’m an optimist. Hell, I still kept trying with Lee Ward until he disappeared… and he did a 180 switch from supporting Hillary and thinking Obama was worthless to Obama being wonderful and Hillary was worthless when the decision was made.

          • herddog505

            I don’t think that it’s projection so much as a political correctness run to the point of lunacy.

            Yes, children can be little monsters, without much self control, empathy, concern for others, tolerance or any other thing that, you know, MAKES THEM NOT ADULTS. But to make out that normal childhood antics (even the ones that can result in people being badly hurt; I sometimes wonder how I DID survive childhood with both eyes and all fingers intact) are psychotic…

            He’s so damned busy trying to convince people that guns are evil, that the only reason we have a Second Amendment is slavery, and that the only reason modern people want to own them is because they are murderous children in adult bodies, that he’s lost his grip on reality.

          • SteveCrickmore075

            I sometimes wonder how I DID survive childhood with both eyes and all fingers intact …You made my point…, that guns in the hands of the less than mature or not the totally sane can be dangerous,..That is why Congress is trying to impose background checks that might hinder (yes, I know not prevent) the wrong people getting guns..

          • The fucking background checks are already THERE in any commercial sale. You know that. You’ve been told time and again that any commercial sale HAS to have a background check run on the purchaser.

            What do you have, a frequent memory wipe of any sort of ‘inconvenient to the narrative’ gun-related factoid?

            And how are you going to enforce a law mandating background checks on gun sales between individuals… especially considering that they’re ALREADY mostly ignoring people who fail background checks that have criminal records?

            http://www.politifact.com/new-hampshire/statements/2013/mar/22/kelly-ayotte/most-people-trying-buy-gun-illegally-us-senator-ke/

            2010 – Total denied by all agencies (state, local and federal) – 152,850

            70,000+ federal denials.

            44 federal prosecutions.

            On the numbers, Ayotte is on track. In one year, more than 80,000 background checks were denied at the state and local level and federal authorities pursued 44 charges in court, as the senator claimed. However, the report she cited is based on 2010 numbers, not 2012, but that’s small potatoes.

            More to the point, Ayotte confuses state and federal numbers in her statement, using state rejections (80,000) and federal prosecutions (44). Looking at state enforcement alone, just four states had more than 1,500 arrests. While those are arrests, not prosecutions, it stands to reason the number of state prosecutions is vastly higher than the figure Ayotte cited.

            That ratio is not nearly as dramatic as Ayotte suggested, but her larger point remains valid: the majority of failed background checks do not lead to criminal charges or prosecutions. With this in mind, we rate her claim Mostly True.

          • herddog505

            JLawsonThe fucking background checks are already THERE in any commercial sale. You know that.

            Please stop trying to argue facts with a lefty. They are told by Minitru, Barry, Uncle Choo-choo, DiFi and the other members of their brain trust to believe that crooks and loons can stroll into a gun show and buy a machinegun without any checks, and they stick to that like glue.

          • Yep, they can just walk into a gun show and walk out with a $49.95 fully automatic belt-fed .50 cal. with no background check at all!

            I’d laugh, but frankly it’s getting pretty damn tiring seeing the same shit time after time after time, with the claims getting louder and more nonsensical with each iteration.

            And now Crickmore’s talking about the ‘symbolism’ of doing ‘something’. Next time he has a flat, maybe he should ‘symbolically’ change it, and expect the problem to solve itself.

          • SteveCrickmore075

            background checks for commercial sales are required yes, but not at gun shows or online, where something like 40% of guns are bought and sold, seems like a big loop hole, also there would be a national data base, since many of the background checks are spotty and don’t cover records in other states “Ninety percent of background checks can be completed in less than two minutes and the Manchin-Toomey proposal would expedite the process. Under the amendment, if a background check at a gun show does not result in a definitive response within 48 hours, the sale may proceed”
            http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/04/10/1845721/your-essential-guide-to-the-background-check-debate/ Criminials or would-be criminials will still find a way to get guns, just as some terrorists can manage to elude security checks, but the point is not not to give them gift-wrapped opportunities. Background checks are working, i would administer more predictable and more severe sentences for those using a gun to commit a crime; if we were serious about the issue of gun violence?

          • Conservachef

            Steve, ANY gun dealer at a gun show MUST complete a background check. Just because they’re at a gun show doesn’t change a single thing.

            And here’s your “40 percent” nonsense.

            http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/338735/40-percent-myth-john-lott

            Possibly the best quote of the article regarding “40%?”

            More important, the number comes from a 251-person survey on gun sales two decades ago, early in the Clinton administration. (EDIT to add a further quote) More than three-quarters of the survey covered sales before the Brady Act instituted mandatory federal background checks on February 28, 1994.

            A more accurate estimation of non-FFL, private “loophole” sales is around 10%, maybe even less.

          • The people selling guns at gun shows ARE dealers. There may be the occasional guy going around with a rifle with a “For Sale” sign stuck in its muzzle, but that’s a PRIVATE sale. The folks with tables are dealers, and they have to do background checks. No ifs, ands, buts or maybes involved.

            Seriously, do you consider yourself educated on this subject? Christ, man, you’ve got to stop using “ThinkProgress” as an objective reference.

          • SteveCrickmore075

            blue collar, I didn’t mean to be disrespectful, I don’t think you are a moron, on the contrary, your’s was a eloquent response. I had hijinks too when i was a lad, it was more to impress others of my age, to fit in, win their respect. I fortunately fulfilled or channeled myself as an athlete, won awards at football and baseball. Maybe if I lived in the country, I would have become a top marksman (never understood the appeal of firecrackers), but i got the impression from Ken’s post and the comments that there wasn’t much self awareness of what they were doing, there pursuit was based on ‘a lord of flies’ type childish cruelty more than anything else. I suppose there is something to be said for allowing kids the freedom to play with guns, they realize later, or hopefully, how immature they were in retrospect, and how lucky they were to have emerged unscathed unlike the kids in Sandy Hook, rather like myself when I drove at 16 legally, I had my share of tickets and accidents, (because I didn’t have the maturity of judgment or experience) and am slightly a better driver now for it..but stlll ,at what cost?

          • herddog505

            Are you seriously trying to imply that the youthful pasttimes and hijinks of boys for generations – if not millennia – are to be compared with the horror perpetrated by a madman at Newtown??? That having bottle rocket wars, shooting tin cans or rabbits, playing war or Red Rover, is somehow REMOTELY equivalent to a psychopath murdering his mother, stealing a gun, and then murdering children???

            My gosh, how reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer must fill you with horror at the little sociopath!

          • SteveCrickmore075

            No, that is one of my favorite books .but isn’t this whole discussion of guns, generated in response to Sandy Hook, not to do anything or to do something, even symbollcally? You can ignore the latter sentiment, but can you ignore that Over 90 percent of Americans support gun background checks: poll.

          • A symbolic act? What’ll that do – make you feel better?

            Symbolism is a nice, inexpensive substitute for actual effort or analysis. And there’s been precious little analysis beyond “It’s teh gunz, stupid!” we’re hearing from the left.

            No apparent examination of common factors between the murderers, no attempt to understand why they do what they do – the thinking seems to be if you take away the implements they use, then they won’t do those things.

            Never mind the fact that there’s over 300 million guns, and more than 80 million gun owners that DON’T seem disposed to go out and randomly slaughter people.

            I wonder if that nutcase in Texas yesterday slashing people with a boxcutter was denied when he tried to buy a gun? If so, then the system worked as intended.

            But it didn’t stop him. A bit more anatomical expertise, a severed carotid artery – and there would have been a high body count.

          • herddog505

            So, to make yourself feel virtuous, you’re supporting a symbolic act that will do nothing to stop crooks and loonies, but WILL make my life a bit more difficult (on the way, I suspect, to turning me into a felon).

            Fabulous.

          • SteveCrickmore075

            blue collar, I didn’t mean to be disrespectful, I don’t think you are a moron, on the contrary, your’s was a eloquent response. I had hijinks too when i was a lad, it was more to impress others of my age, to fit in, win their respect. I fortunately fulfilled or channeled myself as an athlete, won awards at football and baseball. Maybe if I lived in the country, I would have become a top marksman (never understood the appeal of firecrackers), but i got the impression from Ken’s post and the comments that there wasn’t much self awareness of what they were doing, there pursuit was based on ‘a lord of flies’ type childish cruelty more than anything else. I suppose there is something to be said for allowing kids the freedom to play with guns, they realize later, or hopefully, how immature they were in retrospect, and how lucky they were to have emerged unscathed unlike the kids in Sandy Hook, rather like myself when I drove at 16 legally, I had my share of tickets and accidents, (because I didn’t have the maturity of judgment or experience) and am slightly a better driver now for it..but stlll ,at what cost?

        • Conservachef

          Oh boy, not the “guns are for bullies” baloney we’ve heard too many lefties trot out. You ever hear the old adage “better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool, than open it and prove them right?”

          Surprisingly enough, a large (vast) majority of people who grew up blowing things up and throwing bottle rockets at each other, wound up being perfectly well adjusted, sensible adults. They don’t think guns are harmless toys, and they don’t blame guns whenever some nut uses one to do something illegal. They don’t have some repressed psychological issues with bullying and they aren’t doomsday preppers. Get over it and get past the stupidity.

  • retired military

    in TX 14 students were stabbed at a community college
    How could this happen? Don’t they know it is a gun free zone?
    I know what we need. We need Knife free zones at schools.
    We need more knife control laws.

  • herddog505

    How DID we survive our childhoods, what with guns, bottle rocket wars, fireworks (the GOOD ones, not like the tame crap we can buy around here), no bike helmets, our parents smoked, etc., etc?

    • We didn’t. We’re all dead. Aren’t we?

      Local fireworks – “Phantom” fireworks – what pathetic pieces of garbage. TNT is somewhat better… but you’ve got to go out of state to get the GOOD stuff.

      Black Cat bottle rockets for the win!

      • herddog505

        God bless South Carolina*! They have WAREHOUSE stores of the good stuff.

        Good times, good times…

        ===

        (*) In this regard, anyway.

        • Tennessee’s our source. You can get some good, relatively inexpensive mortars… but you can’t go TOO cheap.

          Got one batch that did premature bursticulation about 6 feet up. Man, that was embarrassing.

          • herddog505

            What you call “embarrassing”, I called (in my younger, more foolish days), “HOLY SH*T! THAT WAS SO F*CKING COOL!!! WOO-HOO!!!”

            😉

          • Blue Collar Muse

            LOL Herddog … hence the source of my post …

          • It’s impressive as hell when you’re only about 15 feet away from it!

          • Only if you live long enough to form the impression.

          • I’m past my younger, foolish days. Now, premature bursticulation is more embarrassing than cool. Fortunately, my lovely bride is patient with such things!

          • I’m past my younger, foolish days. Now, premature bursticulation is more embarrassing than cool. Fortunately, my lovely bride is patient with such things!

      • Blue Collar Muse

        I have a friend who, when he saw the post, wrote me about making his home made TNT when he was a kid. He listed a couple of particularly interesting pranks he pulled with that. I never got access to anything like that. We still lived pretty urban. But I shudder to think what I would have done with it had I been able to do so.

        • herddog505

          Oh, how this recalls pleasant childhood daydreams!

  • Pingback: » Firearms and Fireworks Form a Fond and Firm Foundation – Wizbang (blog)()

  • Where does good judgment come from?
    Experience.
    Where does experience come from?
    Dealing with the consequences of bad judgment.

    Isolate the young from the ability to make poor choices and observe and deal with the consequences of those poor choices and the child never gains wisdom and good judgment.

    See also the Baby Boomers; a shocking number of which grew old without ever growing wise.

    • Much as we want to protect kids – too much protection leads to problems. As you point out, if they’re never allowed to make bad choices, how can they learn to make good ones, and cope with the results of the bad?

      “See also the Baby Boomers; a shocking number of which grew old without ever growing wise.”

      Took me a while, lol. Part of it, I think, is when you start taking responsibility for your actions instead of making excuses. Sometimes it takes being whacked repeatedly with a clue-by-four to get to that point…

  • herddog505

    With regards to the “guns are only for bullyies and cowards” and “a REAL man only needs his fist”, Oleg Volk has a good answer:

    http://olegvolk.net/blog/2013/04/10/fight-like-a-real-man/

    • Conservachef

      I’ve heard that argument on here several times- I think it was Hoosen that kept making it?

      • herddog505

        That’s my recollection, too.

        I’m 6’1″ and a pudgy 240; I wouldn’t care to face a thug with my bare hands, and I sure wouldn’t want my teenage niece or my mother to have to do it, either.

        • Conservachef

          It’s a lot about perception. Some people see guns as a way for the weak, slightly crazy, criminally minded person to overcompensate and get away with more, worse crime. That can happen- I understand. But others see guns as a way for the weak, undersized person to make up for that disadvantage when facing someone who is criminally minded (I love reading the “Armed Citizen” stories in the NRA mags- there’s lots of stories of mothers and the elderly who defend themselves well against criminals).

          • herddog505

            That raises an interesting point: how people see the world. We conservatives want guns to(among other things) defend ourselves and loved ones from crooks and loonies.

            Lefties tell us we’re paranoid for this. Yet, they seem to fear that there are so many loonies that having guns in society is just begging for more Newtowns.

            They are basing a pretty significant law on an event that is about as likely to happen (I believe) as a lightning strike.

            Who’s the REAL paranoid?

          • It’s not about guns, it’s about control.

          • Conservachef

            Herddog, yes I think perception is the root cause for the big kerfuffle regarding gun control.

            I also think the gun grabbers are ok with their trade-off (less guns for law-abiding citizens, if it means less guns for the crooks). I think the gun rights people don’t like that trade off (for a number of reasons- the 2nd Amendment and the effectiveness of such a measure being two big ones).

            As we have seen on this thread, Steve Crickmore is willing to restrict and infringe the 2nd Amendment for nothing more effective than a (per his own words) symbolic attempt at curbing violence.