When I was growing up there was always a gun in the house, it had absolutely nothing to do with a perceived need for personal protection. Dad grew up in the country where guns were just a part of life, he had a .22 and would sometimes go out spotlighting for rabbits. He was always very careful with the gun because his uncle was killed in a spotlighting accident and we were all told about it so that we understood the dangers.
I remember going spotlighting once with Dad and the boys, I spotted a rabbit which Dad couldn’t see so I held the gun and pointed it at the rabbit. Dad fired the gun and as the rabbit ran off Dad said, “Oh that’s where it was”. Dad cleaned the rabbits that we shot and they were taken home to be eaten.
We also had an airgun at home which my brothers normally used to shoot at birds raiding the fruit trees. One day I was playing with it shooting at something in the Lemon Tree, a pellet hit a branch and ricocheted back to hit me right between my eyebrows. The dent it made lasted for days, I was unbelievably lucky that it missed an eye.
Another day I was out in the back yard with the airgun when a Sparrow landed on the corrugated iron fence ready for a foray into the fig Tree. I lifted the gun, fired and was astonished to see the bird disappear. I went up to the fence and peered over. The bird was flapping frantically on the ground and I felt sick. The realization hit that it was so very easy to kill something but impossible to bring it alive again. I put the gun back inside and haven’t touched one since.
You didn’t know that about Nana did you?