A Call to Arms

Handling Firearms

It was not unusual when I was a kid for a father to introduce his son to hunting at an early age. After all, rabbits, pheasants and deer were a means to an end in self sufficiency in lean times. My dad bought me a BB gun/air rifle for my 9th birthday and began to teach me how to shoot. Apparently, I wasn’t paying attention when he talked about knowing the dangers, in the event you miss!

Soon after getting the air rifle, I was showing off my marksmanship to a friend and targeted a sparrow on our fence. While I noticed our neighbour’s brand new Buick across the fence, it never occurred to me that I might miss.

As it turned out, the bird flew away and several hours later, our neighbour came storming in our front door to confront my father. Apparently, the pellet had hit the side window of his new car just right and shattered it, before hitting the inside of the front window and obliterating it as well. I had no idea what I had done. I guess after missing the bird I simply turned away, completely oblivious to the damage I had inflicted.  I am sure it cost my parents a pretty penny to fix the car. I don’t remember getting a hiding from my dad, but I became much more aware of my surroundings after that. Experience is a great teacher.

An Irresistible Target

One mid afternoon, I found myself in our oversized garage with my BB gun, when I saw Zeo Dagos, a local teenager – likely about 16 or 18 years old – walking up the sidewalk in front of our house. The door to the garage was just slightly ajar as he strolled toward me. To this day, I don’t know what possessed me to do it, but I peaked out the large sliding door and took aim. I had no grudge against him, no axe to grind – but I shot him square in the ass. He jumped around like he had been tasered and I hightailed it for cover. He never found me, nor did he ever confront me, though he must have suspected.

I never said a word about that incident to a soul, until nearly 50 years later when I ran into his brother. I confessed to my transgression and we shared a laugh. I still chuckle to myself about that day, though I never pointed a gun at a human being ever again. According to his brother, Zeo has become quite religious. I hope he can forgive me!

As the saying goes “the devil made me do it” 😊

8 responses to “A Call to Arms”

  1. I have carried a similar memory on my conscience since I was about 12. A friend and I were walking with our bb guns. His wasn’t firing for some reason, and as he walked behind me he kept pointing it at me and pulling the trigger, and it kept on misfiring. Still, it scared the hell out of me. I kept telling him to stop, and he just kept right on pulling that trigger. Finally, after warning him, I turned around with my fully functioning bb gun and shot him….in the pant leg. He screamed of course, but wasn’t really hurt. Now, my attack wasn’t unprovoked (thanks for that!) like yours, but still, I have felt guilty about it forever!

    Seems to me I also remember my brother and some of his friends putting on their winter coats and hats in the summer and going into the woods with their bb guns to play war. A little crazy, but then, they were!

    • I am excellent Kent. Hope you and yours are as well. I will be back in Ontario this summer. We need a post covid get together.

  2. Kent I’m still laughing. Loving reading your blog makes me feel I’m there watching. Great memories to recall.

  3. These are the origins of a true outdoorsman – a kinda modern man’s Daniel Doc Boone.
    From you I learned so much about wilderness living, such as the migratory patterns of wild beasts. Indeed I, at times, while up at the Ranger Bay Boyz camp, have also felt “shot in the butt” via being the butt of cleverly staged practical jokes – preying on my inherent fear of various wildlife (some existent and some fabricated)…

    • Lol. Don’t give away the plot of future posts my friend. There are many stories percolating in my mind that involve the BIG GUY and his encounters with nature.


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