Gun safety at an early age

Mar. 23—I was taught gun safety early on as a boy. At 5 years old, my Uncle Wayne Briley showed me how to safely handle and shoot a Daisy BB. Safety was stressed from the very beginning. Never point a gun at someone; always assume the gun is loaded; keep the muzzle downrange and away from anyone; be sure of your target and what is behind it.

Uncle Wayne taught me about sight picture and how to align the BB gun's sights on the target. Again, safety was stressed continually.

By the time I was seven, I graduated to some real firepower.

Uncle Wayne loved to come down to Moscow on the weekends and shoot snakes at the old mill and along Big Flatrock River. Keep in mind; it was a time long before environmental awareness. Back then.... the only good snake was a dead snake.

One Saturday, Uncle Wayne said, "Let's go behind the house and shoot a few tin cans in the mill race." Again, this was a time before there was much of awareness about our environment.

I'm sure my eyes were as big as saucers when Uncle Wayne unfolded an oiled rag to reveal the 9mm P-38 German sidearm.

With careful instruction, he showed me how it worked, how the action worked, how to load it, how to unload it, and how to hold it.

Uncle Wayne stepped up to the edge of the bank overlooking the millrace and tossed in a tin can. As the can slowly floated downstream, Uncle Wayne hit it twice out of four shots.

Loading a single bullet in the magazine, he pitched a tin can in the mill race, worked the slide to load the round and hovered over me as he handed the pistol to me.

A quick reminder of sight picture And Uncle Wayne said, "Slowly pull the trigger!"

At the sound of the shot, I came within a couple feet of the tin can. On subsequent shots, I found the large grips requiring both of my hands pulled my shots high and to the right.

Using a little "Kentucky Windage" on my behalf; I aimed low and to the left. I surprised my Uncle Wayne, and even more so myself as I actually hit the can floating in the canal 20 yards away!

'till next time,


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