By Jack Hackley
Every time I turn on the news I hear “gun control.” I decided to check my guns and asked my wife Laura what happened to my bolt-action .22 I bought when I was 11 years old for $12.
She answered, “Your son John came and got it years ago to add to his gun collection.” I asked if my mom’s old single-shot 410 shotgun with no shells was the only gun we owned, and she said, “Yes, and that’s the way I like it.”
When I went through advanced infantry training, we were required to shoot and be proficient with every light weapon the Army had, including mortars, carbines, anti-tank bazookas, pistols and .30- and .60-caliber machine guns. One of my favorites was the not-so-accurate grease gun that could shoot 500 .45-caliber bullets a minute.
After basic training, we were then issued a .30-caliber M-1 rifle we carried everywhere we went for the rest of our time in the service.
I suddenly realized I may not have shot a gun since I got out of the service 60 years ago.
I decided to take a poll of my Army buddies to see if they owned guns. I called Bob Lundy in Burden, Kan., who was our .60-caliber mortar man. He said he has never owned a gun since he got out of the Army.
I called Dick Stephenson, who used to run a tire shop and filling station in Albany and reads my articles in the Sheridan News. He said he did not own a gun now, but owned guns when he used to go duck hunting. He retired, had a sale, and sold them.
My best friend, Gary Reagin from Oak Grove, who wound up in Houston, Texas, told me years ago he had never owned a gun.
Ralph Chrisler, Gorham, Kan., said he owned a single-shot .22 rifle and a single-shot .12-gauge shotgun.When he was younger, Ralph said he liked to squirrel hunt.
He most recently bought and registered a .22 pistol for target shooting.
If President Obama wants sensible gun ownership, my suggestion would be that he draft everyone when they turn 18 into the infantry and make them carry a gun for two years.
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.jackremembers.com