Stephen Winn

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So What About Guns?

Posted by Stephen Winn
First things first.

My dear dad, Ed, used to work for an airline. One day he came home and asked me if I would like to join the 'Airline Gun Club' and of course my answer was yes! I was eight years old at the time, so I was very excited to be grown up enough to finally have a chance to shoot a real .22 caliber target rifle instead of just an imitation 'cap' gun. I began to like it so much that I started going twice a week until I was in my mid-teens. That's when I started to play guitar and noticed that order. I can't recall ever missing a single night at the range over those years with the club, unless it was closed for a holiday.

Lots of good training and companionship

By the age of fifteen I had developed into a very good marksman and ended up winning lots of awards and a significant championship.

It has been said that 'the harder you work the luckier you get' and that 'practice makes perfect'. These two sayings were especially true when it came to my training to be a competitive shooter. By the age of fifteen I had developed into a very good marksman and ended up winning lots of awards and a significant championship. This success resulted in my being asked to become a ‘Hunter-Safety Instructor’. After passing written and field-test exams to ensure that I knew the rules and could exercise them in the great outdoors (for example, safely handle a rifle while climbing over and under fences and in and out of boats without shooting anything accidentally), I was awarded my instructors’ permit. As a result of this, I had the opportunity to mentor other shooters and make some good friends. I always smile when I think back on all the great fun I had at the shooting range.

Shooting up a storm!

Since those early days, I have belonged to many gun clubs and have shot with both pistols and rifles. I have also been trap shooting with my shotguns. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute of my experiences with guns. In fact, as I write this, I am about to join yet another gun club after a lengthy absence.

I have been shooting with one of my sons and grandson at my place in the northwoods over recent years, but that has been using only BB and pellet rifles and pistols for plinking pop cans (shooting fur-bearing critters and birds has always been a no-no to us). I have no objection to someone hunting if they are going to eat what they shoot, but killing any animal merely for its horns or hide is a sin and a crime as far as I am concerned.

Shoot safe and stay safe

I have about a dozen long guns including some shotguns that have all remained unused and been locked in a gun safe for quite a while now. It’s about time I started using them once again. Since I’ve always been a fan of the shooting sports and developed my skills over the years with safety foremost, I simply can’t accept careless attitudes when it comes to guns. Only responsible people should be permitted to own and use them. I’m all for thorough background checks so criminals and unstable people can’t buy them legally. This is especially the case for assault rifles and other such weapons meant for war.

After all, folks should only own a gun if it is meant for sporting uses, but they must obey some basic rules. If you own a gun of any type and you’re often doped up on drugs or alcohol, or too mentally unstable to behave responsibly with it for the sake of your family and others, then I sure hope that the police know who you are and will soon have a reason to arrest you.

My murder-mystery novels will always have some characters in them that use and own guns legally or illegally, but remember: my novels are fictional. Any issues with the legality of them or the poor choices made concerning them don’t necessarily reflect how I feel guns should be handled. In reality, it takes everyone pulling together to make sure we all stay safe. What can you do? Stay informed and be attentive to anything related to guns in and around the area where you live. If you see or hear something you feel isn’t right and needs attention, please be sure to speak up and tell someone that you think may be able to do something to correct the situation.

Stephen Winn

Posted by: Stephen Winn


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