Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Bought a Gun

A few years ago, I started whining about my 2nd Amendment rights and how I wasn't upholding my end of the Constitutional bargain.  I was a little taken aback when Suzi agreed with me.  Now, don't go all NRA-Crazy on us.  I'm not some "check yer weapons at tha' door" type.  I do believe that gun ownership is an option that we as Americans have built into the accessory list that comes with our citizenship.  You know, floor mats, alloy wheels, pursuits of happiness and such.  When Suzi's dad immigrated to America just as the Iron Curtain came crashing down, one of his early purchases was a small revolver.  Why?  Because it was something his previous government prohibited.  In this era of "enhanced pat-downs," we, as Americans, take for granted the freedoms we hold in comparison to the rest of the world.
OK, so now I'll reach under my soapbox and pull out my gun 'cause I know some of ya'll out there wanna  see it.  I had always expected to buy something tactical, with a laser and a Surefire light-up-your-world cannon attached.  Something black and spec-ops.  I figured on a 9mm for ease of access and relatively inexpensive ammo.  But when my "buyer" called one Saturday morning and said he'd found something I might like, I had no idea I'd fall for a Cold War relic.
Relic.  That's a strong term.  "It's got wood grips!" was my first thought.  This is NOT what I had in mind.  But after I hefted its all-steel frame and felt the satisfying whump of its decently balanced recoil, I was sold.
Just like that, at 36 years old, after a late night transaction in a remote, dimly lit, Taco Bell parking lot, my first gun was Hungarian Hi-Power clone: the FEG PJK-9HP.  The seller even threw in a couple of boxes of ammo.  And that, I think, has been the most interesting part of this whole exercise.  I was amazed at how cheap and how easy it is to pick up a gun.  I simply put the word out that I was interested and scoped a few shops.  When dealing with individuals, there's no government intervention.  It's like shopping for an extra Snoopy sippy cup at a garage sale.  If it looks clean, take it home.
Since then, I've picked up a few extra mags off Gunbroker and a paddle holster from Target Masters.  I've read a year's worth of Guns & Ammo and gone out a few times to a range near us to blown stuff up.  All that's made me the same guy I was pre-gun; I now just know some range etiquette and the difference between a .22LR and a .22Magnum.
There are folks on both coasts and quite a few through the middle of this great country who shake their heads and think, "What pitiful stuff... a waste."  But I'm not carrying the piece to the Mall or keeping it hidden 'neath my pillow in case some black-hat traipses through the door with nefarious deeds in mind.  It is what it is: an intricate example of mechanics, an interesting sidelight on a Saturday afternoon, another piece of gear... That makes a very loud boom and pretty little groups at 25 yards.
Anybody wanna throw some lead downrange this weekend?

No comments: