The Lost Prairie Chronicles #12
By the age of 5 Tommy was convinced that his dad was hiding something very special in the closet on the top shelf. “Tommy, don’t you ever go into that closet. Stay out! Something bad is in there”.
At 5 Tommy was definitely afraid to go into that closet….. but Tommy didn’t stay 5 years old. Tommy grew, and so did his curiosity. He had stood in front of that closet a number of times when his dad came into the room and sternly warned. “Tommy!! Don’t you dare!!” And Tommy didn’t dare….. at least not then. But that day did come…. at age 8.
Dad and mom were gone shopping. His Aunt was baby sitting and she was outside in the garden. Tommy was alone.
Dragging a kitchen chair to the closet, he opened it, pushed the chair inside, climbed up and stood on his tiptoes. Nothing there……… nothing but a shoebox. Could that be it?? He carefully removed the box from the shelf, climbed down from the chair, sat on the closet floor and opened the box.
*Wow! How cool! Its just like the cops use on TV!* He found that the cylinder rotated and made a clicking sound. The trigger was too hard to pull so he gave up trying, but….. the hammer! That thing at the back! He was able to pull it back. But now what? Looking at the muzzle of the pistol, he carefully squeezed the trigger. CLICK! *Wow! How cool* Click….. again.
A scream from his Aunt caused him to drop the revolver. “What are you doing!!?? Give me that!!” Tommy dropped the pistol in fear. What had he done? It couldn’t be that bad…. besides it looked so cool!
Tommy’s dad had made two serious mistakes. First and foremost….. Tommy knew nothing about the dangerous weapon he’d been holding. Secondly, and fortunately for Tommy……. it wasn’t loaded.
She had just turned 5 years old, and I knew it was time. She knew there were firearms in the house because she’d seen them from the time she was aware of her surroundings, and they were always well out of reach, but her time had now come.
First came the simple explanation of how any of the firearms in the house could hurt her, or Mommy or Dad. Nodding her head she signified that she understood………. but she didn’t. Not at that age.
She followed me outside and thought the huge headset I put on her was pretty neat. I placed a milk jug full of water just 5 feet away. Donning my own ear protection, I put her both of her hands around the grips on the huge .44 pistol. Covering both of her hands with mine, I held the pistol as far away from her little body as I could and slowly squeezed the trigger.
Despite the headsets the noise and concussion were horrendous, at least for that little girl they were. The milkjug exploded in a vapor of water leaving Rosemary wide eyed and trembling.
Not a word was said at that moment. I unloaded the pistol, took off her headset and we went to where the jug had been. She looked up at me and I asked her if she understood how dangerous any of our firearms could be. She solemnly nodded her head and from that day until she received her own firearms she never went near any of them in the house.
The odd and surprising thing was when I heard her tell her visiting friends to “stay away from all the firearms in the house!!” And she kept a weather eye on any young visitors.
Fortunately all of her friends had parents who had provided an early education to their children as well.
Mystery provokes curiosity. Education removes mystery.
Among her peers and their families, we’ve never in our Family history heard of a child injured by a firearm in our area. Rosemary carrys a pistol with her wherever she goes, as does her Brother. We live a long way from town and in the past 10 years or so there are a lot of newcomers from the west coast cities, and with them comes their baggage, IE: crime.
Both of my children were required to read two books before owning their own pistols. “In the Gravest Extreme” , Masaad Ayoob and “No Second Place Winners”, Bill Jordan. Books outling the seriousness of carrying and the legal implications involved.
Both of them were taught use and respect of both pistols and rifles. Both have their own pistols and rifles.
I’ll go into their education another time, but rest assured that both of them were taught respect for firearms at a very early age.