Tuesday, March 17, 2009

now for something entirely different

Jeff had guns. Guns for hunting. I didn't ever take much notice of the guns, except for when we had first moved in together - and that was only to express my discomfort with having them in the house.

I grew up in a house without any weapons. When my brother eventually made a gun out of scraps of wood, my mother explained to us that guns were for killing and that he was NOT to ever point even his toy gun at another human being.

I have held onto this for my whole life. I have always felt that it is SO very odd that these things were made into 'toys'. "Here, kiddos, go outside and pretend to massacre your buddies!" I realize that I have very strong views on this and that these views are not shared with much of the population. And that's okay with me when no one is pointing these imitation firearms at my little ones.

Anyhow, to my surprise and joy, Jeff felt the same way about guns. He did not feel that they were for 'playing with'. He wanted our children to realize that guns were dangerous in the hands of someone who did not understand the safety 'rules' and what these weapons were capable of. He would say, "Guns are for killing, not for playing." Who knew? The hippy and the redneck thing go well together!

Anyhow, after Jeff died, I didn't give much thought to his guns that were locked up in a safe, with trigger locks and ammunition stored seperately in a locked metal tool box. Recently, however, I have received a few letters from the RCMP reminding me of the presence of the guns and forcing me to take some form of action on behalf of these weapons.

Unsure what to do, I have weighed all the options - give them away, register them in someone else's name and send them to their location until I decide what to do and if the kids will want them one day, or surrender them to the RCMP OR get my own firearms license thus allowing me to retain them legally. I have felt unsure about sending them out of my 'hands' because I am afraid that I'd forget to get them back and ,really, when do I deal with things if they are out of sight. I think Jeff would be upset if I just 'got rid' of them. One of Jeff's four children may have want for them one day. So.....*insert ominous music here* I have decided to get my Possession and Aquisition License (PAL).

I am actually chuckling over the ironic twist of fate that has forced my hand here. Me, the one who is so extremely nervous of the message of guns as toys, with a license to possess these firearms. Jeff would laugh. He would tease me over this, I am sure.

Last night, I began the course. On Jeff's birthday. It ends on the anniversary of his death. Four classes three hours long. Although much of the course seems to be common sense, I'll be learning the difference between various types of guns - semi-automatic vs bolt action, ammunition, how to load and unload, but most of all, HOW TO BE SAFE. (Did you know that it is illegal to ever aim a gun - loaded or not - at another human being?) It makes me laugh to think that I will know anything more about a gun than that they are dangerous.

Some of the facts surrounding guns have been interesting; such as, the fact that the gauge of ammunition is measured by how many BBs within a cartridge it takes to make a pound. I don't know who thought that one up, it's tad odd. Also, how the first guns were made and how they functioned. But, I am finding that the most interesting thing so far about the course, is watching the people and looking around the Fish and Game Club where it is held....

Let's just way that mine was the only mini-van in the parking lot. I was one of the few not wearing some form of clothing not emblazoned with camo. I didn't nod my head and grumble with approval when the instructor made various comments about 'bleeding heart' people who believe in gun control. I am in awe with how many times the words "nipple" and "cock" are used when speaking about firearms as well and of the ability of these people to not chuckle each time it is mentioned that the "cock hits the nipple". Myself, I think maybe I am not as mature as these hardened hunters.

I loved that the sign above the men's bathroom door says "Pointers" and the women's says "Setters". The clubhouse smelled like a cub scouts meeting hall and was decorated with laquered plywood.

I felt like a spy. Like an impostor. But I do have to say that the people all were very kind. This kindness, however, came with a slight *note sarcasm here* bit of sexist condescention. In fact, when I called about the course, the man on the phone replied that they do not allow women to have licenses as they may shoot their husband. Calmly and quickly, I replied, "Oh, that's okay. Mine's already dead." The man on the other end of the phone continued to talk but after a few minutes, he stopped and apologized for his comment. I laughed wickedly thinking "Touche!" Jeff would have found this whole interaction hilarious. But I do hope that this interaction stops the grandfatherly 'Mr.Shootsalot' from making this 'joke' again.

Also, I am finding out things about Jeff that I had no understanding or appreciation of before. I had no idea that Jeff was absolutely ultra-safe when it came to storing his guns. He had them locked up far beyond the federal guidelines for firearm storage. It just shows me how much he took care of us and how much he cared about us.


Hawkfeather said...

yer a bad ass is all

txmomx6 said...

YAY for you!!!
I'm with you on the whole "gun thing", but yay for you stepping out and doing something that you wouldn't have done "before". And he's smiling very broadly ... I just know it.
I'm sure I've given my own husband (I'm 15 months out) several things to smile about .... things, I, too, never thought I'd do.
Keep it up ..... it's encouraging for the rest of us.

leigh in the sav said...

i am constantly impressed and in awe of your ability to be so flexible and really "go with the flow."

what a great idea, taking the course would surely have made jeff laugh. the irony is certainly not lost on me - but am so glad you can still find moments and pieces of knowledge from the classes that are useful.

i have always expressed the fact that i am not a supported of guns because i am ignorant to how to use them. i am so proud you have taken steps to be a responsible parent that can later share knowledge and let the kiddos make their own decisions.

cheers, to you!

Desha said...

"Pointers" and "setters" had me in stitches. Hilarious=)

Joanie said...

Jackie, I'm sorry this is
"off-topic" but I was
wondering about the San Diego
conference. I would be honored
to help financially if you want to go and money is an issue. It would
logistically be difficult to
offer to child-sit since I
live in Maine, but the money
thing I can do.

Rach said...

Go Jackie.

And good on you for posting about this - a lot of people will probably be 'tsk tsking' about this issue.

I love that Jeff was so safe with those guns. What a man. xxx

Robin Stewart said...

OMG want to take the course just to say "cock" and "nipple"

The Becker Family said...

You're post is hilarious!! I myself had to take a course for a hunting license (for my husband) and had to sit through (as an adult mind you) 5 three hour classes with a room full of 12 year old boys! Anyway, couldn't stop laughing about the 'cock & nipple'!! Too funny! ...and after reading your post to my hubby he commented that he too believed that Jeff would be very proud of you. Just thought I would share...