We've been listening to the grandkids, and we were concerned that they might not understand the power and potential of a firearm.
Let me explain. Our family likes guns. We like them a lot, and we shoot them every chance we get. Paper targets or steel, or for that matter, clay targets with the shotgun, but that doesn't properly, visually, energetically demonstrate the power available with a squeeze of the trigger. The grandkids in question are adolescent, already safe with firearms, but we became concerned that they might not be fully familiar with the actual result of putting a bullet into something soft and squishy. Hence, a demonstration was in order. We accomplished that this afternoon.
Yesterday I made a quick trip to the grocers and bought a cantaloupe and a couple of spaghetti squash, each just a little smaller than the human head. Today, we loaded the adolescents in the pickup and went to our private range. We explained what we were going to do, then set the cantaloupe on a stump about five yards away. I shot it with a common .45 ACP 230 grain hollowpoint.at a range of about five feet. We were immediately all hit with the splash from the cantaloupe exploding. The top half simply exploded because I hit it a bit high. Then I shot a spaghetti squash at the same range. We autopsied the groceries, explaining the similarity between them and the human anatomy.
When I looked at the boys, their mouths were open in stunned shock. That's good.
They all like shooting my rifles. And, they're perfectly capable of hitting what they see. So, we walked some groceries out to about 50 yards, then got out the rifle. A common, standard .308. The Ugly rifle. I let the boys lay down on the ground and take shots at the produce. A cantaloupe explodes nicely, and the spaghetti squash is likewise disturbed when a rifle bullet plows through them.
They each hit their target and I'm proud of them for that. Laying on their bellies like real marksmen, they put the bullets where the bullets should have been put, then they looked agape at the results.
The ride back to the casa was fairly quiet. "What did you learn?" I asked.
"Those things are dangerous."
That's just exactly what I was trying to portray. Those things are dangerous. Used properly, used safely, they are a source of great joy and pleasure. One moment of carelessness and you'll have a moment that you regret forever. I hope the lesson stays with them, and they learn a new respect for the power they command.