When I was little I would not stand to be left at home while my dad and brother went hunting or fishing. I wanted to be included with the boys, even if they said I was too small or if the weather was too harsh for a little girl. I wanted to prove that this “little girl” was tough and could hang with the guys. I would even carry my pop-gun in the duck blind and shoot just like everyone else.
My dad took this opportunity to begin to teach me about gun safety at a very early age. As I grew older and stronger I graduated to a BB gun, then a 4-10 shotgun, on to a 20 gauge, and now to my 12 gauge Beretta. Handling a gun instilled a foundation of respect for firearms within me and helped me understand the responsibility I held in my hands. My dad would remind me to never point it towards anyone and to always treat a gun as if it was loaded. The principals of gun safety and the responsibility I had progressively built through using each gun formed the level of respect I have for firearms today.
Each gun had a story behind it. Most of them were handed down from my brother but the 12ga I use now is very special to me because it was my Uncle Louis’ gun. He passed away from cancer when I was still too young to shoot it, but he left it for me to grow into. He wanted me to give the boys a run for their money… and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I think about him every time I uncase my gun and try my best to make him proud.