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  • I learned to shoot a gun when I was six years old. Uncle Al and Aunt Flossie Myers had just moved out to Mount Jewett, Pennsylvania, and we went up there for a weekend visit. I learned the importance of being safe with a gun, learned how to aim, shoot, and to absorb the kickback of the rifle.

    I don’t think I shot a gun again until Boot Camp in the Navy. Only, we didn’t call it a “gun” in the Navy. It was a rifle. I was one of the best shots in my Company. After Boot Camp, I never had call for using a gun, or a rifle, again.

    When I worked at the printing company for a couple years, right after I got out of the VA Hospital’s Depression Clinic, I became friends with a guy who turned out to be a real con artist. Doc got my good friend, and secret flame (my secret – I never got around to telling her how I felt) Janet pregnant before he disappeared with his wife, who he was supposed to have been estranged from. Before he got Janet pregnant and took off, he had talked me into buying an antique Chinese rifle, that he claimed to have confiscated during his supposed tour of Viet Nam. (As we learned the extent of this man’s Con Artistry later on, we came to realize that little, if anything, of what he said turned out to be true).

    I kept the rifle in the bedroom closet of my apartment. I was in a first floor apartment of a complex that bordered a wooded area and Neshaminy Creek.

    When I was in my first 90 days of what would become my continuous sobriety, I had an incident that convinced me I was more dangerous with a gun, than I was unsafe without one. Since I was serious about my sobriety, and really wanted it to “take” this time, after a couple of years of struggling to get the program, I was following the recommendation of 90 meetings in 90 days. I think I did something like 120 meetings in 90 days. I really wanted to stay clean and sober, and I still thought going to meetings had something to do with staying sober. At meetings, you drink coffee. Lots of it. I developed a serious caffeine habit. I was doing 15-20 cups of coffee a day. As a result, I was wired for sound! One night, while I was laying in bed trying to get to sleep, I heard a noise coming from my dining room. My mind immediately went to the thought that someone was breaking into my apartment. I reached into my bedroom closet, grabbed my Chinese rifle, which was loaded, and slowly made my way from my bedroom, down the hall, through the living room, and into the dining room. I was ready to shoot that thing. Me, with 20 cups of coffee in me, and wired for sound. When I got to the dining room, I realized what I’d heard. I had left the dining room window open, and a strong breeze was blowing my blinds back and forth.

    The next day, I sold the rifle. If anyone had just happened to be moving around outside my dining room window, for all I knew, I might have shot at them. I decided then and there, that I didn’t need to have a rifle. I decided then and there that what I needed more than a rifle, was to develop the ability to trust the universe, and my higher power, to provide what I needed, and to protect me.

    Today, I completely trust the universe. I have never had need of, or use for, a gun since I got rid of that silly, antique Chinese rifle.

    That’s all I know about guns and rifles. That’s just my personal experience. I have no idea what anyone needs an automatic, or semi-automatic weapon of any kind for. I really hope they never shoot me with one of them, but I have complete trust in the universe that if they do, I will be protected. If I do get shot, I’ll be provided with what I need to deal with that.

    I believe in the line that I learned from a song that was sung at the end of every service at a church we once attended for awhile –“Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me”

    I believe, unconditionally, in peace, and I believe it begins with me. Keep your guns. I have no use for the blasted things.
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