Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lawmen and Rifles - Shooting thru the tears

About 25 years ago, A country lawman befriended me, and showed me, by his own example, that I could be a law-abiding-person. At the time I was clearly on a course that would have ended me in prison, eventually.

I eventually came to the realization that, I was more addicted to driving than drinking. A fifth of rum aint never taken me down a back road to a wondrous discovery.

I also preferred to punch holes in paper, to a life where touching a firearm would land me federal charges.

My friend the deputy arranged for me to be at an informal firing range with him, in another county, the day the police came for some of my friends. He was 60 some then, and we were using his Winchester 94, in .357 to plink down some 150 tin cans, he had a deal with the reloader that supplied the shops in Spokane.

I basically joined the side of the angels after watching the forces of law and evil put some fairly innocent, but rowdy, kids through a legal meat grinder. Through my machinations, two members of the County Prosecutor's office were brought up on charges. Two more resigned. I can't take credit for the eventual electoral defeat of our County Prosecutor.

After a certain period, I resigned from my activism, and relaxed into a quiet life.

I hadn't seen my friend in about ten years, and it had been five years before that that I'd seen him regularly.

Today someone, a young kid, wearing a uniform identical to his, knocked upon my door. He had passed away about a week ago. The funeral has been the previous day. Only a handful of police from around the state, and over in Idaho, had attended. He had directed that I should receive a memento of our earlier friendship. The young deputy opened the trunk of his cruiser, pulled out a rectangular wooden box, and opened it to reveal my friends Winchester 94 .357 that had served him for over 40 years as a backup to his service revolver.

In a couple of weeks, the young deputy and I have a date at the range to see how many x-rings we can punch out at 50 to 75 yards with our respective 9mm carbines. I will need a new setup to grind out the reloads in .38 and .357 that will do my hero's carbine justice. Apparently the factory had restored it to new just before he had retired.

I'm honored that of all the people he befriended, he decided to leave me his most cherished firearm.

I'd much rather have the rifle in his hands, but I hope I can continue to live up to his faith in me.

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