A co-worker is pondering the final Christmas gifts for his eight-year-old. He wants to supplement the main present with appropriate accessories. And what’s the big ticket item? A Crosman.
Yes, that is indeed a BB gun. (Sniff.) What’s that? No, I’m not jealous of the spoiled brat. After all, it’s not like I didn’t have my own gun at that age.
Well…not as nice, of course. Can’t find a jpeg of the P.O.S. gun we had. Perhaps someone tried to upload it and the ‘Net rejected it out of pity. It was a still beloved “toy”.
Which reminds me of Ye Olde Pump Gun Wars. This is another rural/urban chasm between Red and Blue America. Blues will gasp, “Your parents let you stalk and shoot other boys with actual guns?!” Whereas Reds will sneer, “What, too wussy to fight with pellets?”
To answer in reverse order: “Gee, j-wad, if we’d only had fancy-schmancy repeating pellet guns with holographic sights we’d be doing called shots to the earlobe.”
As for you progressive Americans: obviously future NRA members aren’t allowed to battle with eyeball-bursting weapons. But Dads know what’s going on and simply make two prayers: 1) no actual eyeballs get exploded, and, 2) nobody turns crybaby and snitches to his horrified Mommy.
(And if you’re wondering about that 8-year-old’s Mom, she did rein in her husband’s first instinct. “You are NOT giving my baby a .22 rifle!”)
Anyway, back to armed pre-teen conflict. There’s nothing like surviving a (multi-stroke) Pump Gun War for teaching military philosophy to a lively lad. Not that it turns you into a Clausewitz or Sun Tzu. But it does disabuse you of nonsense like “civilized war” and “the decency of humanity”.
CIVILIZED WAR, IN THEORY: “It’s agreed; a five pump limit on all guns.” “Agreed.” “Agreed.”
Sure, there’s always the a-hole who immediately pumps up to the O-ring rupturing point. But in their first skirmish most air gun warriors actually do adhere to negotiated conventions. Ah, innocence. Sweet, stupid, easily-traumatized innocence. Not all air chambers pressurize equally. Not all areas of skin have the same number of nerve endings. Not all pain thresholds are equal. The only constants shared by Battling BB Boys are human nature and their Y chromosomes.
Thus, it is 50-50 that any hit registers as “MORE THAN FIVE PUMPS!”…even when every combatant wages “lawful” war. And if you feel victimized, increasing your own muzzle velocity is not merely justified. It is a moral imperative. Give them a taste of their own medicine or the terrorists will have won.
Only three factors end this escalation: the physical limitations of the weapons, serious injury, or when someone cracks and turns whiner/snitch. Absent those last two, within hours warriors would be rubbing BBs with flu-ridden mucus and turning twigs into punjis.
Ah, rural America. Of course we have it easy compared to tough city mice like Larry O’Donnell. He bested the conditions of a hellish elite private school, whereas we only survive things like BB Wars and Jousting With Dirt Bikes.
UPDATE: my Navy co-worker wanted to nominate his spouse for Wife of the Year. Seems she’s already told him what he’s getting for Christmas.
Nice. Please note that, given his existing arsenal, this beautiful weapon probably falls in the category of “varmint control”.
While we didn’t have wars with airguns, we certainly played around A LOT with fire crackers of all sizes. They were easy enough to get. Not just the classic Chinese style strips that went off in rapid succession, but also what is known as Schweizer and Pirate Cracker here. It’s a larger cartridge with a lot more powder. They’re pretty loud.
Guess what happens when you take a ton of them, cut them open, put the powder into a larger vessel (like a fist sized plastic barrel, the sort of used for a certain ice cream brand here), add a makeshift fuse and insert it into a stone oven that was part of the so called “Indian Village” playground (lots and lots of wood houses and similar) 200 yards from my house.
My first successful demolition and I was only 14. Though, we ran like hell when that went off. And we were smart enough to go into cover, without anyone telling us.
Very nice. Much as I love explosions, I never made any DIY handgrenades. Kudos! Most of my experimentation was with incinderies. It’s nice to have the 4th of July here, where you can keep doing that stuff in your middle age.
There are these legal fireworks called “Picolo Pete’s.” They emit a high pitched whistle. Take a pair of channel locks and crimp the bottom of the powder charge. They then whistle for a bit and then go BANG!!!
I used to buy Estes rocket engines, unwrap them and grind the solid fuel into powder. It takes underwater fuse to light the stuff though. And I do not recommend putting the powder in any sort of tightly closed container with hole just large enough for a fuse.
Just for kicks, I turned an Estes rocket engine into a bottle rocket. (piece of dowel rod some tape and fuse)
I have my eye on a Ruger Gunsite Scout. The only semi-auto weaponry I like carry the imprimatur of JM Browning. (PBUH)
Finally, check out proteinwisdom.com. It’s where all the smart kids hang out. They even let me play once in a while.
Always remember. More pewpew, less QQ.
My older is rather skilled at jousting on bikes. But it’s water or nerf guns, living on post or in the city as we’ve done. Poor deprived darlin. 😉
I hadn’t considered military brats being, ironically, deprived of shooting opportunities. Still, it’s a lot easier to pick up gun skills than a martial philosophy. Which I suspect your kids are getting exposed to.
LOL getting exposed to say the least. more like total immersion. they sure don’t need much encouragement. the on-base battles were pretty epic, ranging for blocks and including injuries that necessitate getting dragged off the field by fellow soldiers.
That IS epic in scope. I never lived in high enough population densities to get mixed up in anything like that.
it was pretty awesome. we miss it. nobody plays outside like that in the neighborhoods of Tampa. thank God for the homeschool group activities.