The Gift of Guns & Gratitude

Yesterday I bought a gun.

I guess that sentence has more weight then I intend, especially because it is a gift for my husband's 40th birthday, coming up towards the end of the month.  But *I* had to fill out all the paperwork, the gun is registered in my name and the clerk made it very clear it was mine.  Yep, it's mine.

But here is my story.  The conversation with the clerk started off a little rough, especially because my gun knowledge is about this much > . < Not much at all.  I knew what kind he wanted and he had pointed some out in a flier so I brought that in with me.  However, when you are looking at these /racks/ of hunting rifles I was just lost.  I'm not sure he really appreciated that.

But we got over it.  We talked.  We figured out which one to get and then the. paperwork. began.  LOTS of paperwork.  (By the way, when I mentioned maybe all this paperwork was a good thing this elderly gentleman raised his eyebrows at me and said "You and me are going to register our guns.  The criminals are not.  I'll leave it at that."  Truth.  I began to like him.)

As we were filling out all. that. paperwork. we had time to talk. Maybe he was still scoping me out and checking out my intentions but maybe not.  He was just a rough around the edges and I recognize it takes all kinds.  He wondered what my husband wanted a rifle for and I explained he's ready to hunt.  He never has and his "midlife crisis" involves wanting to shoot a deer, make deer-jerky, venison stew, etc etc (Not so sure I'll be a part of all that though, just thinking out loud.)  Then I candidly and without emphasis mentioned he was a soldier and so the gun-wish was no great surprise.  That stopped Mr. Crachety in his tracks.

"Ma'am, thank him for his service."  A smile came across my face. "No really, please do."

Just like that.

I'm on my mom's hip while she and a friend learn
to fire a gun many years ago. It's going to be my
turn to learn soon.
There was a little more chit-chat but we were almost done and then he kindly walked me up to the cashier, asked about my boys (he saw a picture in my wallet), made sure I was taken care of and then gave me a strong hand shake.

I felt American.  I felt connected.  I felt like the sacrifices of the few were appreciated by the many.

So maybe I'll learn to fire that gun, hit the target for practice, enjoy my 2nd Amendment rights.  But mostly, I'll just enjoy the gift that my husband is to me and the sacrifices that he makes, and so many other soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coasties, so that the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms that we were given to enjoy.

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

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