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Monday, December 17, 2012

An Almost Tragedy in the Making

                                                        Bang, Bang, Daddy

“Bang, bang, Daddy” my two year old son, Kevin yelled as he pointed the 22 guage  revolver at Terry’s head.
“Bang, bang, Daddy”

Standing in the doorway to the bedroom I saw Kevin, dressed in his cowboy suit and western hat with his holster at his side standing next to dad who was snoring.

“No! No! Give me that gun. Honey, give mommy the gun.”
The loaded 22 must have been under the pillow. I wasn’t sure where Terry kept the gun but Kevin had found it. The gun did not have the safety catch on.

Putting my hand in the leather holster, I gripped the gun like a weight lifter grabs bar bells as he raises them over his head. The revolver felt like 500 pounds rather than the one pound it weighed. Shaking and sweating, stairing straight ahead at the target range. I squinted and then shut my eyes and pulled the trigger. The bullet took off into space careening towards the empty parking lot. It had a mind of its own.
“What are you aiming at? Can’t you see the target!”

1963.  Another failure on the target range. Terry took a few rounds and then we got into the car and drove  in silence the 70 miles home from Winchester to Buena Park.
Terry had been trying to teach me to shoot since 1960. I failed miserably.
This is it. I hate guns. The gun has gotta’ go. He has to go.

Twice a month we drove to the target range in Winchester, California for target practice. I hated guns. I was afraid of them. We never had guns in our house growing up.

“Kevin, give me the gun. Give mommy the gun.” Kevin dropped the gun on the floor running back into the living room picking up his cap gun.

Later that day, Terry and I argued about the gun. That wasn’t the only issue we had. This was the incident that broke up our marriage.  After consultation with my parents and my pastor, I made up my mind.  We were separating for awhile.  I just could not live like this.  After the separation, Terry moved back to Ohio, and I got a divorce. 
In retrospect, I think we were too immature and too young to make this marriage work. 

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