I’m a sucker for kids . . .

I went to a small local gun show this morning, looking to sell a couple of handguns to raise money for a couple of other intended purchases.  One of them was a Walther P22 pistol in .22LR, with the factory laser module (which made it a more expensive purchase, of course).

I was walking down the aisles, casually looking at what other people were selling and discussing my guns with potential buyers, when I happened upon an elderly gentleman carrying a single-shot 20ga. shotgun over his shoulder, with a bouncing, bubbly 6- or 7-year-old boy in tow.  He noticed my Walther and asked what I wanted for it.  I told him, and he shook his head sadly.  “I want a .22 for my grandson here, but that’s too much.”

The boy’s eyes were glued to my pistol.  “Is that a laser on the end?” he burst out, hardly able to contain his excitement.

“Yes, it is,” I informed him, and took it off the gun to show him how it worked.  He beamed from ear to ear as he bounced the red dot off everything in sight.

Well . . . I got to talking with Grandpa.  He wanted too much for his shotgun (which turned out to be a type I hadn’t seen before:  a Winchester Model 370, which is a relabeled version of the Cooey Model 84, made in Canada in the 1960’s and early 1970’s).  However, he didn’t have much cash.  If he didn’t get a good price for his shotgun, he wouldn’t be able to afford a good .22 handgun for the boy;  and he couldn’t afford mine with the laser – unless I charged him the price it would fetch without the laser.

You guessed it.  I walked away with a shotgun I don’t need, and he walked out with the pistol (and the laser).  His grandson was bouncing off the floor in gleeful anticipation, squealing, “We’re going shooting!  Grandpa’s taking me shooting!”  Everyone within earshot was grinning like mad.  One guy standing near us even bought a box of ammo and gave it to Grandpa for the kid, just for the heck of it.

Many shooters are like that.  They remember what it was like when they were young, too.  It’s a good fraternity to which to belong . . . and we all feel good about inducting new members the right way.



  1. I hope you've read the ultimate grandfather/grandson book, Robert Ruark's magnificent The Old Man and the Boy. If you haven't, acquire it as soon as possible, you won't be disappointed.

  2. Dangit, I'm grinning like a loon just reading that. You, sir, rock. I bet you smile every time you look at that shotgun in the future. Can't put a price on a child's joy, right? 😀
    God bless.

  3. Whaddya mean when we're "young"? I still get that feeling with a new gun. Or a new bow.

    It bugs the Missus, it does. Especially the squealing with glee part.

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