At home in my dresser drawer there's a little cardboard cartridge box with a deformed, spent bullet rattling around inside of it. After it hit me, I saved the bullet and have kept it under my socks all these years.
When we're out here at the farm, we do things we don't get to do at home. One of those things is to do some shooting. Jason and his brother grew up shooting trap with their dad, and they all have plenty of trophies and awards to attest to their skills at shattering those bright orange clay targets as they slice through the sky.
One of the first times I came to the farm, Jason and I did some target practice with a .22 caliber handgun. Our target was an old oil drum about 25 feet away from us across the yard. I was a pretty good shot. And it was pretty fun. Until I got hit by a bullet.
The old barrel had a thick metal rim that wrapped around the top edge. When one of my shots hit the rim, it ricocheted off and came right back at us. It caught me in the leg, bounced off, and fell into the grass. The skin on my shin was broken but not so deeply that it bled. Much. I shook it off and decided that was enough shooting for one afternoon. Once you shoot yourself it's probably a good idea to call it a day.
I've done some other shooting since, here and there, aiming at paper targets hung in safe places with absolutely no barrels anywhere near. One companion Jason and I went shooting with had a long history of being a gun enthusiast. After my turn with the gun, he admired how I'd punched the middle out of the target. He said, "Have you ever considered a career in law enforcement?" with wide eyes.
I haven't. And I have no desire to shoot anymore. So today I just watched. I think it's best I leave the shooting to the professionals or people with lots of trophies. And especially to those who haven't shot themselves in the leg.
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