People always ask me the question "What got you into shooting and your love of firearms?" For me, it's never been a power thing, the intimidation aspect or the "bad ass" mentality. I enjoy it because it's a family tradition. I grew up going to our grandparent's house in Virginia and having my grandpa, my dad and my uncle take my brother and I down to the shooting bench with a single shot .22 and a box full of Remington ammo. While I enjoyed the actual art of shooting that was taught to me by several generations of excellent riflemen, it was more about the environment and company in which it was happening.
As we grew up, I remember the excitement I would feel knowing we had a farm trip coming up and I'd be able to see my family and shoot the .22. Over time, we progressed and my dad bought a Mossberg 500, which much like the .22, was the gun we learned on. Nothing fancy, just a functional piece of steel and wood.
Shortly after my 19th birthday, I went to the local Walmart and bought my very first rifle. My interest grew from there. Up until the day my grandfather passed away, I'd always look forward to taking whatever new firearm I had recently purchased down to the farm to show him. All of us would take turns shooting it at the random targets we had set up in the back field.
As I grew older, I started to appreciate the science and talent that went into making these weapons into what they were. I was intrigued by the stories behind them. Holding a historic relic and thinking to myself, "Can you imagine having 1000 soldiers firing all around you, standing up for what they believe in?"
Now with a family of my own, and my oldest child being a boy, I get to experience the excitement of being able to share the same things with him as he gets older. I got so excited that, before his second birthday, I had searched high and low to find the perfect first shotgun for him.
My time now is limited due to responsibilities, so I don't get to shoot as much as I once did, however the passion is certainly still there. Even if I can't get to the range, I'll still make sure to open up the safe, oil some of my favorites and put them back in the safe for another day.