From Alaska - by Walter Haines

I trapped my first wolf when I was 8. I don’t remember a time I wasn’t around guns. In the 60's I could walk into a gun store - most stores in my town sold some kind of guns - pick a gun (in some cases not even sign a slip!) and walk out. They sent out bills every month and you just paid them. If you live on an island in SE Alaska - where are you going to go?

We had guns and ammo in our lockers at school. We didn't lock our cars or our houses. There was respect. There were unspoken community standards; you looked out for one another. If you got out of line someone said something. I didn't know how good we had it. Back before 1968 guns were fun, you could order from a catalogue. Guns put meat on the table and kept the wolf away from the door – literally, at times. We got on airplanes with guns - and someone was always coming up with a new gun. Heck! Even grandma had a gun - and she knew how to use it! An informal backyard shoot match was common; you didn't think anything of it. The best part about joining the Army INF was free ammo, bunch of new guns. When I slow down I'll get my class #3 and buy a pig (M-60). Yep! Still kicking myself for that one – fyi 1985 messed that one up the M-60 is a belt fed 308. And it was full auto.

Them days are over - more over in some states than others. Don't get me wrong, I still like guns. The history! More people need to understand the phrase “Lock Stock & Barrel” and how it changed the world; the story of DR Shush. See, I was told a story about how a woman invented the muffler? Nope first came the silencer - so he could shoot without bothering his neighbor.

Guns don't get the credit they’re owned. Few understand the role they played in winning the first 2 WW with over 4k gun laws on the books - and that's an old number; they can’t enforce them so its supply and demand: you want it, someone will supply it. I, for one, am not getting on the train. The old saying “Don't use force just get a bigger hammer.”

Well I will always find some enjoyment in guns - even if I have to look harder to see it.

BFR 444 Marlin - my Alaska Bear gun; shoot or reload daily.

My never ending loading bench.