Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Biscuit, our rapidly growing kitten, had his first kill this past weekend. Sure, he'd caught and eaten a variety of bugs, but nothing of substance. His chosen prey was a sparrow. Rather than show a photo of the adorable bird that he actually killed, I put this photo of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow instead.
I was in my office when I heard a bird screeching inside the house. At first, I thought Alice, our older and much more experienced hunter, had brought in the bird. But then, I found Alice and Biscuit in master bath. Alice was staring at the sparrow in Biscuit's mouth and Biscuit was growling at Alice. This was his bird, damn it. Go get your own.
Biscuit took the sparrow into the bathtub to play with it. I was thankful for that. No matter how this thing ended, there was going to be a lot of feathers flying around and having the bird in the bath would kept the feathers from spreading all over the house.
I grabbed a rag. My intention was to wrap the rag around the bird and then force Biscuit's mouth open. Then I would take the bird outside and set him free. He would have a grand story to tell the other sparrows when he got home. But I was too late. By the time I got the rag on the bird, Biscuit had already killed it. I put the sparrow in the woods while Biscuit searched the bathtub for his lost prey. And even though Biscuit didn't get a chance to play with his bird and eat it too, he had proudly made his first kill.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
I went to a shooting range for the first time in my life. Had a great time. I was invited by a friend who showed great patience and generosity. I managed to shoot the target, though I also managed to shoot the wire that controls the location of the target. The range had to be shut down for a half hour while the wire was repaired. I fired a variety of weapons, including a 9mm, AK47, AR15, 12 gauge shotgun, a 45, and something called "The Judge." There were all sorts of folks at the range, all of them friendly. There was a geniune sense of community.
I didn't walk out feeling that I had to have a gun. I have never been against gun ownership, but I am not convinced that arming everyone will make us all safer. Someone at the range said that "An armed society is a polite society." I suppose means that all drive-by shootings begin with, "Excuse me, mind if I pop a hundred caps in yo' ass?"
A gun is a tool that can be used wisely or foolishly, just as a baseball bat can be used to swat baseballs or bash in heads. I respect the gun owners who treat their weapons with great care and follow strict procedure. But they are not all gun owners, just as not all car drivers are safe drivers.
As I said, I had a great time. Might even do it again someday. Might even take a class to learn more about guns. But the thrill of firing the gun did not change my opinion of them. I still believe there needs to be more discussion in society about how we want to regulate guns. One side of the argument cannot have complete sway over the other half. A balance has to be attained.