By Scott Carpenter
I wrote this piece back in 2001 for Martin Masse’s Le Quebecois Libre. I have left it unedited – although there are a few things I would change today I don’t think I knew just how relevant it would be to today’s society ‘way back then’.
I was 11 years old when my parents gave me my first real firearm. It was a Lakefield Mark II .22 caliber repeater that I still own. It’s killed a lot of squirrels and grouse in the last seventeen years and in the process I’m convinced that it — with a little help from my father — saved my life.
Of course, it never downed a charging grizzly or wounded a marauding thief. Nope. All it did was keep dad and I busy on the weekends filling the freezer with grouse and slaying errant pop cans. But those activities coupled with the sense of responsibility the ownership of such a tool entailed were enough to keep me out of a lot of trouble that other kids — mostly friends of mine — seemed to have an easy time finding.