We Got Guns

My father-in-law has guns all over his house. He’s never more than two steps from a firearm. They’re on top of shelves, in drawers, in air ducts, tucked inside bags of chips, inside secret wall compartments, taped to the bottoms of chairs, suspended by wire in the light fixtures. Were you ever so foolish as to break into his house, God help you. (More accurately, “May God have mercy on your soul.”) Not only will the police not be able to identify you from your dental records, but they’ll never even know you were there. And even if they suspected, there wouldn’t be enough of you left to identify.

He used to have a shotgun sawed off so short it was smaller than that baby gun James Bond carries. (Yes, I do know that was a Walther PPK.) About that shotgun, he once told me, “When you shoot it, you have to hold it way out to your side like this, and let go as you’re squeezing the trigger. Otherwise, the kick will rip your arm off.”

I asked (rather foolishly), “How can you aim it accurately like that?”

He said, “Aim?! What are you talking about, aim? It’s a shotgun, genius. The only downside to using this is the mess it makes. You ever see that movie where that alien pops out of that guy’s chest?”

“You mean Alien?”

“That looked like squeezing a pimple compared to what this does. You use this, and your next door neighbors will have to have Service Master come out to scrub their carpets and ceilings.”

(Generally speaking, I try to remain on better terms with my neighbors than that.)

When my wife and I got married, he gave me a little .22 pistol.

“You know how to use this?” he asked.

“Pretty much, I guess,” I lied. (I’ve already told you about my history with weapons.)

He ignored my answer about the toddler sidearm he was presenting me with and continued… “Here, let me show you.” He then patiently demonstrated how to load the magazine with bullets, how to insert the magazine, and even how to get an extra shot out of it by placing another bullet directly into the chamber through the top.

Then he clarified: “Now, this isn’t a stopping weapon. It’s only to buy you some time to get out. It’s probably just gonna make them mad. Really mad. It’ll sting, but it would never kill anybody—probably not even if you threw it off the top of a skyscraper onto them. If anybody ever breaks into your house and you have to use it, just point it at them, empty it, and throw it at them as hard as you can. Then jump out a window and run away.”

I have lived by that same advice ever since. Turns out it applies in pretty much every awkward, uncomfortable situation, whether a home invasion, little league T-ball game, or invitation to volunteer at church.

What about you? Do you like guns? Do you have any? What would you have James Bond carry?

9 Responses to “We Got Guns”

  1. Bea September 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Guns?????…Never touch them.

  2. Brian Russell September 6, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    Your entire family, from your grandmother to your in-laws, sound like amazing, limitless blog material. I’m a bit jealous.

    • Brannon September 6, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

      I am blessed to be surrounded by wonderful people who intrigue me, support me, love me… and don’t ever read what I write about them on the Internet.

  3. Kendra Golden September 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    I think this post is an interesting study on how a writer can bring so much of their own personality into their portrayals of a subject. I hardly recognize the father-in-law character but he does seem to be some bizarre amalgamation of my husband and my dad. Ewwww.

    • Brian Russell September 8, 2010 at 11:25 am #

      Kendra, don’t worry. When I read “father-in-law” or “grandmother” or “former employer” I assume that’s code for “Brannon”. I think most other readers of this blog/Brannon’s tweets assume the same.

  4. Cooper Strange September 23, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Hm, I guess I really have to rethink my uncle. I always think I have him figured out, then I hear something like this out of left field.

    • Brannon September 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

      Oh, you can’t figure him out. He’s a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, contained within a ham sandwich.

  5. Bea October 29, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    We are reading this this evening wto our out of town guests….Hummm

    • Brannon October 29, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

      Good! That oughta keep ‘em in line…

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