When I was a child,
I played with guns
Slaying imaginary people
With guns often of imagination
Often sticks
With explosives of over ripe tomatoes
Or clods of dirt from fresh plowed fields.

I look back in wonder at it all: This whole GUN thing we children had a fascination for. We saw them on TV and in the movies. Noise and sometimes flame and actors fell dying – only later to be suspiciously seen in other TV shows and movies.

Death was an abstract
Something perceived with morbid wonder for…
Road kills
An occasional pet
An incomprehension that perhaps allowed us to be…

Human toy soldiers playing with plastic guns
Plastic figurines of soldiers
Weapons of war
Of death
We had no comprehension of
Nothing in OUR lives could imagine the true horrors that
Weapons of mass destruction do as…
We played soldier without any idea of the horrors of guns.

As I and others of my age Aged,
We graduated to REAL guns
BB and Pellet guns.
We went to the local creek area and hunted
First cold blood.
What menace was a FROG to me and others?
An introduction to killing.

Others graduated to real guns,
Big guns
Loud guns
That killed big
Killed messy
Killed proud as dressed in camouflage they hunted they innocent.

I was disgusted with the small carnage of the killing of small creatures. The stupidity of trying to kill a bird or frog or some other creature. For the simple sick THRILL OF KILLING.

My father was a hunter but HE hunted for FOOD during the Depression times. He was a “sportsman”. Guns of all kinds and hunting were part of his life. I believe he grew disgusted with it all as he grew older. Seeing the waste of it all. The stupidity and cruelty of so many hunters. My father told me of hunters that would shoot and WOUND an animal with arrow or bullet and be too lazy to follow a blood trail to put it out of it’s misery. No that would show a higher mind human. Acts of Mercy.

I never hunted the big animals.
I never served in the military where they often hunt the BIGGEST animals.
I have wondered if killing frogs and small birds is practice
Then graduation to larger things like rabbits
Or deer
I wonder if killing those larger animals makes it easier to kill the largest
No not an elephant
But something that shoots back.

I have wondered if the sticks
Then plastic guns shaped like REAL guns
Are an introduction to REAL killing later in life.

What was once so cute and innocent
Boys with toy guns
Patrolling a local urban landscape of perfectly manicured lawns
Morphs easily into uniformed MEN with REAL guns later in life,
Patrolling a foreign ruined landscape of destroyed houses
Destroyed lives
That may have started with stick guns
Rotten tomato bombs
And a total ignorance and innocence of what guns
Can do.

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