I Wish My Daddy had bought Me an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle for Christmas

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Today we bring you a guest post from none other than Jeff Edwards of Unprecedented Mediocrity. Mad Duo


I Wish My Daddy had bought Me an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle for Christmas

Jeff Edwards

Before I went to Iraq with the Marines, I would routinely have dreams where a gun was much needed. Perhaps I was dreaming of a combat scenario, a home invasion, or even Freddy Krueger (as if a gun would do anything against him). Yet it never failed that when it came time to pull the trigger in my dream, I could never do it.  It certainly wasn’t for a lack of trying. But in messed up dreamland, either my finger was too fat to fit in the trigger well, the trigger moved like molasses, or some other funky dreamland obstacle prevented it. That was until I actually pulled the trigger in Iraq back in 2003. Now in my dreams I pull the trigger all the time everytime because experience matters, even in dreamland.

Daddy Didn’t Teach Me Much

Part of me thinks my dad was just a man doing the best he could with what he knew. I’m a dad times three now and I recognize that it’s hardly as easy as it seems. Still, though, Dad never taught me to fire a gun. Everything I know about weapons was taught to me by the United States Marine Corps. For that matter, everything I know about home or car repair was taught to me by YouTube and Google, the dads I never had. My dad is still alive, but since I don’t think he is a frequent visitor at Breach Bang Clear, I’m going to speak candidly.

I got in fights as a kid, but it wasn’t my dad who taught me how to throw a punch. Any official training would have to wait until 1997 Marine Corps Boot Camp where the predecessor to MMA was this hilarious and seemingly ineffective Combat Hits type stuff. I can remember them teaching me to “break an arm” as the guy is punching (which was hilarious for my 17-year-old 130-pound self to even consider). No wonder so many boots get beat up on leave between boot camp and School of Infantry.


The point is, the only thing that made me a man was the United States Marine Corps. And yet, I wish my dad had bought me the famed Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle from the Christmas Story movie and taught me to shoot. But then again perhaps it’s better he didn’t, as I don’t imagine him to be much of a shot.

My Son Will Know How to Shoot

For all the silly talk about gun control, those who would restrict our beloved 2nd Amendment just don’t understand how much of a tradition this is for many families. Just because their daddies never did it, just like mine didn’t, doesn’t give them the right to restrict our ability to teach our children a valuable life skill.  I have two daughters and a son and I promise you, they will know how to shoot and throw a punch. They will own a gun before they are 18 years of age and they won’t do all the stupid stuff kids do with guns when they’re not taught firearms safety and respect.

Honestly, they’re better off coming home with an F on their report card than for me to see them with their finger on the trigger when they don’t intend to shoot anything. So listen up gun grabbers: I’m sorry your daddy didn’t teach you anything. Mine didn’t either. But that doesn’t mean we can’t forge our own family traditions and train a generation of excellent marksmen with proper respect for a weapon.  Just like Ralphie in the Christmas Story, they might shoot an eye out. But wouldn’t it be better if it was the eye of a would-be terrorist who happened upon them?


Give the Gift that Keeps on Giving Lead

My children are not quite old enough yet, but tis the season to forge your own family tradition. I actually did fire a gun once as a kid. My WW2 veteran grandfather held the pistol in my hand as I closed my eyes and fired it up in the air.  I wasn’t but maybe 5 or 6 years old that day and yet I remember it more than most memories with my father. I lament the lost culture

where kids were taught to use and respect weapons.

Jeff EdEven as late as 1996 in my high school we had a hunter’s safety course. Let a shotgun get near a school today and see what happens.

By the way, I’m on the far left in the picture below. We aren’t trying to be all hardcore with our sleeves rolled up, but they just gave us the smallpox vaccine a few days earlier and we were absolutely terrified of that little scab on our arms.  Those who got it know what I’m talking about. But back to guns.

Teach your kids to shoot, hunt, and fight, America. If you don’t know how then learn yourself. Because somewhere in the hotbed of “enlightened” thought some idiot from Harvard is teaching his kids to fear guns and those who know how to properly hold them. If you plan to teach your kids to shoot, tell us. If it is a family tradition for you already, show us. I wish my daddy had bought me the Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle, but my son or daughters will never have to say that. Teach your kids to shoot before someone else in a hostile foreign land teaches their kids to shoot first.


Semper Fi, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and whatever else I’m leaving out. And Semper Fi one more time.


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6 thoughts on “I Wish My Daddy had bought Me an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle for Christmas

  • January 4, 2016 at 7:53 am

    My dad didn’t teach me much, folks divorced when I was 4. Stepdad taught some, mainly how to work. What I had was grandfather, his brothers, their sons and other uncles and cousins. All veterans, most combat veterans, hunters and fishermen. By 12 I had a solid grounding in firearms handling, care and use, so when I went into the Army in ’79 I already knew the skills needed to graduate Basic. And one very valuable item that served me well, not to tell DS or any instructor that I knew any of it. Just sit there, shutup and pay attention. That little gem has been invaluable throughout my life.

  • January 1, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Very proud of the fact that my 11 year old daughter already knows how to operate and field strip / clean every gun I own. The first thing that happens when I buy a new gun is we sit down TOGETHER and have a conversation about it, break it down / clean it etc so that she can become familiar with it as well. One of our traditions if you will, it’s sort of our welcoming party to the new addition to the family. She also owns her own weapon now and is an excellent shot. It’s comforting to know that I could leave one my pistols laying on the coffee table (not that I would, they stay with me or secured) from here to Christmas and not only would she never consider touching it without my permission, but even if she had picked it up she would be as safe and aware as anyone I know. I consider it one of my most important accomplishments certainly as a parent, not only from the safety standpoint, but the responsibility and maturity she has gained from it.

  • December 27, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    My dad was never the outdoors type until I was an adult, so I never learned any outdoor skills from him. In spite of that I was outdoors constantly, and am working to give my kids the tools and skill set that I never got from my dad. My 6-yr old is learning to use a compass, can shoot his bb gun well, catch fish on his own, and has already learned to shoot a bolt-action Winchester .22 rifle. This year he’ll start learning how to shoot an airsoft pistol. He’ll be part of the last remnant of genuine men in this country.

    • January 1, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      Sounds like a perfect description of my situation. I didn’t get any of these types of skills from my dad either. I had to learn them elsewhere and like yourself am working to pass them on to my kid, a daughter in my case. You could be describing me as well with your post. A funny story about my dad that describes just how outdoors oriented he wasn’t. I walked into the family room one day around 9 years old to find a Colman camp stove sitting brand new in it’s box. I naturally became beside myself with excitement and asked my dad are we going camping!? His reply? No. Why the stove then I asked. His reply, it was a good deal. WTAF LOL.

  • December 27, 2015 at 11:10 am

    My father taught me to fight, fix an engine, read a map and a whole host of other skills he never learnt from his father but acquired for himself. We don’t really talk much these days but now I’m serving in the British Army and everything he taught me set me in good stead.

    All of those lessons I learnt from my father and the ones I got from the Army – from how to tough it through the Commando Course, to getting by in the Officers’ Mess – will be taught to my future children without a doubt.

  • December 24, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Great post. I probably won’t have kids for a few years, but you can be well assured that they will know how to shoot and administratively handle firearms properly. All different sorts.

    Merry Christmas.


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