Winchester Model 94

  • Date:
  • Posted by kindle

My father was a hunter in his younger years and was also moderately avid in the hobby of firearms. I remember melting lead with him to cast bullets and I can still see him at the shotgun press reloading shotshells. Dad didn’t have a large collection, but everything in it was of quality. He took me to gun shops & we went as a family to the range back when a membership got you a key to the locked fence and everyone took care of the range and kept everyone safe. We spent hours and took a picnic lunch most times.

When I was about twelve I received a Winchester Model 94 lever action in .22 long rifle for Christmas. I was over the moon. Dad bought a set of mounting plaques and we hung the rifle on the wall above my desk. The brick (can of 500 rounds) of ammo was kept in my desk drawer. Yes, a rifle and ammo kept in the room of a twelve year old. It was a different time. We took it out to the range as often as his schedule would allow. I always saved empty aerosol paint cans to take to the range because when you shot the bottom of the can, it shot into the air like a rocket.

I kept that rifle until college. After dad passed away suddenly, I received it and a couple of his other rifles. After some time, I needed cash for something and sold them. I have kicked myself ever since. The cash was gone in an instant and I would never get the firearms back

I bought a Smith & Wesson 9mm after that, and got my concealed carry permit. I carried for years in my small town & the nearest large cities. This was before there were many of the restrictive laws we have now. Back then, the only ones who knew you had a firearm on you, were you, your family and the Sherriff. In order to get my permit I had to have a face to face meeting with the sheriff and tell him why I should be granted a permit. You can imagine what that was like. Fortunately my father (who was once robbed at gunpoint and pistol whipped) & all my uncles had permits, so I was granted one as well. In addition, owning a business at the time also helped.

I carried for many, many years. I never wore the firearm anywhere that was prohibited. I obeyed and continue to obey all the state and federal laws. I followed and still follow all the safe handling rules of firearms use and storage. I am a responsible firearms owner.

As a youth, people didn’t have gun safes. Gun cabinets were popular storage options. The guns, mostly rifles could be seen and admired. They locked of course, but with a glass front, they were not the epitome of security. My father had one in the attic and kept his pistols in various nooks and crannies around the home and I knew where each and every one of them were located as well as the ammo. My father carried so there was always a loaded pistol around the house.

There was never a single thought of showing them to a friend, or taking them out of the house to intimidate a bully, to “show off” or to injure/kill someone. I knew what the consequences were if I had messed with dad’s guns and I respected his rules and the firearms. I knew what they were capable of if used improperly. They could kill someone or myself.

I have watched firearms laws explode in quantity and restrictiveness in the last 45 years. If people really sat down and read the laws and understood them, you would be amazed at the labyrinth of rules that must be navigated to stay on the right side of the law. This is an activity where one error can land someone in jail for a very long time. There are in fact more things you can’t do with a firearm then things you can do with a firearm.

The only thing that is more confusing than the firearms laws of the United States are the statistics and figures used by people who are trying to take away others’ firearms rights.

I get it. Some people don’t like guns. That’s okay. Some people don’t like tattoos either. That’s okay too. The difference is that people who don’t like tattoos, are not out there actively lobbying to ban them or take them away from other people. (Could you imagine a “Tattoo buyback program”) Buyback programs are a falsehood. The government cannot “buyback” an item they never owned in the first place.

Many people don’t understand guns or the “gun culture” of owning, shooting, buying or collecting guns, and some people fear what they don’t understand. I get it. But you know what? We are willing to teach you. If someone comes to me with a question about firearms, I will always try to answer. If I don’t know the answer, I will find them one, or find them the person who knows the answer.

If someone that has never fired a gun wants to handle one, and shoot one, I will try to make that happen. In addition I can point you to many resources that will allow you to learn about firearms, firearms safety, history, training, buying, selling, carrying, reloading, and yes, the legal issues as well. There are countless books and videos that are amazing resource.

I keep reading about “Common sense gun laws” & “universal background checks”. I see quotes from groups such as “Moms Demand Action”. For groups like “Gun Sense America” You know why they use names like Moms Demand Action? Because everyone listens to their mom. Mother knows best!

Gun statistics are a murky quagmire that doesn’t actually take a PhD to understand. It just takes common sense. When they say “Guns kill more children than any other method” they include everyone up to the age of 21 (which most are 15-21 and can be traced to gang violence). I thought adulthood was recognized at 18 years of age but not here. Statistics can be made to say anything you want, if you leave out the ones that work against your goal.

More people die in a month from drunk driving and its consequences, yet there is no active lobbying to close down the breweries, distilleries or bars. Why? Because American adults have the right to consume alcohol in a responsible manner, If they don’t the legal system takes care of it. It’s called DUI and It’s illegal.

Owning firearms is what is called a constitutional right. It is a right that is granted by Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. That means that you, and I are allowed to own firearms in a responsible and legal manner and your nosey neighbor can’t do anything about it just because he/she doesn’t like it. And, according to this same piece of paper, you don’t need a license to do so. That’s why permitless carry is also called constitutional carry.

Firearms are a force equalizer. In defense of self/others, they can mean the difference between life and death. By banning firearms, you deny people from defending themselves against domestic violence, home invasions, robberies, physical attacks such as rape, and domestic violence. Often just displaying the firearm is enough to stop the attack, but these numbers, numerous as they are, are not reported.

Yes, we hate mass shootings. No responsible firearms owner wants to see this type of incident happen, EVER!. We hate it. Loss of life is never something to be celebrated. However, you can’t legislate evil. Whether committed with a firearm, a vehicle, or setting an occupied building on fire, if someone is bound and determined to commit such a horrific crime, it can be difficult to stop them. Criminals don’t buy guns at gun shows where there are background checks. They steal them from you or me or our friends and neighbors.

It has been proven that an armed society is a polite society. In areas where there are more concealed carriers, there is indeed less crime. Criminals don’t want to risk getting shot or killed by a defensive shooter. There is no correlation between constitutional carry and increased shootings or violence as these groups would have you believe.

Every time an incident such as a multiple shooting happens, it diminishes us all. It invigorates and emboldens those who would strip us of our rights, and demeans us all by letting the government work against us all instead of working for us.  

There is nothing to fear from firearms. They are a benign tool. It is the intent of the user that is to fear. I actually fear the rhetoric/rants on the various television news shows more than I do firearms or criminals. All they do is inflame and stir up the emotions of their viewers.

Take some time, read, ask questions. Learn.

We had more support back then. Parents weren’t as busy working multiple jobs. They had more time with their kids. My parents drummed this stuff into me daily. Bad actions had consequences that parents dealt with and taught you a lesson. They didn’t hand their kid an iPhone and say “go away leave me alone”.  We had schools that taught ethics, we had church attendance that taught morality. Shooting and firearms can be a very positive exercise if given the space it needs. Many  rules of life can be taught with it.

It took me nearly 35 years to find another Winchester 94 .22. As soon as I picked it up, the memories came flooding back. I bought it on the spot.