One day back in 1987, I walked into High School carrying a 12 gauge shotgun. There was no fanfare. No shrieking, no lock down, and no one called 911. I didn’t get arrested or go crazy. No one really cared. The biggest problem we had was trying to fit it into my locker. If I remember correctly, we made it work by placing my locker partner’s trombone on top of the lockers just for that day. Just for the record and kudos … his name was Chris Shutts, currently serving in Afghanistan. Thanks Chris.

At this point you might wonder. How could this be? What would posses me to enter the hallowed halls of public school heavily armed? Why did no one react to protect the other stone-washed teens? Here’s why. Guns were part of our lives.

Almost every guy I knew had a shotgun in his trunk or behind the seat of his truck. Why? Too many hours watching the original Red Dawn? No, it was in case we found something we wanted to shoot on the way to school of course. I’m not kidding. What if you were on your way to school and you spotted a beautiful ring-necked pheasant skulking through the ditch? Slam on the brakes; grab your trusty scattergun and bam, prairie chicken for dinner. One time on the way to school, I bagged a plump raccoon sitting on a snow drift. I think he might have waved at me, but that’s another story. Raccoon’s brought $30 back in the day.

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