Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fake Guns

Back when we were kids, my youngest brother and his friends would sneak booze from our parents' liquor cabinets and go play in the surrounding hillsides to have 'shootouts'.
The sight of ten to thirteen year olds drunk and shooting at each other with Daisey pellet and BB-guns was amusing to us older kids.
We'd laugh at our younger brothers when they'd come home bruised (and sometimes bleeding) from these shootouts.
I only remember one kid - Robbie Beverly - shooting his eye out.
(Well, he didn't really shoot his eye out but he did need surgery and had to wear a patch for a while. After that the boys would wear sunglasses in an effort to protect their eyes from a stray BB.)

Back then, in that area - kids with pellet guns were a common sight
Most kids would use their guns to shoot at snakes and gophers.
We would place targets in front of a hill to create practice ranges and we'd we've competitions to see who was the best shot.
When the po-po would roll up they would instruct us kids on safety and the proper way to hold, aim and shoot a pistol and/or riffle.
They'd tell us that shooting at cans was alright but that we weren't allowed to shoot bottles because of the danger and resulting litter.
(The police academy was less than a mile away on a neighboring hill so police patrols and their training runs enabled us to actually get to know quite a few officers.)
No kids were shot by the police.

A recent girlfriend's son and his friends had shootouts in their neighborhood here in Texas.
One day the kid asked me if I could paint his orange tip black so that his pistol could look more like a real gun.
'Hell no!', I answered.
'That orange tip is what keeps you out of trouble', I said.
(And then he received a lecture and was told stories from my childhood.)
A few weeks later his crew was approached by the police. Someone had called 911 reporting that a group of Black kids were shooting at each other.
The kids tried to hide their guns but it was too late.
The po-po rolled up and warned the kids that they couldn't shoot animals, people or property and that they should limit their shots to below the chest as a safety precaution.
After this run in, the boys decided to limit their shooting to the nearby Air Soft ranges.
No kids were shot by the police.

What ( if anything) is different from my experiences with the po-po, kids and fake guns and the experience of Tamir Rice?


brohammas said...

The difference is the cop.
I assume that was rhetorical, but I had to say it. Bad cops do bad things.

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