A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Guns
Saturday, August 29, 2015








The last time I felt comfortable holding a gun was in 1950 when I was 8 or 9 and the gun in hand was a Gene Autrey cap pistol.

After that I had an ambiguous relationship with guns. I felt a repulsion to them and an attraction.

In the early 50s I asked for and got a Daisy pump action bb gun. With it I shot the windows of nearby warehouses. I thought this was fun. In my boarding high school I purchased a CO2 bb pistol and shot cans with it in a nearby field. When Brother Stanley Repucci, CSC, asked me if I wanted to join the St. Edward’s High School Gun Club and to become an honorary member of the NRA I turned him down. I told him I was scared of guns.

In my two years as an Argentine Navy conscript I easily passed the shooting range instruction. I was very good with a turn of the century (the 19th) Mouser, a vintage American burp gun and an Argentine issue version of the .45 Colt Automatic.

It was in the early 70s in Mexico when I was again re-acquainted with guns. In my Palmolive English class I had a student, a blonde Mexican called Mr. Conn. He was low key, spoke pretty good English, softly and took a liking to me. He asked me if I would want to go to the shooting range with him. I was curious. He had a Colt .45 (if I remember well) and an Olympic style .22 calibre one-shot target pistol.

I found that shooting his Colt was sort of like watching Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs on a Friday night after a terrible week of work and bumper-to –bumper driving in congested Mexico City. I felt a relaxing release. I almost enjoyed it.

But I took a photograph of Conn with his automatic that I think that gun people would find verboten.
Five years ago I shot my friend’s wife’s automatic in Texas. I can remember mostly how loud it felt. And my shooting after all those years in Buenos Aires was still good.

I have told many people who ask me about my stance on guns that I am a person with a terrible temper and having one in the home could be dangerous to others.

I remember that back in the early 70s a boy about 9 in my Rosemary’s elementary school class (it was a private school that catered to wealthy Americans living in Mexico City) shot and killed a friend accidentally when he removed a gun from his father’s closet. His father was a CIA operative in the US Embassy. As if everything was normal the boy returned a couple of day after and told my Rosemary that she should treat him with kid’s gloves as he had killed a friend.

The only thing left that is appealing to me about guns is the smell of metal. My old 35mm cameras have a similar smell (but no traces of gunpowder). Few people ever think that metals have smell. Guns with their gunpowder traces and the special grease used to keep them functional have a smell that after all these years is sharp in my memory.

John Arnold 
Rebecca meets Harley



     

Previous Posts
The Reid Sisters Scanned

This is my foot, this yours, and this the rope - B...

A Splash Quite Unnoticed

The Rose Fades

Mark Budgen's Aura

Esa Cara Que Un Sueño Nos Devuelve

The Suicide - Little Cousins, Called Back

Andrea Stefancikova Did Not Smile

Rosa 'Gertrude Jekyll' August 20 2015

Narcissus



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11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17