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For any of you that have spent time in the military or are related to someone in the miiitary this acronym might seem familiar. Breath Relax Aim Stop Squeeze. It's one of the earliest things we are taught when learning to fire our rifles. It's very good advice and works rather well as long as you aren't amped up on any of the coffee or cigarettes that most military guys are.

I grew up with weapons around our house. My father and Grandfather both hunted (not very well). I took part at the ripe ol' age of 10 when I was allowed to get my gun safety course out of the way. By 10 I was already pretty familiar with weapons. I knew that they served one purpose and one purpose only....To kill. They aren't to wound, or scare, they are a weapon of destruction and used for good or bad is totally up to the person behind the trigger.

Now that being said, I might have known what they were for, but I didn't consider my daisy bb gun to be in that category. For those of you unfamiliar with the daisy BB gun it was a lever action bb gun that you almost had to aim at an angle to reach 50 feet. I got one when I was 8 years old, and I was in love with it. I had used my Grandfather's on many occassions in the backyard to have "target" practice. I wasn't allowed to shoot at animals or anything like that, but I could shoot fruit or bottles, and mostly cans.

In my neighborhood there were tons of kids around, but there were three of us that played together quite a bit. Me, Scott and Jeff rode bikes, boxed in a makeshift boxing ring in the front yard (using a water house to outline), had water balloon fights, and blew up more than our fair share of those little green army men with lady fingers (firecrackers).

Along with all those good things, we also decided one day to play War. All of our houses met at a corner in the backyard and we figured it would be a perfect place to hold our own little battle for domination. So bb gun in hand I got behind my makeshift bunker in the backyard.

Now you can't just start fighting in backyard war, you have to be prepared. You need a few essentials.
1. ball cap (battle helmet)
2. jacket (regardless of the time of year)
3. Jeans...No Shorts!!!
4. Boots or hiking shoes...Note sneakers are allowed if covered in duct tape.
5. Daisy BB Gun with pocket full of bb's.

This was a 1 on 1 on 1 fight. We would continue to shoot at each other until somebody gave up, was shot, or ran out of ammunition. Usually we all ran out of ammunition. The time I'm thinking about didn't end so easily.

I remember it like I just came in from the house. We were in the middle of our battle. I was getting mad because Jeff kept ducking just ahead of my shots. That wasn't so bad, but his laughter at my misfortune was maddening. I took a breath and started thinking. Thinking for a young boy is no easy task, we would much rather just do. I decided to figure out a way to win instead of always the tie that we had. I started timing things a little bit and sure enough I got Scott as he popped up from the fence. So he was out of the running and not even broken skin. This was looking up. I knew where Jeff was going to pop up, because he made the mistake of following a little pattern. So the next time his head popped up I was ready and got off my shot. SCORE!!! But he fell straight back like somebody hit him with a bat.

I hollered to Scott and we ran to the fence and jumped over into the other yard. There was Jeff sitting on the ground crying and.........BLEEDING!!!! "You're in trouble now!!" Those were the words out of my friends mouth. Jeff was too busy screaming bloody murder to say anything. So doing what any good friend would do we grabbed him by the arms and dragged him to the back porch and started screaming for his mom. She came running out and saw the blood running off his head and was immediately in action. She grabbed him up and we all ran to the car.

30 minutes later, Jeff was receiving a bandage on his forehead. The bb broke the skin and sat lodged in his forehead almost directly between his eyes. To this day he carries the scar. I lost my bb gun privileges for I think forever. I was grounded and a few other punishments were thrown on there. Looking back though it was all worth it, because I was legend after that incident. I was considered a dead eye by the other boys in the neighborhood now. That made for many good hunting trips later in life as they remembered that all the way through school.

So I guess I was ready for the military a little bit earlier than some because I was already putting into practice what they taught me some 11 years later.


This entry was posted at Tuesday, February 16, 2010 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


As I type this, my hubs Red Ryder (from childhood) is sitting in the corner, not five feet away. My youngest son got one for Christmas the year before last. He's 30! What is it with boys and bb guns?

February 16, 2010 at 8:58 PM

lol..brings to mind that movie A Christmas Story... :)

February 16, 2010 at 10:41 PM

I made sure to tell him not to shoot his eye out.

February 17, 2010 at 12:28 AM

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



February 17, 2010 at 12:42 AM

Ms. Anthropy...lol....you know us boys don't listen so well..

Kate...thank you very much...I'm always glad to hear when somebody can get a little enjoyment out of my rambling :)

February 17, 2010 at 1:33 AM

Wow, I am surprised you were actually trying to hit each other. That could have turned out bad if it had hit him in the eye. Were those the bb's that are shaped like litte hourglasses?

February 17, 2010 at 2:58 AM

I decided long ago, bb guns are more dangerous than 'real' guns. One of my boys shot his little brother point blank in the face (didn't think it was loaded) we thought the bb popped out because it bled like crazy. Ten years later during a dentist visit they found the bb lodged in his jaw and had to remove surgically. When we give our kids the "gift" of a bb gun, we don't make them take a safety course our tell them they are extremely dangerous so away they go shooting car window, street lights, house windows, other kids! That's why I consider them more dangerous then say..a 22 rifle.

February 17, 2010 at 6:10 AM

I will not allow my kids to even own a bb gun anymore. I give them a 22 rifle and instruct them how to use and care for it. And also give them a safety course about guns.

February 17, 2010 at 6:12 AM

I love that the first reaction was "you're gonna be in trouble" brilliant kid response! Great story!
B.R.A.S.S. is something I have heard in my home growing up (military father and uncles)
A neighbor used our cat as target practice once and poor Captain got shot in the ass. MEOOOOWCH

February 17, 2010 at 6:32 AM

Joe..no hourglass, just a good ol fashioned round bb.

Desertson..that is absolutely true...but the only reason they are more dangerous is because we as adults never too the responsibility of explaining that to our kids..Well I do now :)

Lisa Marie...Yeah we were pretty much selfish little buggers I guess..ha ha.. I also remember his mom scolding us for dragging him along the grass and ruining his pants. Poor cat.. Somebody shoulda shot the neighbor in the ass!! lol

February 17, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Brass as in Breathe Relax Aim...dang, can't remember the rest.

February 17, 2010 at 10:24 AM

lol..Stop Squeeze....yep that one

February 17, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Those were the BB guns from back in the day lol.... Now they have semi-automatic bb guns in the shape of uzi's and machine guns that can shoot hundreds of bb's a minute....

February 17, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Oh my gosh, I would've felt awful if I'd gotten one of my friends to actually bleed! (But your friend was okay ;)

I bet you were ready for the military after that!

February 17, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Funny thing...once we knew he wasn't going to die..it was just a regular day (except for the whole getting grounded and having everything taken away part)

February 17, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Well, you play the game, you assume the risk, right? lol

I once clocked a guy right between the eyes with a dirt clod, the spot I hit swelled up immediately and started turning greenish... scary moment, I thought I was in trouble for sure, but the lady at the daycare must have known how annoying he was because she talked to me about it, but I didn't get in trouble. I don't even think she told my mom! Sad thing is, I wasn't trying to hit him, I just wanted to send a warning shot...

February 17, 2010 at 5:46 PM

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