Bullet: (n) a projectile for firing from a gun

I was thirteen years old and my dad placed a rifle in my hands.

He explained that it was a small gun. I think it was a .22. He had promised to take me out on one of his rabbit-huntingtrips.

I was thrilled.

I was especially pumped up when I was allowed to go out for target practice, to shoot some cans–or at least, attempt to do so.

He loaded the rifle, told me how to hold it and laughed a little bit when I was surprised with the kick-back.

When the day of the hunting trip arrived, my dad asked me to load my own rifle. I had watched him do it. But now it was in my hand.

For about a minute, I did nothing but finger the bullet, roll it around in my hand and stare at it. It was not huge, but it was very hard and scary. I put it into the chamber, heard the click, loaded another one and another one.

All at once I realized that these pieces of metal were going to be fired at an extraordinary rate of speed, toward a living creature. It wasn’t that I was against the idea of hunting rabbits or eating them.

Suddenly it was just about the bullet.

So when we arrived in the field and scared up a few rabbits, my older brother shot one. There was a big cheer. We all ran over to the location and I looked down at the ball of fur laying in the grass. It didn’t look real. Certainly did not look alive.

My dad showed me what a good marksman my older brother was because he had struck the rabbit in the head.

I gazed at the wound. Dark red–sticky, with blackened fringes where the impact had exploded the bunny brain.

I was taken aback.

  • It didn’t make me anti-gun.
  • It didn’t make me anti-hunting.
  • It didn’t make me against “the right to bear arms.”

It just made me damn aware of what a bullet can do to anything living.

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