The Night Dad Taught Me About Gun Control

1968 Gun Control

Gun Control – is a hot topic these days in America. What I wrote here is a slice of life in America in 1968 – and not meant to offend anyone -but, if it does I don’t really care.

The Night Dad Taught Me About Gun Control
I was born, raised and lived in God’s country that is called Denver, Colorado,
In the west were the mighty Rocky Mountains – and we lived in the mountain shadows.

Way back before all the school shootings and those that want to ban guns,
Parents had always handed down an American tradition to their daughters and sons.

We were taught America was strong, for we had the right to bear arms,
That no one including our own government could take our liberty and our firearms.

Christmas one year at the age of eight – I learned first-hand about gun hate,
That night my Dad taught me about gun control confiscation there is no debate.

Now in this tale I will tell of an incident in the year ninety sixty-eight,
It was Christmas night after the festivities and the family had stayed up late.

That morning along with a basketball, new socks and jockey short underwear,
I held off opening the big box that had my name under the Christmas lights glare.

Grabbing the last gift under the tree – wrapped with frosty the snowman -so much fun,
The gift had a tag that was written in ink, “From Santa and Dad to my youngest son.

Hoping and praying that this was the one gift that I really had wanted and asked for,
I had seen it in a commercial on the television and was approved by the US Marine Crops.

Tearing apart the wrapper and frosty I tossed the paper clean out of sight,
Looking at the photo that was on the big box – exactly what I wanted to my delight.

The box contained a toy heavy machine gun to play army in the neighborhood,
Kids today would never understand that playing army was part of our childhood.

Now this toy heavy machine gun took four size D batteries and had flashing red lights,
And a very loud “RAT-IT-TAT-TAT” as I pulled the trigger looking down the barrel sights.

By noon on that Christmas day my Dad was doubting his gift to his youngest son,
With each “RAT-IT-TAT-TAT” even my Mom was getting perturbed that I had gotten that gun.

Later we started the trip to grandpa and grandma’s house in Kansas the neighboring state,
We packed our station wagon for our trip – my new heavy machine gun was part of the freight.

Later in the dark of the night the family was sound asleep as Dad concentrated on the road,
Dad, late that night hit a pothole on the highway and the toy machine gun went into firing mode.

As the “RAT-IT-TAT-TAT” and flashing red lights woke up our startled sleeping family,
Dad swerved this way and that way as we all learned some new words and profanity.

I have to give my Dad credit for he finally gained control of that old station wagon,
As the gun continued “RAT-IT-TAT-TAT” and red flashing like some mystical dragon.

After stopping my Dad laid his head on the steering wheel and said, “SON OF A BITCH!”
Still swearing and cussing my Dad threw my Christmas heavy machine gun into some farmers ditch.
Kurt James

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Kurt James

Kurt James was born and raised in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Kurt’s family roots were from western Kansas and having lived in South Dakota for 20 years, Kurt naturally had become an old western and nature enthusiast. Over the years Kurt has become one of Colorado’s prominent nature photographers through his brand name of Midnight Wind Photography. The Denver Post, PM Magazine, and 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado featured his poetry. Kurt is also a feature writer for HubPages and Creative Exiles with the article’s focused on Colorado history, ghost towns, outlaws, and poetry. Inspired at a young age by writers such as Jack London, Louis L’Amour, and Max Brand have formed Kurt’s natural ability as a storyteller. Kurt has published 16 books all based in and around the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Using the Midnight Wind Publishing brand, Kurt James novels, short stories, reference books, and poetry, are available in print or download on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and other fine bookstores. And a few shady bookstores as well. Kurt has 3 books that he is currently writing. The 8th book in his Rocky Mountain Series - Raphael Eye for an Eye. His third ghost town reference book, Kansas Ghost Towns, Hauntings, Treasure Tales, and Other BS. And a western/horror novel - Devil’s Tower Spirit of Chiha Tanka. Kurt is a proud member of Western Writers of America.

10 thoughts on “The Night Dad Taught Me About Gun Control

  • April 25, 2018 at 8:29 PM

    Even toy machine guns are dangerous. Lol Great story Kurt. I too spent my childhood playing with makeshift guns and playing wars with the neighborhood kids. Back then I was watching shows like ‘Combat’ with Vic Morrow and playing in natural bush-land was free and exciting. Good memories. Cheers!

    • April 26, 2018 at 2:38 AM

      Combat and Rat Patrol were and still are a couple of my favorites Tony – glad to hear that you had a similar childhood. Thanks for stopping by.

  • April 25, 2018 at 10:41 PM

    I wonder how long that Ratta-tat-tat echoed throughout the night in the ditch. This well penned poem sure brings back memories of childhood when my six siblings and I got wooden rifles carved by Dad. That was an exciting Christmas morning for us. We had an all-out war that day, with all of us hiding, yelling BANG! and playing dead. Lol, I can almost feel the startled reactions your family had in the car when your gun went off. Enjoyed this very much, Kurt.

    • April 26, 2018 at 2:42 AM

      Phyllis for all I know that machine gun could still going off in that faraway farmers ditch. Glad to hear that you had a similar childhood with playing army and war. Thank you for stopping by.

  • April 26, 2018 at 5:01 AM

    Reminiscences and memories from long gone ago, with guns and bangs and mates named “Joe.”
    I enjoyed your poem, with each line awaiting to learn what happened next. Thanks!

  • April 27, 2018 at 7:34 PM

    I think we all had toy guns as kids. I am not a proponent of guns, but i still hold steady that people kill people not guns kill people. This was a great story Kurt, great rhyming as well

    • April 28, 2018 at 3:56 AM

      Thanks Paul for stopping by – firearms have always been a part of my life growing up where every kid took the day off school when certain hunting seasons open. In my old school there would be numerous trucks with rifles in the gun racks hanging in the back windows. It was a way of life – a simpler time. Glad you enjoyed this piece.

  • April 27, 2018 at 7:56 PM

    I was just thinking, Kurt – that gun of yours had no control at all. Lol

    Did you and your brothers have cap guns? We loved those. Scared the heck out of Dad’s chickens, though, with seven cap guns blasting away all day.

    • April 28, 2018 at 3:55 AM

      Of course what kid back in those days did not have cap guns – lol – I long for the days when life in general were simpler and less chaotic. Back in those days everything you said was not twisted into something of hate it was just straight forward and honest. Phyllis, we even made what we called “zip guns” out of bicycle spokes to shoot pop bottle rockets at each other. Ole’ glorious times for sure – a tad crazy, but, never less glorious…lol…

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