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It Ain't Loaded- is it?

Discussion in 'Survival Reading Room' started by RVM45, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. RVM45

    RVM45 Monkey+++

    It Ain’t Loaded Is It?
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    I met D when I was working on the Northern Region Rail-Laying Gang, for the Long and Nasty Railroad. It was a traveling Gang; so we had folks from seven or eight states. We worked on over more than a dozen divisions.

    Now my friend D plays a big part in this story; so you’ll have to know a bit about him. D was from a small town in Georgia. He’d become a Christian some years earlier; and it made a big difference in the way he lived. D was also a bit slow. I am a Christian myself- I’m not implying that his Christianity had any connection to his slowness; nonetheless it was there.
    Once I mentioned to D’s cousin, how D would ask me the same question seven times, in a two-hour period. He told me that D had consumed lots of LSD and other mind-altering chemicals before he found Jesus.

    Now being on the Rail Gang and being a Christian left D with a paucity of things to do on the road. He didn’t drink. He didn’t frequent bars. He didn’t gamble; and he didn’t like off-color stories. I’m not sure how well he could read; but I saw him read his Bible sometimes. Anyway, his one “Vice” if, you want to call it that, he liked to dress fairly well- Stetson hat; big silver and turquoise belt buckle; Fancy cowboy boots- always highly shined; lots of Indian turquoise jewelry; and denim clothes that would have looked right on a Country-Western singer. And he liked to eat in relatively upscale restaurants.

    I’ve gone to a restaurant with D before, though usually the places he favored were a bit expensive for my taste. He sure did enjoy flirting with the waitresses; calling them “Mam”; and displaying his impeccable Southern manners. I mention this; because his one other enthusiasm caused some folks to wonder about him.

    He loved to hang around Truck Stops by the hour. He’d play the pinball and arcade games- “Space Invaders” was the latest fad back then. He’d drink beaucoup cups of coffee; eat a few pieces of pie; and more or less just hang. Personally, I’m convinced that he just liked the ambience; but when telling the story aloud; someone loudly speculating about D’s Sexual orientation has often interrupted me at just this point. I’ll offer one piece of evidence in D’s favor, and let it go.

    One day when we were talking, we got onto the subject of sex. D. had this to say:

    “I don’t know why Jesus told us not to have sex outside of marriage”, He said, looking off into space, concentrating hard on the abstract idea. “ If he hadn’t told us it was a sin, I guarantee you I’d have me a different woman every night; and I’d be a lot less lonesome. But Jesus told me not to; so even though I don’t understand why- I obey him.”

    He was about 6’1”; weighed about 205- not an ounce of flab; with the jet-black hair and the high cheekbones that come from quite a bit of Cherokee ancestry. I don’t think that he was bluffing. He probably could have landed a new woman almost every night. He liked girls. Besides that, he made real good money. Can’t see him prostituting himself out to truckers.

    Anyway, I d just bought the .45Colt ’70 Series Government Model Semi Automatic Pistol that figures into so many of my Railroad stories. The dude at the Gun store had shown me how to field strip it twice- once when I brought it back in pieces- wasn’t lining up the hole in the barrel link pin with the hole in the frame…

    Well I’d shot the Gun and cleaned it on a weekend and once again it wasn’t going together for me. I was turning the bushing in the wrong direction- not knowing that it mattered. I sat there trying various things and fuming. Finally I asked D. D had told me that he’d been in the National Guard. Back then I believed that everyone in the military had to be able to field strip and reassemble all sorts of military weapons blindfolded. I asked D for help. He stared vaguely at the pistol for a few moments and shook his head in bewilderment. Well I did get it together- with no help from D. And I never made that particular mistake again.

    Well anyway, D and me ended up being the only two dudes in the campcars one weekend in Butler, Kentucky. I’d heard they were having a Bruce Lee film festival in Florence. I asked D if he wanted to go.

    No sooner than we got into my car- this was before I got my Van- I fished my .45 out from it’s cleverly constructed secret hiding place under my seat; and set it on the seat between us. Kentucky had a “Plain Sight” law.

    “Do you have to put that there? It makes me nervous.” D said.

    “Well it’s borderline legal under the seat.” I said. A friendly (?) Law had explained to me: in plain sight; or where it requires more than one motion to draw it. I could draw it from under the seat in one motion- but not without beaucoup blind fishing around. There was no way I could draw it unobtrusively- No need to try to explain all this to D though- “But if it will make you happy…”

    I had taken the Gun and reached up under the seat. I was fishing for my clever split in the carpeting; when D grabbed my right shoulder; and pulled so hard that my shoulder ached for some time afterward.

    “Oh God No! Don’t break the law!” D said. He acted as if the idea of the pistol being in a “Verboten” spot, even for an instant- terrified him beyond words.

    We got almost to Florence without incident. Then “Mr. It-makes-me-nervous” decided he wanted to play with the pistol. I didn’t much care for him handling it; but being much newer with Guns; I hadn’t yet acquired the thick skin to shout at someone to,” leave it the Ph*** alone!!!”

    As we drove along, I was mainly watching the traffic, when I heard the cheerful little jingling noise a .45 Auto makes when you pull the trigger with the safety on- three distinct little jingles, in fact. My thoughts were:

    “Bad craziness… surely he knows where the safety is; and how it functions…he was in the military after all…even so, he couldn’t tell me how to put it together again, two or three weeks ago…Anyway I don’t like him pulling the trigger…”

    “You do know where the safety is on that weapon, don’t you D?” I said with exaggerated patience.

    “Does it have a safety?” He asked in complete bewilderment.

    My hand shot out with a will of it’s own, relying entirely on peripheral vision, and deftly snatched the .45 away from D. The .45 once again in my possession, I resumed my air of exaggerated patience.

    “This is the safety D. As long as the safety is up, it shouldn’t fire. Nonetheless, folks who really ought to know, say that it’s a very poor practice to be pulling the trigger on a pistol that you don’t want to go off- safety or no.”

    “ It ain’t loaded is it?”

    “What on Earth good would it be, if it wasn’t loaded?”

    Well we got to the Theater a bit late. D complained of carsickness. He went to the restroom; bought a Coke; played a couple games of pinball; and just generally milled aimlessly around- all the while the movie “Enter the Dragon”, had already begun. I grimly held onto my patience- and we got into the show; just as they were all getting onto the boat.

    D didn’t want to tell me, for some reason; but he told everyone else on the Gang. Word eventually worked its way back to me. Those three clicks: the first two had been him carefully aiming at his cowboy booted foot. The third time he pulled the trigger was while looking straight down the barrel. When he found out the Gun was loaded, he’d become totally unhinged. He heaved his guts up in the bathroom- and was kinda wandering around in a state of fugue for some time- at least to hear him tell it.

    Several points come from this. One thing, people do incredibly stupid things with firearms. I’m convinced that at least some apparent suicides are simply misadventures like D almost had.

    “No Officer, I can’t say that he acted depressed. He never said anything. He just reached over and picked up my .45, and blew his brains out…”

    Never hesitate to be rude; loud; shrill; or downright insulting- if that’s what it takes, to get someone to act right. And if they were doing something too stupid, leave. Come back to shoot sometime when they’re not around.

    They say that your friends can kill you easier by accident, than your enemies can on purpose. This goes triple for “Richard-headed” acquaintances.

    …..RVM45 [beat]

  2. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    That was a great story that teaches a fine lesson about safety...

    Thanks for posting!
  3. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Good story.

    I had a good friend ask to see my 357 once.... I unloaded it and handed it to him, and he proceeded to point it at my chest and pull the trigger. After the several seconds of me being to stunned to even say anything, we had a "heart to heart" about gun safety.

    Just amazes me.
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