“Respect The Shooter.”

07.14.08 9 years ago 57 Comments

Another Sesame Street pic for the archives.

When I was looking @ the picture of Bert holding the firearm, I was immediately taken back to my childhood.

I’ve always had a respect & close relationship with guns. Maybe it’s being Southern & country. That’s definitely a factor because handling one is a rite of passage. Not to mention that a slap on the wrist with a misdemeanor & a fine is punishable as a felony or worse in other areas.

But much of my relationship with guns comes from my family. Specifically, my Pops will always be the one who’s shown me the power associated with having that extension of power gripped in your hand.

A younger Gottyâ„¢ in fun times…

And it all started when I was a young boy.

See, when I was a small sweet & innocent Gottyâ„¢, I, like many other children had a plush toy that I favored. In fact, I had a snot-covered Ernie & my sister had a yellow, dingy-ass Bert. These toys were our beloved extended family members, additional siblings to us.

But like Joseph was left behind by his brothers & sold into slavery, one day I inadvertently left behind my plush brother. Left him outside in fact.

At this time, we had a few other non-blood kin in the family. Some dogs. Specifically, one was a Doberman Pinscher. In an act of fratricide, our Doberman took advantage of Ernie & mauled him, ripping his nose off.

I was young so I can’t remember who or how he was discovered, nose detached & cotton stuffing strewn across the backporch. All I remember was crying. Sobbing harder than I ever had in my young life.

Now my Dad wasn’t a touchy-feely type of dude. He was more of a “don’t cry over spilled milk”/no-whining type of dude. When problems arose, he didn’t coddle us. He offered ways to handle them or he would lend a hand the best way he knew how.

Seeing me distraught, my Dad barked @ me in his gravely voice, “What the hell you want me to do about it Gottyâ„¢?”*

Wiping the snot from my nose & tears from my eyes, my heart was filled with pure vengeance.

“Shoot’em!” I shrilled, trying to evoke as much anger as I could from a small adolescent’s voice.

So what did my Pops do?

He went off to the side of the house, dragging the dog by his collar.


Like some surreal movie scene, .38 smoke trailed beside my Pops as he came back around the corner. It was as if life was in slow mo, sort of how Caine saw Tat in that early card-table scene in Menace.

From that day on, I knew what pistols could do.

Even then, I knew to respect them…and to respect the shooter.

* No, my Daddy didn’t really call me Gottyâ„¢. Relax fuckwad. I’m tellin a story.

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