3G Hunting the Elusive Air Rifle
July 18, 2007
When I first started thinking about buying an air rifle, I called the two medium-sized hardware stores on the island where Mrs. Random and I frequently shop for hardware. In fact, it is quite amazing how often we visit hardware stores since we moved to the island in search of a simpler life. I never knew how many nuts and bolts the simple life takes. I suspect the simple life has become more complicated since Thoreau’s time.
However, neither of the two medium sized hardware stores on the island near us sells air rifles. It may be that knowing I am a regular customer, neither of these stores considers it safe to offer weapons for sale. (However, one had already sold me a chain saw.)
About the time I was heading out to large sporting goods stores on the mainland, Mrs. Friendly Neighbor had called to tell me that a small hardware store on the island sells weapons, including air rifles.
Mrs. FN said the guns in this (previously unknown to me hardware store) are kept in the back, and that I might have to ask for them. (Perhaps this is something like the video stores that keep the naughty videos in the back?)
However, when I entered the little hardware store and asked about rifles, a pleasant gentleman about my age said, “Oh, no, some one must have given you old information. I don’t sell guns any more.” In fact, the gentleman explained that not only did he not sell guns any more, but that he didn’t hunt any more, and that in fact, he had become a vegetarian. What is America coming to when old hunters and gun fanciers become vegetarians?
However, when I explained that I was searching for an air rifle to shoot rabbits, he said, “Oh, I have air rifles.” In fact, he had some air rifles in a display case right under the cash register counter at the front of the store.
The gentleman agreed that rabbits are quite the pest on the island. He said that the rabbits living on the island are not good to eat. I did not ask for an explanation, though this information worries me a bit. If there is something in island life that makes the rabbits unsafe to eat, is there something in island life that makes me unsafe to eat? I would not want to harm a predator that was dining on me. Anyway, although he is now a vegetarian, and although the rabbits are not good to eat, the proprietor saw no problem with hunting rabbits with an air rifle.
Unfortunately, the air rifle he showed to me was one that involved pumping and allowed for loading lots of BBs.
Mr. Friendly Neighbor uses a spring-propelled air gun that shoots one pellet. Mr. FN had taken down a rabbit with one shot with his gun. Mr. FN spoke skeptically of guns that require pumping and that fire BBs. Mr. FN lives near me and helps me in a gracious, patient, and kindly manner. If I bought a gun other than the gun he recommended, he would not say anything sarcastic or disparaging to me, and he would probably try to help me with it, but I don’t think it would be either gracious or sensible of me to not follow his advice, and then expect him to help me when things go amiss.
I thanked the man in the hardware store for his help and left the store. [To be continued]