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Plink.

I was young, then, with a vivid imagination and marked dedication to playing make believe. We walked down the row, scattering rocks and dusting off the silhouettes. I tossed aside a chipped, white stone. Years later I would recognize it as limestone and even develop a certain fondness for it. When all of the iron silhouettes were standing again, we made our way back across the field through the brush.

It was something between a tradition and a routine, lost in the limbo of recurring events. Almost an hour of driving into what seemed like void desert terrain that somehow escaped suburbanization outside of the city. I grabbed a handful of bullets and loaded the rifle. My rifle. A gift my father had given me, a .22 long rifle. I set the rifle down on the table, safety on, and stepped away. We always had fun, but there was a very serious undertone about the whole ordeal. It was unspoken, simply understood. It's fun, but it's not play time. Respect the weapon for what it is.

A weapon.

I'd been raised to be comfortable around guns. There was nothing scary about them. They were simply tools that stayed in a special tool box and the same rules applied to them. You don't run around swinging a hammer around, so you don't run around swinging a gun around.

He always managed to make it a game. The row of farm animal shaped silhouettes across the field from us. He looked down at me as we put on our ear protection.

"What's out there?"

I sighted down my barrel at the rust scarred silhouettes. "Killer chickens, sir."

He thought for a moment, never raising his pistol. "Drop them." He said.

And I pulled the trigger.

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