A gun on the farm



With gun rights and gun control being the hot topics of discussion after yet another mass shooting, it reminded me of a story from my mother’s childhood that fortunately did not end in tragedy.

My mother was raised on a farm, and it was not unusual for farm families to own a gun. Typically a rifle or shotgun was kept, sometimes to put down sick animals, or to kill rabid animals or scare off a bobcat. Hunting also was a popular pastime and source of food for the family. While human prowlers weren’t as much of a threat back then, in a remote farmland area, you best be prepared to defend your family. Having a gun was a practical decision in my mother’s family.

One night when my mother was a young girl, she must have gotten up in the middle of the night, or perhaps was sleepwalking, and ended up in a rocking chair in the living room. Family members heard a noise and the gun was retrieved as a precaution. When my mother was discovered, everyone heaved a sigh of relief and had a good chuckle the next morning.

My mother told me that my grandmother was not as amused, as having weapons in the house made her nervous. She worried about what could’ve happened to “little Janie” if my mother had been mistaken for an intruder. But as the matriarch of a large farming family, she understood the purpose for such a weapon and reluctantly accepted its presence in the home.

I’m just as grateful as my grandmother that the story had a happy ending.



Filed under Memories

3 responses to “A gun on the farm

  1. trynrose

    This gun was very appropriate for its context. Now they are too widely used and in wrong contexts. I’m so glad your young mom was ok in this situation.

  2. I grew up with firearms in the house. In fact, my dad had a display case with rifles right near my bedroom. We were taught to have a healthy respect for them. Your story about your mom sort-of happened to me. I had recently graduated from high school and stayed home while going to a local college. Everyone in the family worked, and one day when I had an afternoon class, I slept in that morning. I woke up to some noises downstairs. I grabbed one of my dad’s UN-loaded rifles from the case. I thought I could use it to scare anyone who might be in the house. I peeked around the corner down the stairwell and saw my mom walking by. She had called in sick that morning, and I didn’t know about it.

    I didn’t feel I could’ve loaded the gun without making noise and alerting an intruder. The ammunition was in a drawer underneath the case. I’m so glad it wasn’t loaded. Glad your mom made it safe through that mishap as well.

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