My First Pistol: I Retired and Tried Things That Scared Me
A piece I sold to AARP, but that they ultimately decided not to publish. I got paid anyway and now, it's all mine (again)!
Retire at sixty-four? Me? For almost twenty-five years I’d worked in state and local government in Idaho and California facing challenges, solving problems. What would I do with myself in retirement? I couldn’t imagine but it came for me anyway. Because I was a planner, I wrote a “Things to Do in Retirement” list. On it were scary (but not too scary) things like get on Amtrak (alone, my husband was still working) and ride a big loop around America; take deep sea diving lessons; and sing in a band. At the top of my list, though, was “Buy a pistol, learn to shoot it, and get a concealed carry permit.”
I’d never shot a pistol, but my mother kept one under her mattress after someone murdered the neighbors next door without getting caught. I never touched her pistol because well, they kick like a mule and kill people. My husband and I are believers in the Second Amendment, but never felt the need to exercise our rights or limit anyone else’s. We had an old shotgun somewhere, but I had no idea where. Lately, given our ages, we’d thought about having a handgun for self-defense. After all, you never know who might burst through a door in the middle of the night. And I wanted a concealed carry permit because frankly, crazies don’t only make house calls, and I didn’t want to make regular folks nervous at the sight of a gun.
My son-in-law, a deputy sheriff, chortled, “You’re going to do what? Imagine, talking with my mother-in-law about guns!” And then, “You’ve gotta get a Glock!”
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