I was never a big shoot-em-up guy and only carried a gun when I was either blitzed out of my mind on alcohol and drugs (of course the best times to carry a gun), or when I was blitzed out of my mind on alcohol and drugs and wanted to go on a wild ride that would make Hunter S. Thompson’s antics pale in comparison.
Everyone’s first gun is your index finger and thumb.
When I first met Karen, we went for long walks or bike rides all the time. On one such walk, we ended up walking on the beach north of the Santa Barbara Harbor towards Hendry’s Beach. It is just about a mile of cliffs ending right at the beach which swallows up the beach at high tide.
As we were walking, we were completely alone; the only two lovers on an afternoon stroll. After we had walked almost a quarter-mile, I turned around, and out of nowhere, three guys appear about a hundred yards behind us. I turned back, without saying a word to Karen, and continued walking. After about ten paces I reached back to my waistband and held up my .38 special high in the air, so there could be no question as to what it was.
When I turned around, they were still there, alright.
Just walking in the other direction.
In that moment, I was pro-gun.
I was glad I was able to do this without her knowing.
I recount my distaste for guns in previous writings and the first real gun that I touched that was not a hunting rifle, was my brother’s .38 special which he showed me one hazy afternoon in the beach town of Summerland, CA. He had totaled his car into the Pacific Coast Highway and he had a bleeding head bandage. Ace bandages wrapped around his broken ribs, and he was stumbling as I entered his house on the hill overlooking the Pacific.
He bounced off the refrigerator and motioned me in.
He was trying to explain the situation, but all I was focused on was the .38 that he kept wildly motioning around. I put on the Rolling Stones Let it Bleed album and relaxed as he handed me his pistol, trying to explain, but gibberish was all that came out.
The next time I held a gun was two years later, this very same .38 that I had stashed behind my cook station on New Year’s Eve. Sure enough, I had to pull it on some punk-ass cowboys who were messing with my girlfriend, one of the waitresses.
Later that night, after forcing them out of the restaurant at gunpoint, they returned.
Here I am, this schoolboy, firing shots and ducking gunfire at the back of a restaurant in Tucson, Arizona. Outnumbered four-to-two I must have been out of my mind.
Another proof that miracles do occur and that explains why I am still here (Thank you Lord).