Beretta Blog

The “Conversion” Experience: Freedom to Fire (Part 1)

Posted by matteo recanatini on Apr 17, 2012 10:26:00 AM

By Austin Selph –Guest Contributor
(Part 1 of 4)
Unfortunately, not everyone grows up with guns. It’s a sad truth that I’ve found myself pondering over the past few days. The truth of the matter is that some people will go their whole lives without pulling a trigger. The way I see it, this is some serious stuff!
It’s sometimes hard for me to imagine my life before guns, but there was a time when my concept of a gun was nothing more than a toy or movie prop. My parents didn’t keep guns in the house when I was growing up. I managed to get a couple of rounds off with my friends or on special occasions with my grandparents, but nothing on a regular basis.
I remember the first shot I ever took: I was six years old, wide-eyed with adrenaline pumping through my veins. Nothing too fancy, just an old Red Ryder BB gun. I used my puny muscles to pump three or four times, raised the gun to my shoulder, and pulled the trigger. I nailed an empty Dr. Pepper can I had propped up on a five-gallon bucket. The ding of a BB passing through an aluminum can still brings a smile to my face even today. From that moment on, I was hooked.
A few years later I took yet another monumental step- I bought my first gun. My grandpa sold me an old shotgun he’d kept in his gun safe for years. It had every kind of nick and scratch imaginable from over a decade of consistent use. It needed some serious maintenance and I tended to it in the same way a mother would her sick child. Needless to say, it wasn’t in great condition, but it was mine.
Photo courtesy of
Like many Americans before me I had crossed in to the realm of gun ownership, a true convert of our second amendment right to bear arms. For many of us it’s a rite of passage, a freedom and right that we have the privilege to exercise in this great country.
While everyone’s story is different, we all have one thing in common: At some point we all took that first shot. My first experience with guns will always hold a special place in my heart. What’s your story?
This blog is the first of a four part series I’m calling “Freedom to Fire.” This series will take a look at the past, getting back to the basics of why we’re where we are today. Check back regularly for updates and new posts.   
Feel free to leave comments, questions, or suggestions! Let’s chat!
Austin Selph is a guest contributor for the Beretta Blog. He can be reached on Twitter or Facebook.
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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Topics: Gun Rights, Other