The “bang switch”

This may be the season of serenity, selflessness and making spirits bright, but it’s also the season of domestic obligation. That explains why we were at the house of one of my wife’s friends, making stilted conversation and eating unimaginative food.

As it usually does when I’m around, the conversation turned to hunting and shooting, and the young boy of the house, still a few years away from hunting but already tuned in to bloodsport, volunteered that he knew the rules of gun safety.

As a hunter education instructor and gun-safety Nazi, I was interested in hearing what this 7-year-old had to say about the topic.

“Always point your muzzle in a safe direction,” he recited. “Be sure of your target, and beyond. Treat every gun as if it were loaded.”

Then he paused. He and I both knew there was one more cardinal rule, but he was momentarily stumped.

Then he blurted out the answer, leaving all of us briefly stunned before we busted up in laughter, social awkwardness melted before the insightful perspective of the youngest member of our group.

“Keep your booger finger off the bang switch until you’re ready to shoot!”

- Andrew McKean