remington shotgunOkay, I promised a gun post. And I know you’ve been locked in anticipation through the 10 day waiting period since I became the first Liberal in the history of Napa’s Last Gun Shop to walk through the door and buy a firearm. Well, I picked that gun up Sunday, but it’s taken me until now to process it all. I’m still not sure that I’m really a gun owner. Or that I have ammo. Or that I’ve even fired the thing. But more on that later.

First, it’s come to my attention that, as a new gun owner, I really need to have a Grumpy Old Man persona. A friend suggested that she imagines me with my new gun acting like Michael Caine and Robert Duvall in the movie Second Hand Lions, sitting on my porch shooting at anyone who comes up in my driveway.

Personally, I can’t see it. Even with the civilizing force of iced tea.

My personal favorite Grumpy Old Man with a Gun would have to be Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino.

Seriously, the man put new meaning in the phrase, “Get Off MY LAWN!”

But to be absolutely accurate, I think we’re going to have to go to England to the adult comic book VIZ. There’s a recurring character named Farmer Palmer who is always blowing away small lapdogs, cats and assorted hikers with the universal, but acceptable blanket excuse under British law, “Ee wuz wurryin moy sheep.”

Farmer Palmer’s other line is “Get Orrf Mah Laaand.”

Personally, instead of a Grumpy Old Man, I’d rather be an Annie Oakley type shooter.

Sitting Bull nicknamed her Little Miss Sure-Shot.

Of course, to be a Little Miss Sure-Shot, I’d have to be able to hit something. And, judging from my first attempts, I can’t hit the broad side of a barn.

I certainly couldn’t hit this upturned plastic planter. Even within ten feet of it.

Andy and our friend Rob had no trouble hitting things when they took my shotgun out for a spin.

In particular, they shot up my cactus garden. Yes, that cactus garden I’ve been carefully nurturing for over a year now.

Here’s the thing about this gun. I’m getting excellent advice on being a responsible owner — especially from Jeffro over at The Poor Farm. His Four Rules are a must-read for anyone even contemplating gun ownership. And in answer to those of my readers who have professed concern that I am now armed, yes, I’ve signed up for a gun safety course. It’s run by a guy out of Napa’s excellent Last Gun Shop. It’s an eight hour intensive course. My future instructor, Jack, is a Marine combat veteran of Viet Nam and former Deputy Sheriff. He has a Wyatt Earp mustache. I think I’m covered.

But I’m still having trouble with this whole gun thing. First of all, a shotgun is a lot louder than you think it will be. I walked around with ringing ears for an hour after only three shots. And secondly, it’s hard on wooden floors.

Be forewarned that if you lock your dogs in a nearby building, there will be a puddle of terrier wee to correspond to every shot you take.

I actually have another weapon. And I’m wishing I could use that instead.

How frightening could I be to burglars, coyotes and Mountain Lions if I mastered the Sioux War Lance?