I am not a gun enthusiast or a gun owner but I do confess to having a lifetime romance with toy guns dating back to when I was a boy and we used to play army or cops and robbers.
I had a machine gun made of hard plastic from Woolworth’s that I bought for $1.99.
When you pulled on the trigger it made a rat-at-tat noise. I also had one or two of those toy revolvers that you loaded with little red caps of gunpowder so that when the gun’s hammer was released, it made a loud pop.
But my crowning toy gun had to come in about sixth grade when I got Tin Can Alley for Christmas. It was a rifle that shot a beam of light.
You aimed at a row of cans on a plastic “fence.” Beneath each can was a light-sensitive receptor that triggered a little pin underneath the can, which popped off the shelf if your aim was true.
I have also been enamored with those carnival shooting games where you have to shoot out the red star entirely in order to win an oversize stuffed animal.
At the Wayne County Fair in 2013, I easily spent about $25 in my (ultimately successful) effort to win.
I mention all of this by way of introducing the Christmas gift my wife got me, which you will see explained in this photo essay:
Step 1: Admire the box and have your youngest son ask repeatedly if you are going to play it.
Step 2: Unpack the contents and follow the directions.
Step 3: Fight to loosen the tiny screws on the battery cover to open it. Unsuccessful, prepare to hack your way into it until your son shows you the wisdom of patience and dexterity using one of those tiny screwdrivers.
Step 4: Install batteries and admire the challenge before you.
Step 5: Try to fire one of the foam bullets so you can actually hit one of the floating balls. Yeah, good luck with that.
Step 7: Move in closer in a vain attempt to achieve Step 5.
Step 8: Ultimately turn over the gun to your son, who is a better shot than you are. Quick Draw McGraw, you are not!