i was not raised with firearms. my dad came from dublin in the 60's. my mom was born of italians that came to buffalo in the 40's.
my experience came from:
1st. a 4th of july with a childhood friend "julie lynn" and her family at thier vacation property. it was an unknown bolt .22 rifle and a .22 ruger automatic pistol. her parents never met or even talked to mine before or after that day. i was maybe 12.
2nd. corey, another friend from my childhood, i was 15 he was 16. corey, greg and myself went out to the mo river bottom and plinked all day in late spring on a sunday with a a tube fed .22 semi. again unknown brand. local pd came by and suprised us as we did not have a view of the dirt road over on the other side of the levee. the officer was very nice about it and also very difect about the fact that we were on someones land and were trespassing. but he did take what was left of the brick of wildcats and made us police the area we were in of any trash that we saw... and followed us out after a short but stern talking to about trespassing and firearms.
3rd. mark and his older brothers and father- fathers day in 88 or so. my dad was out of the country. mark asked me if i wanted to go with him/bro's and dad to thier camping/plinking spot deep in the woods in south central mo for the weekend. it was the first time i ever shot a center-fire anything. we loaded up the "wagon" and trailer with "LOTS" of long guns, and handguns, stopped at k-mart on the way out of town and bought a "cart full" of ammo. and another stop at a food store for camping type food.
this trip i still have very strong memories of- some 23 years later and is the reason that i purchased my own rifle later that year.
i got more "father to son" type instruction from "mr. dwyer" that weekend than i think i have ever gotten in my life. i even think i still have knotts on the back of my head from his class ring as he "popped me one" for messing up, or being unsafe while on the firing line. we also drank a few beers that weekend. mr dwyer is long gone now. mark is in control of his dads collection- last time i was home, i went to see mark. we talked about that weekend for hours.
as a young adult my friends and i found a safe/cool spot to plink and "walk along the train tracks" and plink. we shot there for years, untill it became part of a large resort type golf course. many good times there as it was only reachable by atv or 4x4 truck. many many rifles, and hand guns were shot there. the area next to the tracks had so much spent brass on the ground, you could not see the rocks or dirt. it was like a "brass beach" as we called it in "code" so our parents did not know what we were talking about.
i sold off my first shotgun,rifle and 8 shot .22 revolver when i got married (stupid move) and when i got "unmarried" i got another 10/22 as payment for a sidejob in dallas. and the rest is history as they say.