Toys and Play: Training for Life?

cap gun

I enjoy watching my daughter play. Some of the things she plays with are Barbies, Legos, Polly Pockets, stuffed animals, board games and various electronic gadgets.

After observing her, it has occurred to me on several occasions that play is training for the future. A little girl might play with dolls to learn about caring for younger children, or a toy chainsaw to learn how to cut down an evergreen. A little boy might play with blocks to learn how to build, or a toy car to understand how to drive. Think about even a kitten or puppy with a ball. They are learning how to catch prey.

As adults, we still play. Our toys are just bigger (and usually more expensive). We will pay big money to escape our normal life and just play for a little while.

When I was a boy, I played with toys like Star Wars, G I Joes, Blocks, Hot Wheels, and airplanes. I also loved playing with guns. Cap guns, dart guns (foam), and just plain inanimate plastic guns.

If a manufactured toy gun was not available, my brother and I would make a gun out of anything that resembled the shape. A mini war could break out at any time, at any place.

I see now that the toy guns that I had when I was a boy helped start to train me for being a responsible gun owner now. All the “war” games we had back then prepared me with a different mindset than someone who never touched a toy gun. Firearms are not terrible, fearful objects, but tools that are to be respected and used wisely. In the sporting context, they are meant to even be…..well, fun.

Even the military calls some of their training “war games”. They spend millions (if not billions) to play at battle. It may feel like fun to them, but it is actually training.

With all this in mind, I’m glad my parents encouraged me to “train” with toy guns. Some would now categorize their parenting in this area as criminal. I’m glad I wasn’t completely walled off from all that had to do with anything remotely violent. I’m glad they bought me a cap gun.

Surprise: What I Found When I Came Home


glock on the deskI came home at around 10:00pm. My Daughter was in bed, my wife was working at her computer, and this is what I see. My Glock 22 in the Serpa holster, sitting on the desk beside her.

My immediate question to her is “Ummm………everything OK?”. She responded that she had heard some noises outside and wanted to have protection beside her just in case.

That’s my girl. I taught her that, and feel a little pride.

I also like the Serpa holster for this role, no accidental touch of the trigger (the gun is hot). It’s safe, but ready to go.

It’s reassuring that if there really was a dangerous problem, she at least has a fighting chance. With a full sized .40 cal., maybe a little more.

The Serpa Holster


This goes out to Luke at Triangle Tactical . Thanks for the motivation.

I’ve recently purchased the BLACKHAWK! Serpa holster for the Glock 22. Love it.

If you’re not familiar with this active retention holster, here’s how it works. When the pistol is inserted into the holster, it “clicks” into place. That click is the holster mechanism locking onto the front of the trigger guard. After the pistol is held in retention, it will not come out. Running, jumping, tree climbing, trapeze, nope. You can physically pull on the gun and it ain’t coming out unless you activate the release.

To draw the pistol, there is a “button” on the outside of the holster in the area where you would properly lay your index to keep it out of the trigger guard. If the trigger finger applies light pressure to that button, the holster easily comes out.

This does require some practice. I’ve probably drawn from the Serpa 100 times with an unloaded weapon. Once the muscle memory is there, you (obviously) don’t even think about it.

This particular holster comes with the belt loop (shown above) and paddle. Both are attached by a screw system on the back of the holster proper. For the way I use it, I prefer the loop.

If you wear a jacket or long shirt, you could probably get away with concealed carry, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, I go with the open carry. In that capacity, this holster works well for me around the house and at the range.

If you are looking for a new holster for your sidearm, you may want to check out the BLACKHAWK! Serpa on Amazon.

Shooting Party with Friends

guns 1

Friends, food, fun and of course firearms……..what more could you ask for in a get together. Yesterday, 15 of us got together at one of our houses and shot to our hearts content for almost 6 hours straight.


The idea was to bring as many guns as we wanted, and share with everyone. There were pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns. I think there were at least 20 different weapons, but sadly I was only able to shoot 15 of them. I needed more time!

Candy Store

As you can see from the picture above, the list included :  Glock (s) 17, 34, 21, and 22. Steyr m40, Smith and Wesson M&P 40, Taurus tcp .380, 2 Smith and Wesson .38 specials, , a small 4 shot .22 revolver, Walther PPS .40, an old Winchester bolt action 12 gauge shotgun, an old Winchester bolt action .22, a Mossberg tactical 12 guage pump, 2 AR-15’s, a Yugoslavian AK-47, single shot 10 guage shotgun, DPMS .308 semi-auto rifle with scope and bull barrel, Desert Eagle .50, Smith and Wesson .500 revolver, and to top it off, a single shot, bolt action .50 BMG rifle. I think that’s it.

We all brought plenty of ammo and let people shoot anything they wanted. This was fun for those of us who shoot regularly, but very helpful for those just getting started, or not sure if they wanted to. Everyone got to check things out and see what they liked and didn’t like. Our host spared no expense and brought out all the guns and ammo we requested.

Safety First

For safety, we laid down some basic operating rules. Several firing lines were established and each person walked to the line with an empty weapon. They loaded up at the firing line. Communication was regular and often when preparing to fire, and no one was caught unaware.

Target Practice

For targets, we shot at paper and metal. I just recently had to replace a dead dishwasher, so I also brought the old door and we set it up first at 200 meters for the scoped .308. We then brought it in to 100 meters for the .50 caliber, .22, 12 gauge Mossberg (with deer slugs), and I was even able to hit it with the Glock 34 in 9 mil. There is just something satisfying about hearing the “crack” of a bullet making contact with a household appliance.


It was mostly up to the womenfolk to bring the food and they came through in a big way.  We ate soups, bread, veggies, fruit, cookies and brownies. I was grazing all day long in between shots.

But these ladies aren’t your “stuck in the kitchen types” at all. They also did their fair share of shooting. There were a few who were just starting out and did great, but there were some who shot as much (if not more) than the menfolk. I was a little frightened.

I’ve included some more pictures below, and the video of me shooting the .50 is down there as well. My shoulder still hurts.

If I were to win the lottery I don’t think I could have had more fun. I’m just hoping we can do it again.


Do you get together with friends and shoot?

Weekend Reading Roundup


Every week I post articles from across the web on Facebook and tweet about them on Twitter. These are articles that I think are pertinent to the topics we discuss on my blog. I thought I’d round them up for your weekend reading. Enjoy.

A New Yorker’s view of gun control – New York City gun control at it’s finest

Are Gun Control Proponents Flat-Earthers? – Let’s turn the phrase back around

Iowa Hostage Kills Fugitive After Prison Escape – Elderly hostage kills fugitive in self-defense

Godfather of Gun Control: Who’s Behind the Curtain With Bloomberg? – Where does he get the money?

Rally For Gun Background Checks Quickly Becomes Pro-Gun Event – I love this because it’s in Ohio

Make Ready: Staging Your Pistol for Fast Deployment – Good article on the different options for the “ready” position

Liquor Store Clerk Pulls Gun on Robber –  Store clerk/Iraq war vet turns tables on robber

How Dry-Fire Practice Can Make You a Better Shooter – I’ve always said this