We have a family rule. Never shoot up all your ammo at the range. I finally got my father to tell me the story that led to that rule.
Cast your mind back to deep, dark wilds of Los Angeles County in 1965….
Every one of us has had a moment in our life that we will never forget. A life lesson that not only changes the way you do things but cause you to preach to your family, mostly to your children. I just found out my moment has been labeled by my kids as, “Never shoot all your ammo at the Range”.
I was newly married, had just turned 23, and decided that my wife, also 23, needed to learn how to shoot a pistol. You have to understand that I didn’t know a thing about pistols, I had never even shot one. I had recently purchased a Llama 380 had shot the gun one other time, expending every last round. My wife, a British Subject who had never seen a pistol before had managed to out shoot me so I had keep shooting trying to at least do as well as she had. It didn’t work. I ended up shooting up everything and still not matching her.
We were going to the range again. It was a Sunday and I had to buy some ammo on the way there. As we drove down the street, almost at the store, I saw a low rider car with four latinos inside pull a “Swoop and Squat” in front of an 18 wheeler. The trucker avoided smashing into the car by running over the curb into a large parking lot surrounding the White Front Store (Sort of like a Wal-Mart, but in Los Angeles in the ’60’s). I was also forced to dodge into the same parking lot and came to a screeching halt, blocked by the truck and the driver of the car who was advancing on the truck driver with a bat.
I yelled at my wife to go get the guard in the store. Back then White Front hired armed guards. I jumped out and saw the trucker had a tire iron, the driver of the car had a bat, and two more of the car occupants were exiting the car. Screaming and threats were being thrown around and I thought I was going to witness a beat down if not a death.
I grabbed my gun, jumped out of the car and lay across the hood with the gun pointed right at the man with the bat. I yelled,
“One more step and I’ll shoot you.”
He looked at me, told me to mind my own G. D. gringo business or he would take care of me next. His friend was half way out of the rear seat so I asked him if he wanted to be first. He jumped back into the car.
I do understand certain Spanish words and as the bat wielder ran back to his car I am think he passed judgment on how old I was when my mother got married, plus a few other choice words.
At this time I glanced towards the store and I see my wife, in high heels and a sheath dress running towards me at full speed. Behind her I see a man in full guard regalia running but loosing ground to her. Picture this, he is about 50 lbs over weight and everything, Gun, baton, handcuffs were all flapping up and down as he ran and he is making noises like a steam engine.
The Latino men called my mother a puta one more time and peeled rubber for yards as they sped away.
So the moral of the story is. Never shoot all your ammo at the range. I had a totally empty gun. What if they had called my bluff?
That started the family rule. Whenever you took a gun to the range, you always kept at least one full magazine, one full cylinder, or a couple of rifle rounds for every single gun you had. It’s still a practice I follow today. I might not be able to get to the Super Bambi Blast-o-Matic in the trunk while on my way home from the range, but you can be sure that if I need to put a .243 Win round into a ne’er do well at the Han-dee Hugo’s, I have the ammo to do it.
You never know when you might be called on to use a gun to save a life. Wouldn’t you be happier if your gun was loaded at the time?