This essay was written for Memoir Magazine, in the States. The magazine called for articles that dealt personal experiences with guns of any kind. I wrote about my history such weapons, which ranged from serious training on a variety of firearms, the inevitable gaffs and errors in handling them, and finally the status of “guns” in North America, more particularly the USA. One path taken was to compare the “good old days” of the late fifties and sixties (when gun owners were responsible and N. America was a far safer place), to the violent conditions of today. Of course, to write about such stuff a person had to a bit of research. Boy, was I ever surprised!