"My mother was born in Texas. She was riding a small horse and herding cattle on the range at five. They called her “Little Sure Shot” like Annie Oakley. The neighbors would ask Mom to shoot the beef animals or pigs because one shot went exactly where she wanted it and none of the meat on the animals was lost.
Dad had his right ankle cut through by a mowing blade when he was ten years old, in 1899. He was busy trying to save a sparrow with both its feet cut off. Mowing clover with horses was quiet. The hired man carried him in with the ankle attached only by the tendon in the back of the ankle. Grandma had learned first aid in high school and applied the tourniquet. Three miles to the new doctor, who said, “I'll have to cut it off and let him wear a peg. The leg would get gangrene and have to be taken off.” Grandma said, “You sew and I'll pray.” He limped for 69 years on that foot. No running. But no gangrene.
If danger comes to our family, animals, or property, like Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Dad had a Colt .45. News of its presence was circulated.
One time I was eight years old when two guys got into our chicken house, on the farm in Indiana, with the 600 White Leghorn hens. We sold eggs. Dad heard the noise. They had two feed sacks with hens in them. Dad stood on the back porch and shot straight up with the .45. Yelled, “I aimed to miss that time. I'll count to ten. If you are still in range I'll see which one I can hit.” They were not in range. They left the door wide open, and hens scattered in all directions. We spent nearly three hours on that moonlight night getting the scared hens back into the henhouse.
In January 1965 Mom and Dad had apartment houses in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There were riots and people marching in the streets. It was 22 degrees below zero [Fahrenheit]. They threw rocks and broke windows in the apartment with the small children Mom baby-sat. Dad had arthritis but still had the .45 he took onto the front porch. Again he shot straight up in the air and aimed to miss, but said, if any more glass shattered, he would aim to hit. There was none.
I've always prayed and felt protected by the Lord and His angels. No need for a gun. I sold it. But guns do have a place, and no one needs to get hurt. "