Note From Cooley…

Mike Cooley April 23rd, 2013

This was just posted on The DBT Facebook Page:
There was this heavy box I carried around with me for years. I would
pick it up, put it in the truck, haul it to the next place and that’s
where it stayed until it was time to move again. It was full of small
caliber handgun and rifle cartridges, and shotgun shells of various
size and shot patterns. It wouldn’t be considered a stockpile by
today’s standards, and I didn’t have any use for it then, but I
inherited it and the guns that went with it from my father. So I would
toss it into the pile with the rest of the baggage I wasn’t ready to
part with and pretend I was moving on.

My Dad owned a store. Similar to a convenience store, but located in
the rural community where we lived, so it still functioned like a
traditional country store,complete with a set of regulars that stopped
by almost every day to chat. And without cable tv ( it’s still not
available there), 24/7 news , and the internet still over 20 years
away, country stores and old ole boys had a wireless bullshit delivery
system nonetheless. And good old boys never talk long without talking
about guns.

I didn’t think much about it at the time, but every now and then my
Dad would come home convinced something was about to happen with
regard to guns and ammo that required “stocking up.” There were going
to be limits on the number of boxes you could by. The price was going
to reach unaffordable levels. “They” were going to make it so that you
couldn’t even buy guns any more or be able to use the ones you had.
And this information was never reported in the news because “they”
don’t want you to know it. That’s how that heavy assed box came to
be, and would eventually come to me.

One night before I inherited all those bullets, I got shot at. They
wouldn’t have done me any good since I was trespassing. I’m pretty
sure firing shots at the owner of the property you’re trespassing on
makes it worse. Anyway I was with a couple of friends and we were
rolling this guys yard. His house was on a hill at the end of a long
driveway with woods in between. We heard the door open and the lights
came on and we ran through the woods toward the road. He fired 2 maybe
3 shots and I could hear the bullets going through the trees alongside
us. I don’t know if he was actually trying to hit us,and I’m not even
sure if he could see us, but he didn’t just fire in the air either. It
had to be obvious we were running away even if it wasn’t obvious we
were just kids pulling a prank.

On another evening I was home with my parents and some of my friends
thought it would be funny to steal the hubcaps off my car. We heard a
noise and my Dad could see someone moving around outside. He got his
gun, threw open the door and yelled “I’ll blow your head off you son
of a bitch”. One of my friends stood up from behind the car with his
hands up saying “don’t shoot Mr Cooley it’s me”. My Dad was red and
shaking all over from fear and embarrassment. He’d almost shot a kid
pulling a prank.

The inability to defend ones home or even the thought of that level of
helplessness brings to mind images that are frightening for anyone,
and my father and the man who shot at me belonged to a class and
generation of men that were especially motivated that very fear.
Robbing a man of the ability to defend his home was the last
degrading thing the world could do to him. A world that many of the
men of my dad’s generation and class saw as having it in for them in
the first place. And that was enough to make anything less than an
armed response, a weak response.

I never told my Dad I got shot at pulling a prank, and the man who did
it outlived him.

I got rid of that box of ammo. If I need to do some shooting, I can buy more.
And there was never a time when I couldn’t.

— Cooley

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