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I explained that I'd been robbed and that I needed something to protect my property from further invasions.
"If you're in tight quarters, like a house, you're going to want a handgun or a shotgun. Sure, a handgun is maybe a little more portable, but if you want to stop a PCP crazed immigrant, you're gonna want one of these," he said as he handed me a shotgun from the rack. "Like it? It's the Remmington 870 SPS with custom scope and hair trigger."
I'll admit I liked it very much. I didn't really need a scope to shoot someone at 10 feet and it was nearly 700 dollars, but it was beautiful. This was not a gun; it was a piece of art.
Due to the draconic 24 hour waiting period, I couldn't bring it home with me that day. Mark suggested that I borrow his "loaner" Winchester M97. I took it home to my now gleeful father who excitedly welcomed the gun into the house like a new son. We talked about the guns he'd shot in Korea, though he never said whether he'd actually killed anyone. I doubt he had; he spent his entire tour in Pusan as a cook for the top brass. He could make a mean turkey club sandwich and the Army always places the talents of its soldiers where they are most needed.
Marion Cox Sr. showed me how to break down the gun and how to clean it. Finally, I felt like we had something in common.
"You see, the commies always come in packs. Sometimes there are heavily armored ones: those you have to smack with the butt of your gun, spin them around, and shoot them in the back. Back in Korea, I remember a big fat commie that exploded and attracted other reds by the spray of his guts. War is hell, son, and a shotgun might be your only friend."
Dad was crazy, but owning a gun was exciting, and more than that, it was a bonding experience, the kind of which I'd never had with him when I was younger.
I had traded an Xbox for a shotgun, Dad felt safe - I did too. So safe, in fact, that I finally had the courage to leave Dad alone in the apartment for a few hours. In retrospect, this was pretty stupid.
I met my friends at Jim's house for some Battlefield Bad Company 2 drinking games. We'd take a drink each time we died; the more we drank the more we died. My K/D ratio suffered greatly but Jim made an effort to rally us by giving us orders. We, of course, willfully misinterpreted them with homoerotic subtext and teased him constantly. It was too easy - at one point, I distinctly remember him shouting, "They're raping me! Come on guys, push harder, I need you to push hard and fast!"
After a few hours of jokes about Jim's sexuality and my own drunken failure, I had enough. No matter how much I sucked at Bad Company, I had a real gun at home and that made me infinitely cooler than the spawncamping twerps and their noobtubes.
I got home and fumbled at the lock with the wrong key. Inside, I heard some movement, then a heavy thud as if someone had knocked over the sofa.
"Dad, open the door."
I heard the sound of a gun being pumped and instinctively stumbled away seconds before splinters of wood exploded into the hallway of our apartment building.
Stupidly, I looked through the hole in the door, "Jesus, Dad. It's me."