How did I get into firearms? Right, well... I must have been 11 at the time. So I was with my family at a corn maze upstate NY when someone there, was, I guess looking to make some money. So me and my Grandpa were doing something, and this guy goes and asks my mom if any of us would be "interested in shooting some clays?"
For some reason, my mom who wasn't a fan of firearms (she grew up in the streets in Brooklyn where only the punks would carry guns around), so she wasn't anti-gun, just intimidated by them, I guess. Well, she wound up saying yes. So the three of us, along with another family, two parents and two kids, followed this guy to a little open field surrounded by a wooded area.
He had a nice (what I assume to be high end) launcher, made shooting the clays very quick and easy. I believe the shotgun was a Remington VERSA MAX if I remember the color scheme correctly. The synthetic model with the grey around the grip and um... (forend?).
So the guy charged us like $1 a shot, I shot about 15 rounds, my mom shot about 5 and my grandpa shot about 5. That was actually a lot of money looking back considering how cheap birdshot was, and still is!
After this, I started to be semi-interested in firearms, but it would not be until about 3-1/2 years later that I wanted a gun of my own. I had already been shooting air rifles for a year or two at that point, (A Daisy 840 Grizzly, then moved up to a Daisy Powerline 901). So finally, after convincing my mom to go and purchase it (of course I'm underage, still am), I had my long-awaited Marlin 795. Since then, we've bought quite a few more guns, but nothing gets shot more than that Marlin 795!
A while back, my mom was wondering how I turned into such a gun nut, as she is still reluctant on owning firearms, but she knows she raised me to be responsible, I guess she just trusts me. I jokingly told her that she made a "grave error" 5 or 6 years ago, when she let me shoot those clays But it is what it is, and I don't think I'd go back to "gun-less" me. I enjoy shooting so much, and I don't think I'd ever see it any other way, no matter how vilified we become, but I am faithful that one day, some of this ignorance will fade, and others (who are on the fence) and even anti-gunners will at least understand why we love this one general activity that many do on a weekly basis. The problem? I don't understand myself!