Hunting has been a way of life for most people here, and for many of our ancestors it was essential for survival. When I grew up all of my friends and I received “the talk” from our parents about what to do if we came across a gun (don’t touch it, tell an adult immediately) and were instructed on proper handling and shooting once we were old enough.
Guns aren’t toys. We don’t own guns to be cool, and people who just leave them lying around in the open or otherwise mishandle them are told to straighten up.
We take gun safety seriously and are completely flabbergasted when see the way some people treat firearms. Who in their right mind would actually shove a loaded pistol down the front their pants? What could possibly go wrong?
All of my lessons returned to me this week as I began to prepare earnestly for the 22nd Annual Buffalo Bill Invitational Shootout which will be held Aug. 6-8, 2015 at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Cody Firearms Museum and at the Cody Shooting Complex.
Some 100 competitors will participate in skeet, trap, five-stand and sporting clays events. Registrations are accepted until Aug. 1, and the competition is limited to 100 participants. The best way to register is to go to www.centerofthewest.org/explore/events/invitational-shootout.
The event is reminiscent of the time Annie Oakley shot against a man named Frank Butler who was a noted marksman back in the late 1800s. Annie won the competition when she hit 25 targets while Butler hit “only” 24. Both competitors won as they fell in love and later married. Their connection to Cody? They became performers in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
Another Wild West Show performer, Sitting Bull himself, admiringly gave Annie Oakley the nickname “Little Miss Sure Shot.”
While I don’t pretend to think that I can rival Annie with my shooting ability, I will do my best. I will, however, be her equal in terms of safety and respect for the sport and firearms.
Until next week, I am lovin’ life – and workin’ on my aim – in Cody, Wyo.