The 1912 M1911 and other Heirlooms
I wasn't worried, the email came from an friend since childhood. When I got off work yesterday, I drove the 40 miles necessary to visit my old friend.
After the usual Southern pleasantries, talk turned to the pistol at hand, and my friend removed it from an old bank money bag. I looked the M1911 over, and found it to be 100% original except for the magazine. The rounded rear sight and the ball cut slide are two features that I really like on the old M1911s. Sadly, my Black Army gun lacks both. The old war horse being offered had not seen much actual firing; the rifling was still sharp (if dirty) and the gun had the original barrel. Most of the finish wear was the result of time, not carry, and not abuse.
My friend was simply acting as a broker to facilitate a deal, and I soon learned that the owner was not uninformed. I had cash in my pocket, but I could not pay what he hoped to get for the pistol. I gave a couple of combination offers, trades of firearms and the ability to buy the M1911 back at the same price in the future, and I left it at that. Perhaps the owner, knowing that my word is my bond, will take me up on the offer in the realization that it gives us each the opportunity to own and regain a bit of history we could not otherwise afford.
Talk turned to catching up on each other's lives, and my friend's son Lee brought out his prized possession. Lee has an appreciation for fine firearms, and is a responsible shooter who never turns down an opportunity to blast away steel or paper. For a year before his twenty-first birthday, he would wistfully rhapsodize about the AR he wished he could build. Little did Lee realize that his father and a gunsmith friend were taking notes. On his twenty-first birthday, Lee was presented with a gift that is destined to become a family heirloom. A gift from a father that unequivocally recognizes his son as a responsible man.
These are the admirable qualities of the gun culture. It's a world where people are recognized by what they do, their actions makes them who they are. The honor among men (and women) is what makes the gun culture what it is. And it is that small fact, that honor, that is lost on those who would try to destroy the second amendment. Of course, what would they know of honor? If they trusted their fellow man, they wouldn't be worried about his guns.