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Vol. 22, No. 2: Summer 2016

A Marvelous Gun Unshot

by James McNaughton

“It must have been these stories that convinced me to go with him to a Texas gun and knife show. Camera slung to my chest, an AR-15 assault rifle strapped to his back, we walked into the Longview Civic Center.”

He let himself in the house without knocking, as had become his habit, and placed a bag of peaches on the counter—a present from the farmers’ market. His arm was in a sling from shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, an injury from shooting his assault rifle at the outdoor gun range repeatedly and rapidly, wishing it was an automatic, until he lost his balance, stumbled a few paces, and tripped. Putting down the bag of peaches, he said he’d been back there shooting a new gun. You might give that shoulder a chance, I said. You’re going to love this pistol, he said. It’s a smooth shot, man, aim sure to fifty yards and more. He pulled it from his coat pocket and handed it to me. I stopped cutting onions and gripped the blue-black pistol by the wooden handle. I was surprised, as always, by the weight. It’s not loaded, is it? I felt compelled to ask and wanted to remind him not to bring a loaded weapon into my house. It’s a Nazi officer’s gun, he said. It even has the bird on the side, and the crest. And there they were.

This article appears as an abstract above, the complete article can be accessed in Project Muse
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