Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

21 February 2006

"Look For the Silver Lining"

Not a song I'm familiar with, but yes, it is the 'Look for the union label' song, which makes me think of how disappointed someone was when that happened. This song is ok, but it doesn't really grab me, though I feel I should make allowances for the union label connection.

My mom's weapon of choice is a 357 Magnum. We have some pictures of her, firing this gun, and it's very cute. In fact, we have pictures of almost everyone in my family firing a gun. My husband touched his first gun, shot his first gun, and yes, got the requisite picture, all in the company of my family.

It's not that we're big NRA supporters, either, or hunters, for the most part. For years it just seemed to be the family thing to do: on all the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter) that we'd all be together we'd end up going behind the garage afterwards for some target shooting. My parents live in the middle of the woods, and this was a pretty safe thing to do, shooting literally into a hill, though it seems a little shocking even to me, in retrospect. We did have the police come and find us once, after receiving complaints from neighbors around the valley. It ended up being ok, since they knew my brother from his volunteer ambulance driving.

My parents, most of my siblings, and I really like target shooting. These days we don't shoot behind the garage, but once a year we have a family weekend at the hunting cabin that my brother belongs to in Central Pennsylvania. The cabin has a wood stove, gas lights and refrigerator, no electricity, and an outhouse, but better than all this: we're just a few yards down from the shale pit, where everyone on the park road goes for their target practice. Before we go out, every year, my brother has everyone sit through the safety lecture, where we're quizzed on range and weapon safety, and briefed on the weapons available to fire. This year we had the choice of up to six shot guns (including black powder), as well as five hand guns, though that may not be counting the weapons that my uncle and cousins added this year. We set up the range with balloons, soda cans, milk jugs filled with water, and more conventional targets. This year I shot skeet for the first time, which was fun. I had never tried a moving target of any kind, and I did pretty well for my first go.

As fun as it is, it's very odd to talk about. Some people seem to understand the nature of it for me, but others lean very heavily in one direction or the other: pro-gun, anti-gun. I have no idea what to say to either of them. Having firearms seems so deeply rooted in American history, I can't imagine that it would ever disappear, but I also don't see a drastic need to personally own a gun, much less anything more powerful than that sweet little magazine-loaded, semi-automatic Berretta that my brother has. What can I say, there's something very seductive about it. It's power in a compact package, and to hold that power in my hands feels good.


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