I love plays on words. I recently stumbled across a conversation regarding learning a foreign language and the idioms, or plays on words, making for incredible confusion in learning a new language. For example, “it’s raining cats and dogs” does not mean the family pets are falling from the sky, but that the rain falls copiously. What does this have to do with shooting? Everything, of course! This conversation got me to thinking about all the idioms American English uses revolving around shooting. My conclusion is that the Revolutionary Era Immigrant and the iconoclastic American Cowboy, trashing traditional institutions of accepted properness, formed the basis of many of our modern day idioms. Such phrases as lock, stock and barrel, a real straight-shooter, aim high, set you sights high, are everyday idioms we use without considering the source. So, I have been considering. The immigrants who came here were the peasants of Europe and could not hunt the land they farmed. They rarely ate meat. In America, they had rifles and could hunt for supper and eat meat every day. That was life changing. The cowboy, of course, was master of his universe, regularly taking the law into his own hands. He was a leader, he was an outlaw, he was revered, he was feared and he was armed. I think firearms figured so prominently in our American history, we take it for granted and almost forget to see it. We should not. Firearms are important, their safe use and handling cannot be emphasized enough, but the history cannot be forgotten. Ah, SHOOT, what am I telling all you this for? You already know!
NRA Firearms Instructor – Nancy Rothschild
What Nancy’s Reading
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