Idioms not Idiots

nancy in uniform cropI 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!

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"I worked as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer for over 14 years, in a firearms carrying capacity. First assigned to LAX (1994), then to the Los Angeles/ Long Beach Seaport (1997-2007), I took an early retirement from my final duty station of El Paso, TX (2007-2008). Never having handled firearms prior to this job, I give full credit for my initial shooting lessons and safe firearms handling skills to the government. As I began to compete, I gleaned tips and coaching lessons from the best law enforcement instructors across the nation, turning myself into one of the best, too. I was a firearms instructor in Los Angeles and a national level competitor on a formally sponsored team from 1999 through 2003, being sent all over the nation for pistol match competitions. As a result of this gift of an experience, I went on to set five national records in the law enforcement shooting sports. Check in regularly to read about those and other adventures and misadventures!"
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