Mike the Musicologist and I found ourselves at a Barnes and Noble the other day. (Criterion Collection 50% off sale through August 1st. You’re welcome.)
For various reasons, we were flipping through the new Dana Loesch book, Flyover Nation: You Can’t Run a Country You’ve Never Been To. The jacket contains this rather pithy line:
Both of us got a chuckle out of that, since we couldn’t think of anyone we knew who got a deer rifle for their thirteenth birthday. (I think I was 13 when I got my .22, but it was for Christmas. And for my readers who are not people of the gun, a .22 is way underpowered for deer. I want to say my sister’s boys were 16 and 14 when they got a deer rifle, but I’m not sure that technically qualifies as “theirs” as much as it is “Dad paid for it and loaned it to them so they could go on a youth hunting trip.”)
Anyway, I thought of that when I read this Statesman story:
Dylan Owens got his first gun when he was 12. It was a .30-30 deer rifle that cost $200, and his father taught him to shoot it. He said all the sights were “canted,” meaning the piece used to aim at targets was bent out of alignment.
Mr. Owens is now a deputy with the Bastrop County Sheriff’s office. And he just won a gold medal in the precision/sniper rifle category at the 2016 Texas Police Games.
Owens said he drove to San Angelo on a Tuesday after work, with his Mark 12 special-purpose rifle and no air conditioning. He slept about two hours the night before his competition, when he went in and shot at 1-inch laser points on a human silhouette, in a timed, 20-shot course aimed at precision. He was positioned 100 to 200 meters from his targets.
On a regular day at his ranch in La Grange, he can hit from 600 meters.
Owens also took home a third place prize in patrol rifle, a five-hour course where he ran from bay to bay shooting enemy targets and avoiding friendly fire.
Cool story. Cool guy. I’d love to meet him somewhere with air conditioning and buy him a couple/three frosty beverages of his choice.