This is for the young men and women who were thrilled by the sight of a new gun under the Christmas tree.
The gun says this: "We will walk through the fields and forest, listening with care as the frost crunches beneath our feet. The times we share will be ours alone.
In the years to come a thousand sunrises will find us stomping through brambles in search of an elusive cottontail. Or we'll kick the hedgerows in fear of the chaos created by a a covey of quail bursting skyward. We will wade through the swamps in the foulest of weather for this is when the ducks will fly.
All too often, we will return empty-handed. I will blame you and you will blame me. But we'll share in memories that no one else can ever know.
But please remember... I cannot think and I cannot do. I am in your control and in a fraction of a second I can take a life; yours or anyone else's who might be in my path at that dreadful moment of indecision.
I am a gun, an inanimate combination of polished wood and metal. In my allotted space, a closet or a gunrack, I am harmless. But in your hands I can become a wanton killer to be feared by all.
Or, I can become a friend that will share your hopes and dreams for a lifetime.
The choice is yours!