The Bird and The Shotgun



When I was about 16 years old I was living in a different city than my parents and used to go visit them on weekends.

One Saturday morning, when arriving at my parent’s house, I found my father ready to go hunting with a shotgun, he invited me to go with him and I accepted because, at the side of spending some time together, I was curious about the firearm.

After walking for a couple of minutes my father asked me if I wanted to give a try to the gun and I accepted; how tempting to hold the gun, aim at something and pull the trigger to see and feel it in action!

With the gun in my hands I looked around to find a target and saw a small bird standing in a high, wooden pole, so I aimed to the little bird and pulled the trigger.

The small bird didn’t fly with the sound of the firearm, didn’t even start to flap its wings, it simply fell off to the ground without any movement, lifeless, dead.

While falling, even before it hit the ground, I was already feeling remorse for killing it. It was doing nothing, just standing there, being, alive, but because I didn’t think ahead of the consequences, I just aimed and shot, the little creature ceased to exist.

I felt really bad!

I remember giving the gun back to my father and telling him that I would never hold a firearm in my hands again. We walked back to his house in complete silence and had never talked about that situation.

I don’t know what my father’s feelings were at that moment and I don’t know if he knew what my feeling were, but I believe it wasn’t important then and is not today; nothing changed between us.

I don’t know if he remembers that moment but I do, and decide to write about it here in my blog.

More than 30 years have gone by and I kept my word, I’ve never held another gun in my hands and I still don’t like them.

Because of that moment I had the opportunity to think about people and guns and come to the conclusion that, not only guns are for destruction, but also how fragile life can be and how important is to protect it.

I was a 16 years old kid, curious about how a firearm would feel when fired and by making a stupid mistake I learned to respect life, anticipate consequences and stay away from guns.


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20 Responses to The Bird and The Shotgun

  1. Tony Single says:

    I’m with you on that, Raul. I don’t like guns overmuch either. And I have to say, you were one perceptive boy at that age. To have held a gun, and then lay guns down for good after that sad incident with that lifeless bird? A real man does that. Bravo, sir. My hat is off to you.

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Tony,

    Yes, it was a really sad feeling at that moment, especially because it was something I couldn’t undo afterward. I guess this are the kind of things that shape our future personality.

    Thanks :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..The Bird and The Shotgun

  2. Joshua Noerr says:

    You know Raul, I believe everyone has a right to their opinions and hobbies as long as they don’t hurt others. I am in the same boat with you though, I do not like hunting, and never have.

    I will say that the shooting range is fun, but those are just paper targets and is as far as my fire arm enthusiasm extends.

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Joshua,

    Hunting is not for me either, my opinion is that is an unfair difference in power, but of course there’ll be many opinions in that matter. Shooting to a paper target might feel different though, I haven’t tried that, still I’m fine without holding a firearm again anyway.

    Thank you for stopping by :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..The Bird and The Shotgun

  3. Raul,

    I too am big believer in Gandhi’s teaching of non-violence. I am glad since that day you did not take up gun. Guns do not kill, people do. Imagine if we all believed in not hurting each other, how the world would be? Maybe I believe in Utopian world! I hope there is a possibility. Thanks for sharing this painful and thoughtful memory with us.
    Preeti @ Heart and Mind´s last post ..Enlightment- An Awareness and Understanding

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Preeti,

    Personally I don’t think we’ll reach a level of understanding so to stop violence, at least not in a near future, we are after all humans and humans have such a wonderful range of emotions, even though some of those emotions are about violence, still we can hope and try to make changes anyway :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..The Bird and The Shotgun

  4. Marion says:

    Hi Raul

    As I read your post I was reminded of an occasion when I was taken to shoot birds. I had never had an opinion on it either way until that point.

    I had never taken a life before and would not do it again. I know what you meant by feeling bad. Somehow “bad” does not fully describe it.
    Marion´s last post ..Feeling Confident – How to Boost Confidence with a Bubble

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Marion,

    You are right; the word “bad” doesn’t described completely the real feeling; it is something that cannot be described easily. I’m glad that I learned that lesson young enough and without making any more damage though.

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..The Bird and The Shotgun

  5. rob white says:

    Hi Raul,

    I absolutely abhor the killing of animals. It always breaks my heart to even see a sick or injured duck on the pond where I live. I believe that all things are connected and we really are one part of a beautiful, universal whole.
    rob white´s last post ..Creating Money Matters – Not Reacting to Them

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Rob,

    I’ve seen injured animals by the reservoir I live, it is a really sad situation that, unfortunately, many times there’s nothing we can do about.

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..The Bird and The Shotgun

  6. Lori says:

    I have a lot to say about this subject ~ but I’ll keep it short and suffice it to say that I’ll never hold another gun in my life ever again.

    Hat’s off to you, wise sir. Thanks for sharing this moment with us.
    Lori´s last post ..No Tom Toms in Trottersville

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Lori,

    It seems you had a similar situation at some point in the past in your life; if it is not opening wounds maybe you could tell us about.

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..The Bird and The Shotgun

  7. Davina says:

    I can appreciate your remorse, Raul.

    You’ve reminded me of a scene from the movie Failure to Launch where a character, after endless sleepless nights at the mercy of a mockingbird, decides to try shooting it with a BB gun to scare it off. They shoot it harder than expected and it falls from the tree appearing to be dead. The scene that follows is quite comical actually and all ends well.

    I don’t even like the sight of guns, let alone holding one. I have never held one and don’t even want to get near to one.
    Davina´s last post ..Acts of a Thief and Bishop

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Davina,

    We had problems with a woodpecker a couple of years ago, when the bird decide to move in to our house but started to make its own room in one of the sides. We tried different things to scare it and only after a couple of weeks it decided to find some other place.

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..The Bird and The Shotgun

  8. Meredith says:

    Raul, I have a severe aversion to guns — but mostly because I was almost shot, myself, when I was 15 years old. We were helping my aunt & uncle to move house, and my uncle has a collection of vintage and antique firearms, and he was demonstrating one of these to another uncle before putting it back on the wall for display. My mother was nervous because he was pointing it around the room, but he assured her it was a really old gun that didn’t actually work, and besides had no ammo. I was sitting nonchalantly in a chair by the window — when suddenly the gun went off, the bullet shattering the window a few inches from my face!

    What I don’t like about guns is their finality. No human being needs to be making life and death decisions in a moment, because our minds are so fickle and unstable and undependable. A passing thought does not necessarily represent us, what we are at our core.

    What’s good is when, in such a moment as you had, the mind’s instability is revealed, causing you to wake up suddenly and make beautiful choices that respect your real self and your real values. I found your vulnerability and honesty in sharing this story inspiring, Raul. :)
    Meredith´s last post’s shortest self-help manual

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Meredith,

    That must have been a scary moment! Seeing the window glass shatter so close to your face and knowing that just a difference in inches could have been you no more! Ouch!!

    You make a great point about not having the chance of making a big mistake just because of having the chance at hand. Like you say, we are not one second thought but the whole.

    Thank you for your comment and sharing your story with us :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..The Bird and The Shotgun

  9. Nacho Jordi says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. My only relation with guns has been in movies (I hope to keep it like that as long as I can), but your post awake a very old memory in me, about that moment in which you discover the frailty of life.
    We were kids, and we had been given a couple of crystal jars to play in the garden. Then I had this “wonderful” idea: what if we fill the jar with water and put ants inside?
    The result of the “what if”, naturally, was that the ants drowned, and I felt AWFUL.
    Maybe it is not something comparable to the experiences with shotguns told here, but I wanted to share. :)
    Nacho Jordi´s last post ..The black area round our vision

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Nacho,

    Maybe is not the same ways but I believe is the same situation and result. It is amazing the things we can do when kids and in a moment of not thinking, even if we are adults.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..The Bird and The Shotgun

  10. Joy says:

    Hi Raul,
    Such flow in your words..straight from your heart..thank you!
    Here is a fact one would not guess about me..peace filled one that I am..I *love* guns..I grew up in a family of hunters, and my ex husband is a retired military member now police officer so I’ve had guns in the house..I’ve never been hunting and am absolutely against violence, and I’ve been violently beaten so I know for a fact I could not use a gun against another person..however I love target and skeet shooting and am quite the marksman..
    Having said that, a gun ended my undercover “able to be concealed” AK-47 to be exact..if I needed that in my household for protection against my ex’s clients, then I need not be in that household..
    Thank you for putting your gun down forever…to me the example you use is like that of anything that could wound a person..such as words, sure I have mastery and can ‘play’ with them, but I would never consider using them to purposely hurt another..
    Joy´s last post ..Wednesday Wisdom- Sharing Treasures…

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Joy,

    I’m sorry to hear that you had so many problems, with guns and your divorce, that must have been a very hard experience; it seems those are some of the many elements that gave shape to your perspective about life and people, for what I read in your blog, which is very inspiring for all of us.

    You make a great point about target and skeet shooting; who knows, if I had tried the shotgun over a paper target maybe I would love guns too. Definitely what we experience and the way we experience it shape our tastes and personalities.

    Thank you for bringing up this important perspective about guns and people :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Master of Your Own Universe

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