When I was but a wee lad, I was reading a Sears & Roebuck catalog to see what I wanted to ask Santa for. There were many cool things I wanted, but I knew I couldn't have. I thought that lawn tractors would be nifty, because I could drive to town after I was done mowing the back yard. Hey - I was about six at the time.

Well, continuing on, I came upon the section for guns. I already had a cork popgun (it was a really long time ago), and I wanted a 22-caliber rifle, lever-action just like Chuck Connors had in The Rifleman.

It was just what I wanted, and to my six-year-old-mind, it was a reasonable request. I read some more when I found an interesting notice: No Gun Sales To Minors.

I began to wonder about this notice. For the life of me I could not figure out why a minor could not own a gun, or why they wouldn't even sell a gun to a minor. I went to my Mom and asked her why it was against the law to sell guns to minors. She tried to explain that minors were not old enough, but I started getting angry. If they were too young, why were they in little caves under the ground? Wouldn't their mothers get pissed? I also said on television, all minors are old with scruffy beards.

At that point my mother figured out I meant Miners, the folks who dig for gold and ores. She explained that it was OK for a Miner to buy a gun, but not for a Minor, since they were just kids.

I was relieved. How else could a miner fend off the bad galoots from trying to steal his claim?

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