Wilson’s Temper

Wilson had a bit of a temper, which I experienced a few times as his target. Fortunately, most of the time he was upset at someone or something else– not me.

I would be sitting at the fire out by my riverside wikiup and he’d drop by ranting about something. I’d invite him to sit. We’d talk for a while about whatever was bugging him, and if he was still worked up I would suggest we go shooting. It was his therapy.

I’ve mentioned before how stingy he was with his ammo, but just the act of heading out to one of the local shooting spots was usually enough to calm him down. The whole process usually took a couple of hours from the time we left the house until we got back– with driving time and all. He needed the release, even if it only involved firing off 3 or 5 rounds.

If that hadn’t been an option, like the anti-gun bigots seem determined to bring about, then I don’t know what would have happened. It couldn’t have been good.

Everyone needs that pressure release valve, whatever form it may take. You take that away from people at your peril. I saw for myself how it could help an agitated person regain his composure. The more tightly you try to control people, “for their own good”, the more people will eventually “pop”.

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Kent McManigal

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