Concealed weapons of destruction…

It’s little wonder that America is one of the most gun-lovin’ nations on the planet. When you walk around feeling powerless and impotent, the notion of holding a device in the palm of your hand that's capable of blowing a hole in a wall or snuffing out a human life with just a gentle tug on a trigger is intoxicating.

More bullets are fired during your average Hollywood blockbuster than over the course of a small war. There must be someone on the movie set whose only job is to sweep up the brass shell casings after a scene.

Guns were a big part of my entertainment diet as a child, only it seemed like fewer bullets were fired. Perhaps people used to be better shots.

On television shows like Mission: IMPOSSIBLE, Mannix, The Wild Wild West, Secret Agent Man, and Cannon, both the good guys and the bad carried small caliber handguns, and fired one or two shots at most. And this was back before the days of jamming a pistol in your belt, which I think Mel Gibson made really popular in his Lethal Weapon movies. Back in the day (the 1960s and 70s) real men carried their guns in shoulder holsters.

Toy manufactures back then really missed the boat. Western six-gun holsters were a dime a dozen in the toy store but I never saw secret agent-themed toy gun shoulder holsters. I SO would have gotten one (and this has nothing to do with the fact that most of the toy six-gun belts out there wouldn’t buckle around my tubby ten-year-old belly).

My mother never did a lot of really cool things for me, but one of them that she did do involved my desire for a shoulder holster to hold my arsenal toy guns.

I grew up in Chicago where during the winter months the term ‘wind chill factor’ was used regularly in talking about the temperature. Because it was so damn cold during the winters and the furnace could only do so much, it was common to wear a robe and slippers whilst in your ‘jammies. (One year my daughter, who has spent most of her thirteen years here in sunny California, received a fuzzy warm robe as a Christmas present from a friend of the family. She didn’t understand the purpose of the garment.) I had a favorite blue robe that I wore until it was a frayed rag, but when it was still in pretty good shape I somehow convinced my mother to sew a pocket inside the right chest area. It was important that it was on the right side, because I’m left handed. When she was done I could secretly stash my pistol of choice in it, and draw it at a moment’s notice.

I was a happy little boy. That gun holster saw a lot of action during covert missions that I’m not at liberty to discuss because of national security. When I wasn’t packing heat the hidden pocket was a great place to stash candy bars from the prying eyes of my older sisters.

If I was a kid today I’d probably be bugging my mom to sew me a back sling for a rocket launcher or my BFG.

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