I broke down a weapon today to clean it, the first time I've done that. I always disliked firearms. Husband loves them, is NRA certified as a trainer, and enjoys hunting and target shooting. Me, I hated the noise and the kickback, just did not have an interest in them, or in hunting.

All that changed fairly abruptly after living through a nightmare. Owning firearms would not have changed the nightmare - in fact we DID own them, and they were stolen in the process of the nightmare. But the fallout left us knowing that we have enemies, and will have, for the rest of our lives, who are only too happy to do us harm if they think they can get away with it - in other words, if they can persuade corrupt law enforcement to back their version of the events as they did previously, to rob us blind, engage in kidnapping or violent harm, or other unlawful acts.

So, to my surprise, I found that my heart had totally changed on the subject. It was no surprise to me that I could now handle the thought of carrying a weapon, or using it in self-defense, or in the defense of my family. That was no surprise. What DID surprise me is that I now find them interesting, and FUN. I know that had to come from God, for my feelings on the issue to so totally change.

So here I was, cleaning a gun for the first time. We were having a gun cleaning party, four of us at my sister's house. Hubs got a black powder rifle, which looked like it had been used a few times but never cleaned. Our other weapons (a couple on loan) were also in need of some care.

Everyone was too busy to show me how to clean the one that I was responsible for, so I Googled it. It was actually a pretty simple weapon to disassemble once you got the hang of the tricky bit at the beginning. The first set of instructions left out the need to dry fire, so I could not get it apart. Tried another set, which included that step! Ah! Now that makes a difference!

The instructions warn that if you are not careful, one piece may go flying when the assembly catch releases, due to the tension spring behind it. So I was careful. I got it disassembled, and the parts on either side of the spring came out with the spring.

Reassembled it, and was not sure it was assembled correctly because it felt different, and one piece was not visible where it had been before, so I disassembled it again. "Sproing!!!" There it went, in spite of my care that time. Looked and found two pieces, but could not find the third. I looked and looked. My sister looked and looked. Her husband and mine looked. Her husband swept the floor. Then she said, is it on the table? I had looked, I knew it was not there, but then it occurred to me to look in the gun. Two parts had sprang out, the third had remained in the gun. I felt a little silly, but at least it was not lost, and on the bright side, the floor was now dust free.

One other weapon was just laying there, that Kevin was going to clean, but the black powder rifle he was cleaning needed a complete job, and lots of parts to clean, oil, and keep track of. He completely broke it down, and cleaned in all the nooks and crannies. He wasn't going to get to a second weapon, so I Googled that one too. Physically hard to do, it had a very stiff action, and my hands lack strength in some directions. But I finally got it apart, cleaned it, and oiled it. I doubt that it would pass Mongo's Q-tip test, but at least it got enough to get the gunk out and keep it functioning well, and to keep the bluing from turning to rust.

It was an interesting adventure anyway, and they are now ready for a day of target practice.