Some people do, some people don't. Tam doesn't, Brigid does. My brother doesn't, I do. Name things, that is. Some people name their instruments, most people name their boats (for better or for worse), some people even name their automobiles. You name a thing because it's important to you, because it's more than just a tool, it is an extension of you. Is it really any surprise that people name their weapons?

But by naming your weapon, perhaps you become more familiar with it. It ceases to be a tool to be used but rather a teammate or a friend with which you co-operate to accomplish a task. By learning more about your piece, becoming familiar with her, you gain a greater understanding of what you can do together. And yes, like ships, guns should be female (unless you're Russian). I have only two firearms that do not have names. Both are unfamiliar to me, we haven't spent enough time together for me to learn their names (the Ruger 10/22 and the Mauser C96), but we'll get there.

And if you think this is some silly-assed mumbo-jumbo, there's a dead serious group anyone can respect that's been following a similar practice for almost seventy years now. They just don't call them by name.

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than the enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.

My rifle is human, even as I am human, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other.

Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy.

-My Rifle: The Creed of a United States Marine

1 comment:

On a Wing and a Whim said...

I have met male cars, and male guns - always, to my knowledge, owned by women. I have only met two male airplanes - one so decreed by a small female child (who then threw a tantrum about me flying Henry without her), and one belonging to an older bush pilot up here.

They're rare, though, I'll grant you. And that's a wonderful take on it, overall.