Brad Poynter on Growing up with Guns

Brad and unnamed friend.
"Yew shall not pass."

Brad Poynter is a hick. Even if he didn’t use the word to describe himself, I would. He’s not one of those “squeal like a pig,” or “the gubmint’s gonna shut down mah still” kind of hicks–he just happened to grow up in the sticks and he’s proud of it. He’s also proud of his guns; he’s got lots of them, and he ain’t afraid to shoot them.

So what’s a gun-crazy hick doing on tubgoat? I’ll tell yew whut: Few gun owners justify the possession of firearms like Brad does. He doesn’t hunt (not like I have a problem with hunting, but hunting isn’t all that special in and of itself), he doesn’t go around screaming that Obama’s gonna take away all his toys, and he doesn’t rescue space princesses from evil empires.

What Brad does do is shoot things in an entertaining manner. Before you read past this paragraph, check out some of Brad’s comedy articles on If you only have time for one, make it the one entitled Can the Twilight Saga Stop a Bullet?

Now that you fully realize why I’ve enthusiastically invited Brad into the tubgoat pantheon, you may proceed.

Al: When were you first exposed to guns? Who exposed you to them?

Brad: There were always guns in the house as I was growing up, just like every other household here in the hills of Arkansas. My dad taught me a deep respect for them from a very early age and gave me my first BB gun when I was 6 or 7, then a pellet gun when I was about 10.

 Al: Describe your first experience shooting a gun. What did it do for you?

Brad: The first time I shot a real gun, my dad took me out in the yard and we shot my grandpa’s .22-410 Over-and-Under that I later got for my 12th birthday (and still shoot regularly). The best part of the experience was the first time I actually hit what I was shooting at because I had figured out how to aim instead of just getting lucky.

Al: What was the worst part of that experience?

Brad: Shooting the 410. It had a little recoil and was too loud. I was scared to shoot anything other than a .22 for a long time.

 Al: Aww. How cute! You’ve mentioned on ZUG that you don’t hunt, but have you ever killed anything?

Brad: My brother took me out squirrel hunting for the first time to show me the ropes. There was this big one sitting out in the middle of a limb about 30 feet up, so I shot the .22 round in the top barrel, but missed. The squirrel took off up the tree but I remembered what my dad had shown me, so I switched over to the 410, led him a little, and pulled the trigger.

Al: Aww. How kee-yoot! Do go on.

Brad: The coolest part was the way the poor little bugger flew off the tree like someone had grabbed his foot and flung him spinning through the air. However, after that brief moment of joy and excitement that I had hit what I was shooting at, it made me really sad that I had just taken its life.

Brad with pistol.
Brad can even make a girl's gun look badass.

Al: Bummer.

Brad: I wasn’t grossed out by the mangled body that much–it was just the fact that I had killed this little guy for no other reason than to see if I could. We couldn’t even eat him because I had used the shotgun and no one wanted to pick the shot out.

 Al: Was that your last kill?

Brad: After that I decided that I would only kill something if I absolutely had to for survival. I haven’t gone hunting since. My brothers thought I was a big puss, but my dad was a lot more understanding. I guess it was enough for him that I knew that I could do it if I had to.

Al: So how did you fall in love with guns again?

Brad: About 10 years ago now, we found out my dad had third stage liver cancer. So I moved the family back to Arkansas to help my mother out. Shortly afterwards, my dad passed and I couldn’t find a job, so I started going out in the field and shooting targets to pass the time.

When I finally found a job, one of the guys there had a huge gun collection and needed a place to shoot them so I invited him down to the house. We shot a ton of large caliber rifles and handguns and I found that I really enjoyed the challenge of it. Turns out I am a pretty good shot with just about anything I pick up.

 Al: You’re the real life Hawkeye. I’d pay real money to see you take out a room full of bad guys by ripping out your own fingernails and flicking them through their jugulars. But that’s a little more work than using a gun. What’s currently in your collection?

Brad: Let’s see… There’s the AK, the Over-and-Under, the 9 shot .22 revolver, a Ruger 10-22 carbine, and an old bolt action .22 rifle that was my grandpa’s. That’s 5 total. I will be purchasing a Judge later this month if I can convince the wife that I need it.

Al: Then you can stalk the woods telling every critter you see, “I am the LAW.”

This is not the end of my discussions with Brad. I can’t be the only one who wants to know what he would bring to the zombie apocalypse.

Hit me. I can take it.

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