July 20, 2021


Tim Oltersdorf, MD

I like to collect and shoot guns. This does not stem from a noble family tradition of hunting for food or sport. I had a toy gun collection at age 6, so perhaps it is the result of my German ancestry.

I did hunt at one time but the animal usually won, despite my being equipped with all the accouterments of a modern hunter. Animals were simply faster, more alert and arguably smarter than me as a hunter. If they had centerfire rifles and scopes, it would be my head hanging on their den wall! Hence, why I shoot paper. It can't see or smell you, and it doesn't flee when you approach at 400 yards.

After trying different types of target shooting, I settled on benchrest shooting. The rifles are among the most precise in the world. The cartridge reloading is technical. The people involved are a fascinating collection of friendly individuals. Best of all — it is a sitting-down sport!

Admittedly, I also enjoy the thrill of holding the power of the thunderbolt in your hand. Firearms are indeed a source of great controversy, roundly condemned by our leaders and many of our peers. To them, gun owners are psychopathic, dangerous individuals to be suppressed. And, I am lumped into this group. I deny this accusation, despite what my wife says.

In closing, I enjoy my hobby, and I am not crazy for engaging in it. I encourage others to engage in a shooting sport and become familiar with firearms. Even if you do not participate in shooting sport, you will hopefully become familiar enough with firearms to avoid accidentally shooting yourself or others.