No. 1 son reached 18 recently and on that day he was given a choice. I placed several rifles out for his viewing and said one word, “Choose.”
Among those available were: Remington 700, Stevens 110, a 70yr old Mauser, a couple of scary guns (you know, detachable magazine, pistol grip, bayonet lug, etc. etc…) and a Marlin 336.
He stood there and it took awhile before the “why” sunk in. This was a moment of passage, the crossing of the Rubicon that he was about to undertake and he wanted to make the right choice. Maybe he was thinking what it meant to be a Free Man as opposed to an "adult". He wouldn't say.
He likes the bolts and I thought he was leaning between one of those or one of the soon-to-be-banned rifles. Following the Four Rules (he learned something along the way,) he picked a couple up, checked the chambers, and held them up to the shoulder, feeling the weight of each but I wasn’t able to decipher his mind.
It took awhile and his choice: the Marlin.
It was a late entry that I added as an afterthought and I was surprised that he chose it. We all know what it’s like, when an object “speaks” to us. That old Marlin was looking for a new owner to serve, to be treated with respect not only for the power it holds but for the history that she carried. She was a "rescued" gun.
I thought he made a good choice. After I told him what Mike Vanderboegh had to say about "urban assault rifles", he agreed.