Just a nice story about a kid and his gun

Marin County raised a sharpshooter.  Honest.  A young man who was raised in bluer than blue (and richer than rich) Kentfield discovered his grandfather’s Lee-Enfield WWII rifle in the family’s wine cellar and knew that he’d met his destiny:

Growing up in Kentfield, James Macmillan failed to take to any of the gentlemanly pursuits presented by his father, Hugh. Fencing, sailing, fly fishing all came and went.

What captured James Macmillan was the Lee-Enfield locked in the wine cellar.

Once he saw that World War II rifle, Macmillan wouldn’t let up until he was old enough for the range. Finally, at age 12, he lifted that heavy wooden stock, bolted a round into the chamber and fired. The recoil nearly knocked him over, and by the time he got home, his shoulder was black and blue.

He had his hobby, and eight years later, Macmillan is the Collegiate Service Rifle Champion, as decreed by the National Rifle Association at a national tournament last summer. The Lee-Enfield has been exchanged for a modern AR-15, and at ranges from 200 to 600 yards, standing, sitting and prone, Macmillan is more accurate than any shooter in any college in the country.

But nobody knows this at his college, Cuesta in San Luis Obispo County, just as nobody at Redwood High School in Larkspur knew he was a sharpshooter until his picture appeared in the yearbook under the “random sports” category.

“I don’t publicize it a lot,” he says. “People say, ‘Are you a sniper in the military?’ and I say, ‘No. It’s just for fun.’ ”

For six years, Macmillan has been the only Marin County member of the California Grizzlies Junior Rifle Team, based in Sonora (Tuolumne County).

Read the rest here.

I wonder if young Macmillan knows that President Obama and Sen. DiFi are gunning for his gun.


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  • DirtyJobsGuy

    My daughter shoots competitive archery which in Blue Connecticut is just one step below assault weapons. Our neighbor has a familiy of competitive rifle shooters and his daughter has a t-shirt that says
    “I compete in an Olympic Sport but I can’t talk about it in school!”.      
    There are two worlds in the US today.   The smaller but more vocal/arrogant crowd are the striving liberals.   The other is the regular joe/Sarah Palin world.   When we go to the archery range (where I’m guessing 75% are also gun shooters) the atmosphere is calm, friendly and welcoming.  At more striving liberal events we go to (certain ski areas,  musical performances, cocktail parties)  everyone seems on edge.   Maybe part of this is an attitude of self reliance.   Shooters are taught to be responsible and in control.   Being the master of a potentially deadly tool puts a lot of life in perspective.    As a striving liberal, you depend on other peoples opinions, patronage and approval.    Maybe they will all have nervous breakdowns and come back better, calmer people, but I doubt it

  • Wolf Howling

    In the UK, their Olympic pistol team actually has to train overseas.  Insanity.

  • beefrank

    Bravo.  I think there are more ‘James’ in Marin who swim against the current than locals would care to admit.  As a Marin County high school and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo alumni I identified with the story.  I grew up in Marin before the county went uber-blue.  The political spectrum of my childhood friends ranged from card-carrying communists to Aussie rednecks (think Dundee).  We hunted squirrels, birds and rabbits with our Wammo slingshots and target shot .22s and 20-gauge in the hills of southern Marin. Again, this was a time when Saturdays were reserved for backyard trash fires. I also had a makeshift archery range in my backyard which also was my bullpen.   My introduction to the M-16 was at the Cal Poly ROTC training course one Saturday at the National Guard range near Cuesta Communitiy College. We were meticulously trained on every aspect of the M16, ‘a weapon designed to kill people’, learning to disassemble/assemble, clean, load clips and shoot at 75 yard targets in semi and full auto modes. The sight, sound and smell of twenty M16s firing downrange was hypnotic,  At the end of the day, the final exercise was to expend the rest of the ammo because the instructors did not want to bring ammo back to campus so we were all given a few clips to shoot ‘at will’ downrange.  I will never forget the experience of firing a thirty round mag full-auto from the hip kicking up dirt and shredding a paper target.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I guess, beefrank, that you “learned by doing”.

  • Charles Martel

    “Shooters are taught to be responsible and in control. Being the master of a potentially deadly tool puts a lot of life in perspective. As a striving liberal, you depend on other peoples opinions, patronage and approval.”
    Nicely, nicely put.  

  • https://picasaweb.google.com/102427392960537405774 Kevin_B

    I’m not an American and have never handled a firearm (although I hope to one day – but in my country, guns are very strictly regulated), but I believe I have a glimmer of understanding of the skill, sportsmanship, fun and, dare I say it, art that goes into and comes out of handling and shooting firearms and marksmanship.
    Also, a lot of skill and sometimes art goes into the actual construction of firearms. Certainly some of the older/ancient guns and even some of today’s guns are very beautiful, dare I say it, works of art as well as deadly tools.

  • lee

    Dirty Jobs Guy– What you wrote reminds me of something I thought about when I read the link to Theodore Dalrymple article a couple of posts ago. The liberal, p.c. mindset does not allow just having fun–no “hanging out.” No every minute of every day has to be FOR something. Kids can’t just enjoy school sports–they have to DO it becuase it is expected of them, it will look good on college applications, whatever. Of course, WINNING is not “important”–especially if the kid hasn’t got a ghost of a chance of winning. But as an adult, we are not allowed to hang out–in the 19th hole, the local pub, fishing with friends, etc. (One great aspect about learning to fly in Michigan–the crappy weather meant we wound up “hanging put” a lot, waiting for the weather to improve. But that was “okay” since technically, we were WAITING to do somehting productive. 
    Hanging out does us some good–it helps socialize us. It helps make us a cohesive group. It’s what adults (or teens) do when we get too old for recess. It can give us ideas. It can releive stress. It’s not all bad…