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For those of you who have never been shot in the back by a 20-gauge shotgun from 40 yards, let me tell you, you're not missing much.

I was 14 years old, and I was out hunting dove with my dad. Okay, not so much 'hunting' as pointing a gun and shooting at any that flew by. Once in a great while we had to shake them out of a bush by throwing a rock. Oooooh. But I digress. Anyway, it's best, when hunting, to stick together in groups to avoid, you guessed it, shooting someone.

Unfortunately, there was a man out on that bright, cloudless day that hadn't heard that rule. He was about 30 yards off, a beer in one hand and shotgun in the other, shooting at the spots in front of his eyes as often as the birds.

Well, there was a slight hill between the two of us, and a bush on that hill. He threw a rock at the bush, and I started running. I didn't run fast enough. I took 12 pellets in the back from that drunken idiot. They were hot enough to burn right through my heavy coat, and a few had pierced my skin. The rest just left burns.

Why I am still alive:
The concept of a shotgun relies on extreme power at a short range, and the velocity drops quickly from there. Of the 40 or so pellets within that 20-gauge shell, most never made it to me. But god dammit, 12 did, and I've still got the scars.

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