I’ve never touched an actual gun, courtesy of there having been no second amendment in the 1904 Balham Constitutional Club founding declaration.
As a kid, however, to protect myself from strangers and head of my one-man vigilante group, I did possess a Sekiden gun. I also owned fifty silver balls (these were the Sekiden gun’s ammunition not something I’d miraculously acquired during one of my many hernia operations).
Before you could progress to owning a Sekiden gun, you’d have to prove your responsibility with a spud gun (it is an apocryphal thought that the 1845 Irish Famine was caused by the over-use of spud guns within the Emerald Isle).
Armed with my spud gun and a couple of potatoes past their sell-by date courtesy of the Du Cane Fruiters, I would stalk my south London flats seeking out the cleaners – their sole protection being a mop, set of rubber gloves and a tin of Duraglit. Luckily for them my aim was less Jack Ruby more Ruby Murray.
Balham was a gun-free zone as far as I knew growing up in the 60s and the biggest chance of dying was of embarrassment if you’d had your jeans bought for you from the local Tesco Home ‘n’ Wear.