Wowsers. I can only imagine how scary that would have been.
I have had a close encounter with a gun while travelling...but under different circumstances. Lucky they holders were men that wielded their guns responsibly.
My partner and I were up bright and early to walk along the path through the towns of Cinque Terre.
This was the same time as local farmers were hunting a wild boar...to keep their crops safe, but also to provide meat for a feast.
A hunter spotted us in time to radio his mates to tell them we were on the trail. Thankfully.
I am uncertain why I went to that thought...perhaps to find a reason to justify the use of a gun.
I see your point - about holding onto integrity, the need for the guns would not be needed. I agree with you. 100% agree with you.
Then I think of the ones working the land that still use them. Something my grandmother brought to my attention once when I made obvious my dislike of weapons... my grandmother who could shoot a crow, and hang it up as a warning to other crows to not mess with her garden.
I know I would not be able to do the same.
A different era...but still food for thought, so to speak.
Thank you for writing and sharing.
I am thankful that the young soldier had a wiser chief to guide him.
Thank you as always for being you.