Fun With Guns

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Collectors Weekly turns it eye toward fun with guns and the art of the arcade target:

Today, the notion that it was once considered perfectly normal to deliver a rifle filled with live ammunition into the hands of anyone with some spare change in their pocket seems absurd—a tragedy waiting to happen, followed by a costly lawsuit. Indeed, the liability issues surrounding the casual distribution of loaded weapons in public places helped kill .22 caliber shooting galleries, which were replaced by arcades designed to receive the less-lethal impact of air-powered BB guns and pistols that shoot pressurized streams of water.

Arcade Target Rooster with Star

Many people, though, still set their sights on those cast-iron targets from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which are collected as a form of Americana or folk art. In the eyes of at least one collecting couple, arcade targets may even be considered progenitors of the bull’s-eye paintings of mid-20th-century artists Kenneth Noland and Jasper Johns.

There are certainly people I wouldn’t trust with a loaded .22 short rifle, but it doesn’t seem especially crazy to let people shoot at a shooting gallery. I guess I’m old-fashioned that way.

Leave a Reply