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Last week, I bought a 20 gauge over and under shotgun. I did not actually need another shotgun, but it has been a while and I wanted to make sure that my firearms licence was still doing what it was supposed to do. Also, I have never owned a 20 gauge over and under.

Even so, the purchase caused Jenn to ask the question that non-shooting and hunting partners often ask, “Why on earth do you need another shotgun?”

The pat answer is, “The heart wants what the heart wants.”

While certainly true, this is a dangerous answer because it also opens the floodgates, since your partner’s heart probably has a whole bunch of wants too – such as the want to see you mow the lawn, organize the shed or clean the basement.

That is why I opted to try a different approach. I told her I bought it because it was better for the environment.

I know, brilliant, right?

After all, in this day and age, there is no way that anyone could be upset by a person who is spending money on something that is good for the environment.

 Of course, you cannot just say something is good for the environment – you need to make up several reasons why.

So, I explained to Jenn that I have always hunted grouse and other upland game with a 12 gauge – and have regretted it because it is not nearly as environmentally friendly as a 20 gauge.

At this point, it helps to turn away, wipe your eyes and sniffle a bit.

Then I smiled and pointed out that a 20 gauge is a smaller gun that uses less raw materials. Furthermore, I told her a 12 gauge shell holds more shot than a 20 gauge shell of equal length. Which means when I am shooting a 20 gauge I am putting less pellets into the environment. Which, frankly, is commendable.

As if that were not enough, I explained my 12 gauges are all pump-action guns – so they hold three shells. Meanwhile my over and under only holds two – which makes it a further win for the environment.

Lastly, I told her, a 20 gauge does not make as much noise as a 12 gauge, so I also checked off the boxes when it came to addressing noise pollution concerns. And that, in a nutshell is why I told her bought the shotgun.

That is to say it was not out of personal need but rather out of an overriding concern for the planet we all share. You’re welcome.

Yes, the over and under was also an expensive shotgun, but that’s because I have always believed that when it comes to the environment, you should always put your money where your mouth is.

Don’t get me wrong. This explanation didn’t fool anybody, especially Jenn, who is far smarter than me.

But, it did something even better. It confirmed her suspicions that it is sometimes better not to ask questions like “Why on earth do you need another shotgun?”

And sometimes that’s enough. In this case, it was not, though.

Jenn asked what the real reason for buying it was.

So I said, “Sometimes the heart wants, what the heart wants.”

She appreciated my honesty too.

So now I have this sweet little shotgun. Which I will shoot right after  I mow the lawn, organize the shed or clean the basement.

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