Willie Nelson speaks out on Living in the Now, and Guns

From Willie Nelson’s book, ‘Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road’

Living in the now they say
But you really can’t do it any other way
Even if now all you do is dream of yesterday
You’re still living in the now

-Willie Nelson

Skipping down to the next section, entitled:



The first gun I owned was a stick gun that went “Bang!” when I pulled the trigger. After that we made rubber guns. Rubber guns could hurt. Then I got a Daisy Red Ryder air rifle and took aim at tin cans, birds, and rabbits. Lucky for the birds and rabbits I was a bad shot, so rarely did I kill anything. When I was twelve, I got a twelve-gauge shotgun. After that it was a four ten over-and-under and a deer gun- an Ithaca with a scope. I still couldn’t hit anytihng!… I sat down one time in a motel room with a bunch of people. It had somehow cocked itself, so when I sat down, it fired. But the bullet missed my leg and hit the floor. Everybody thought they were shot! I have not had great experiences with guns, so I hung ’em up before I killed somebody, something, or myself.

Guitar players can drink way too much- well at least this one did. Abbott was in Hill County, and Hill County was a dry County, but right next door in West, which was McClennan County, it was ‘not, so you could just go buy beer at the beer joints there. West was where I picked up my first paying gigs at the Night Owl, Albert’s Place, Chief Edward’s Place, and Shadowland. By the time I had graduated from high school, I had already been playing all over West and Waco and had developed quite a following for a sixteen-year-old. My first fan club was started by a few of the girls in Hillsboro (Barbara Jean McDerman, Claudia Moore, Joyce Epps, Florabell Turner). They bought me a nice suit to wear at my graduation from Abbott High School, which they all attended as members of my fan club. As you can probably understand, it was difficult to remain humble. But I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah, guns.

All the talk now about gun control, I really understand. At the time the Second Amendment was conceived, all we had were one-shot muzzle-loading rifles. It was a different time. Now there are guns that can fire a hundred shots in less than a minute. Anyone with loved ones knows those should be outlawed. Those kinds of weapons were made only to kill people. I don’t know of any serious hunter who would use this kind of firepower to hunt. It is completely unsportsmanlike. A handgun, a shotgun, and a deer rifle are all we really need. Period. End of story.

-Willie Nelson

‘Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road’

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