In this Dec. 2012, file photo, speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, joined by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. (left) speaks to reporters about the fiscal cliff negotiations at the Capitol in Washington. Lawmakers probably could enact a compromise quickly and easily if Republican leaders let Democrats provide most of the votes. By trying to pass his plan with GOP votes alone, Boehner could afford to lose only two dozen of the 241 House Republicans. His private head-count found nearly twice that many defectors, party insiders say, forcing Boehner to give up without seeking a formal vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
From the porch behind my uncle’s house, I watched my dad shoot a silver handgun at a makeshift target. The series of bullets scattered wood debris as they struck the base of an old oak at the forest’s edge.