White works to turn childhood dream into a career reality

Senior spends many hours developing necessary skills for gunsmith program

Morgan Barnes

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Almost everyone had childhood dreams of what they wanted to be when they grew up. But for some, like senior Cody White, these childhood dreams become a reality when they are older. White has had an interest in guns since he was a young boy. While most students will be attending college in the fall to pursue more traditional careers, White will be attending Murray College with the intention of studying gunsmithing technology.

“Before I was in sixth or seventh grade. I have grown up on the farm and I have always had a little .22 rifle that my grandpa gave me. I have always cleaned that and have tried to learn about the history. Now, I have a World War II surplus that I work on so that I can gain more experience. I also work to assemble my own guns,” White said.

With the help of his counselor, Jana Crittenden, White has spent time trying to best work on and strengthen his skills through classes.

“But, what I did work with him on is I have tried to problem solve and how we can get him some skills that can would be transferable. We worked a lot on how to devise his schedule so that it would support the skills that he might need,” Crittenden said.

While proper experience and knowledge is necessary for any career, White has already started to prepare in a variety of ways.

“Machine shop, which is what I am taking now, I have taken Engineering last year and I have Welding to help me with designing my own parts. I want to be able to design my own guns, so that I can have an edge on the competition. The gun industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world,” White said. “I am taking a second CNC class through Hutchinson so that I can brush up on those skills. I also have an apprenticeship in Halstead starting this summer.”

While White formed this idea on his own, he gained reassurance on through an unlikely source.

“I had already been interested in this, but the show (Sons of Guns) really got me interested. I have had contact with them and talked about how I want to get involved and they have given me some advice. It used to be on the Discovery channel on TV,” White said.

Having done almost all of the work of applying and working to get into the program on his own, White’s passion for his dream is obvious.

“He has been very highly motivated. He sought out the programs, he and I talked a little bit and I helped him get started with researching. But once he got some places identified he was off like a shot. He was all gung ho about everything,” Crittenden said.

White does not intend on stopping after gaining the proper education. He has further plans to make a name for himself in one of what has been called (one of the most competitive industries in the world).

“I am planning on doing some machine jobs, but I would like to start my own company. In town there is only one other official gun company,” White said.