Sunday, September 26, 2010

Well, shoot

I was a peace-nik growing up, with no understanding of the world but strong political opinions and judgments on my elders.   Some of those strong opinions are still part of me, while others have been quietly swept away, along with a variety of youthful embarrassments.   But one thing I was sure of was that Guns Are Bad.   So I was as surprised as anyone when I decided to take a shooting class for women.

And even more surprised at how much fun it was.    I took the class because I had occasion a couple of years ago to physically move some firearms to a safer location in someone else's house, with no idea whether they were loaded or safe.   I wanted to develop some basic understanding for my own protection.

The 3-hour class at a local gun shop, subsidized by NRA's Women On Target, included over an hour of safety training,  and the opportunity to fire a variety of weapons at a variety of targets.    I had never fired a gun, but yesterday I loaded and fired an air rifle, a .22 bolt action rifle, a couple of revolvers, and a semi-automatic.   The teachers were women, and there were several very patient men who worked as volunteers.   They played me  like a fish, encouraging me to reload and shoot and reload until I was comfortable with each weapon.    I shot at metal discs, spinners, a bowling pin target and several actual bowling pins.  I shot a paper target at 30 feet and "hit paper" 4 out of 5 tries.   It took me a few rounds to get the hang of it, but I shot enough bowling pins (at 50 feet) to be sure that the bowling balls in my neighborhood are going to feel  a little less burdened.    As my grand finale, I shot at a small orange sticker (I think it was only 20 feet or so away) on a (slowly) spinning target (the orange disc on the certificate pictured here).   I hit the moving target two times out of four shots -- they hooked me good.   I can't wait to do it again!


Little Black Scrap Cat said...

I don't own a gun either. Never have. But I have had the opportunity to shoot a few times. It's a real adrenaline rush. You did great!! Hitting a moving target isn't easy!

Nan said...

That's good you took the class. I like to shoot myself but would never shoot an animal, but target practice is a different thing all together. I have not done that in 30 years I would guess. Nan

Anonymous said...

I grew up with guns (my dad was a hunter) in our house. My dad kept them in a small closet that contained only his things. I knew better than to touch them. However, he had a small 22 rifle from when he was a boy in the 1930's and he showed me how it worked and how to hold it. I've never shot a gun. I would only shoot an animal if it was a danger to me or my family or if somehow it was the only food around.
I used to love shooting galleries at fairs and such. They used to have one at Frontierland in Disneyland. There used to be shooting games, like arcade games, as well - just one gun and you pay a quarter for a certain amount of shots. I remember getting hooked as well.
I believe in the right to protect one's self if necessary. We've never lived any place dangerous so we've never needed to own a gun. We have a baseball bat and a golf club :)

Tink *~*~* said...

I grew up with guns in the house - target shooting was a sport that my father loved and it got him a college scholarship, since he was a sharpshooter! Guns are not the problem. Stoopit people are the problem! Guns in the home should be secured from children. Children should be taught in the proper setting with the proper equipment that guns are to be respected, that they can inflict damage and that they are not toys. We were taught never to point ANYTHING at each other. That included GI Joe's teeny weeny gun! There is a target range in Fort Myers and every time I pass it, I get a twinge.... want to call up my big brother and tell him to ship me Daddy's old 22!

Tink *~*~*

gpc said...

Open invitation to go to a range together and rent a couple of those .22s the next time I'm in the same town as any of you!