So, by complete coincidence, I went to a shooting range on the 4th of July weekend.
I’ve always wanted to learn how to use a gun, especially after someone tried to break into my apartment while I was sleeping. I believe, wholeheartedly, that it is my right and my duty to educate myself and protect my house, my family, and my possessions.
I arrived, with Justin the Boyfriend and Mike the Boyfriend’s Childhood Friend (and Certified Marksman Who Is Teaching Me How To Shoot Properly), and was somewhat bummed to find out I couldn’t rent a pink gun. Justin actually asked for the smallest gun they had, and when they placed it in front of me I felt what was probably akin to what Will Smith felt when he joined the Men in Black and the only weapon he got was the tiny cricket gun.
What I didn’t realize, rather foolishly, was how loud the shooting range is. Sure, people are shooting guns, big deal, right? I wasn’t prepared for the fellow who wanted to shoot a semi-automatic, each pull of the trigger sounding like a bomb going off. I wasn’t prepared for the sudden loud bangs, for the overwhelming smell of gun powder, to feel, in person, exactly how dangerous and unpredictable guns can be in the hands of people who don’t know any better (thankfully, I was the only new person there; I can’t say enough about how nice and responsible everyone was). I was scared. I didn’t want to be around all that noise and strangeness. I wanted to leave.
Oh my God, I thought. Am I turning into one of those people who is against guns?
And then it was my turn to shoot. Not one to back down from something I’ve committed to, I tentatively listened to everything told to me and gave it a shot (ha, dad joke).
It’s my opinion that anyone who is frightened of guns or believes they are unnecessary or dangerous should visit a shooting range. Hold the gun in your hands, learn how to properly load, control, shoot, and handle it. Fear is, mostly, because of a lack of understanding. A responsible gun owner or handler is nothing to be apprehensive about. By my second turn, I felt like a pro, the fear replaced by a strong curiosity and desire to learn more and improve.
Addicting? Probably not. There’s no pull inside me to go back, but instead a desire to responsibly learn and one day carry. Responsible gun ownership is few and far between these days, and a far piece away from my increasingly liberal leaning tendencies, but who cares. If I decide to do something, I do it right and I do it responsibly. New experiences for the win.