Saturday, February 21, 2009

On a Saturday Afternoon

We recently celebrated my husband's birthday with the usual cake, ice cream, and a few small gifts, but this year C had a request for a gift from me. Before I tell you what it was he wanted, let me say that he's an honest man. He told me when we'd been dating for a few months that there were certain things he liked. It wasn't a long list, but it included some weaponry, if you will: namely, knives and guns. So, for this birthday, he wanted me to come along to the shooting range. Now, I know some people really dislike guns. We know they are dangerous. We practice gun safety. I grew up in a house with guns and was taught how to be safe around them. C's reasoning for wanting me to go was twofold: 1) so I could learn to safely and accurately use a gun if the need arises and 2) he's hoping I'll discover some deep-hidden gun-nuttiness. I believe reason one is a good one, and I didn't hold out a lot of hope for him on the second. You see, shooting ranges are loud, and there is so much gun powder in the air that when you blow your nose upon leaving, there's a black tinge ('nough said). Still, this sounded like a gift I could give fairly easily with the help of my mom as childcare. So, we went, we waited for a lane to open up (I guess that's what you call it, a shooting lane), and we shot. I didn't much like it. It was very, very loud, and I have good hearing. It was quite smoky, making my throat itch. I asked if I finished off the bullets in the gun, could I head back out to the car? C reluctantly agreed, but then I thought I would watch him. Then, I thought, I'll try another "round" (not sure if that's correct terminology). Then, I started thinking, it wasn't so bad. I was getting used to how it felt to shoot, and I was noticing that my aim was not so good (although giving myself some slack as I had never been to a range before). I am a competitive person who likes to over-achieve, and I didn't much like that I wasn't hitting where I was aiming. I started to kind of (gasp!) enjoy myself. So, although I don't think I caught C's gun-nuttiness, I do think I would like to go back and continue to learn (insert cheering husband here). Below are two of our targets, can you guess which one is mine?


AnastasiaSpeaks said...

I've never gone to a shooting range (I don't think I've ever even held a real gun) but I could see how it might be an interesting experience.


mel said...

I'm so glad you did this with/for C. I know he enjoyed you being there with him. Even if you'd come out of it not having enjoyed yourself a little, you'd have at least gotten a lesson.

Chris grew up hunting, thus with guns in the house and therefore knew gun safety. I did not and when we got married I made it a goal of mine to get myself prepared and knowledgable at least on the most minimal level. So I spent a Saturday when his dad while Chris was on a fire. I ended up having a great time, believe it or not, that afternoon (after the inital fear and deafness passed) and now we all shoot together as often as possible. Hah! His dad even bought me my own shotgun last summer! I don't even know how I feel about saying that... :)

So glad y'all had a good day. Happy belated Birthday C!!

Buckshot said...


When it gets warmer, try an outdoor range if you have one near you.

The noises are not nearly as intense, the other people, if any, are not nearly as close and the smoke won't overwelm you like it will on an indoor range.

I have a feeling you will enjoy that much more.


Anonymous said...

Welcome to the community.

Double hearing protection when shooting indoors. Foamy ear plugs inside "mickey mouse" ears.

I have tinnitus from a lifetime of shooting combined with 20 years working around Navy jets. Not fun. Protect your hearing. (Sorry for the bossy tone...this is important)

You have any other range options? If you blow black stuff out of your nose after shooting at that one, the ventilation system leaves a lot to be desired. I'd be looking for an alternative that's a little better maintained.

Finally, I would hope that you enjoy shooting...but even if you don't, I'd see it as a responsibility to go often enough to become proficient. You are responsible for the lives of two members of the future of our society, I would humbly submit that being prepared and competent in defending them makes the sacrifices involved in performing a task that you don't necessarily enjoy, well worth the effort.

With that said, I hope you do come to enjoy the shooting sports, they can be very rewarding and are one of the few competitive endeavors where men and women can compete on equal terms.