Diaries: The gun range

I never understood the fascination with guns.

I suppose I didn’t care to after what I would see in the news – the gun violence, it’s relations to gangs, innocent people getting hurt, protesting and the laws around guns that I didn’t necessarily agree with.

I have always understood they provide protection and are necessary at times, but I never saw a point in owning one or why people felt the need to carry one.

This past weekend I had the chance to shoot a gun for the very first time. On Saturday, I spent a couple of hours during the afternoon with four extraordinary guys at the Lone Butte Fish and Wildlife Association.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect.

I was intimidated and slightly terrified. I didn’t know what it was like to hold a gun in my hand, let alone shoot one.

Before trusting any sort of firearm in my possession – I had to learn a few fundamentals of participating in the sport.

I had to use a camera and take a photo of a target, hammer a nail into a piece of wood (which I nervously could not do) and squeeze a stress ball.

Taking a photo represented aim. The hammer represented holding a gun and the stress ball was for pulling the trigger. I don’t know exactly what I had thought it was going to be like. My imagination was nothing like how it went realistically. I suppose I could blame Hollywood and the dramatization in films.

I always thought I would pull the trigger and the gun would come back into my shoulder and knock me off my feet. That didn’t happen.

The first gun I shot, was pretty big and it was a rifle of some sort. This was it. There was no turning back. I shot the gun and suddenly I understood why people are fascinated with guns.

They are fun. It’s as simple as that.

I didn’t think I was going to enjoy myself but I honestly did and it turns out it was a very exhilarating and kind of addictive experience. I felt like a natural but I was far from it. I’ve never been someone to have great hand-eye coordination – I started out completely missing the target but after a while, I got the hang of it.

I couldn’t tell you how many rounds of ammunition I went through, but I feel like it was a lot. The guys were very generous to let me shoot their guns.

I had to have tried more than 10 different guns from rifles, pistols, a shotgun and some bigger and louder guns.

I liked the guns that were the largest in size and that made the loudest sounds.

As I was shooting them, I still couldn’t really believe I was.

It’s kind of funny, I kept doing this thing where I would aim for the target, lock it down and once I pulled the trigger I closed my eyes – hoping for the best.

Now that I think of it, that probably wasn’t the best idea, but it worked.

I guess I never thought I would have had the opportunity to shoot so many guns in a short period of time.

And if it wasn’t for living here, I don’t think I would have.


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