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Apr 07

Sharp Shooter

by in America, Everyday Journeys

Dear reader, today I went over to the dark side. I don’t like guns, let alone ever thought I’d be capable of firing one, but that all changed about twelve hours ago.

C (of the lake house fame) suggested as a lark that we go to the pistol range, and in a swashbuckling moment characterized by speaking before thinking, I had zealously committed us all to a lovely spring morning playing with lethal weapons.

Ordinary people with guns scare me. Judging by the clientele at the pistol range, there are many moms, pops and teenage joes who are packing heat. I still grapple with the need for law enforcement to have a weapon capable of tearing through skin, flesh, bone and anything else that stands in a bullets path. The finality of a gun and bullet combo is petrifying.

Pocono Pistol Club sign on the side of a building

One step closer to the NRA


Yet to play at a pistol range requires nothing more than a drivers license and ability to hold back sarcastic laughter as you are filing in a barrage of forms that indemnify the gun club from any type of liability or wrongdoing. Are you a convicted felon? Nope. Are you currently under the influence of alcohol or mind altering substances? Uh…no…but if one was, I highly doubt filling in a form with the utmost honesty would be top of mind. Once the form filling and initialing is complete, first timers are subjected to a gun safety briefing video and short lecture from Alan and Larry.

Here’s where the fun really begins. The video features the ten commandments of gun handling, brought to life by D grade actors with authentic 80’s height of Miami Vice mullet sophistication. I thought I even spied a big haired blonde in a midriff firing a Glock. The clincher was Alan’s description of what amounted to three different ways your weapon could misfire, and cause horrific injuries. Now there’s a vote of confidence.

So the Buddhist in me firmly objected to any paper target that resembled a human being, live animal or faux zombie (left over stock from Halloween?). Shamefully that same  Buddhist moral fibre that should have objected to firing a lethal weapon was quickly surpassed my blatant competitiveness.

After sheepishly donning glasses and ear protection, stepping up to the table, loading the magazine with bullets and placing a finger apprehensively on the trigger, it was time to squeeze. At that very moment a random medley of counter productive thoughts ran through my head in a krubrik like reel. What if the pistol backfires and blows off my hand. The guy in lane two looks a little deranged. Will the bullet ricochet and take out an eye. I should have put someone other than English Hubby as my next of kin, as chances are if something happens, it may happen to the both of us, and how will they know to box our bullet ridden bodies back to the right place?!

Bullet riddled paper target

Firing on all cylinders


Thankfully next of kin was never evoked. I squeezed. Bang. Hole appears right in the middle of the target. And here it comes, a wave of satisfaction and pride that I nailed it! A few rounds later, I’m practically elbowing everyone out the way to get a turn at firing at a defenseless piece of paper, clipped to a board about 15 feet away.

Begrudgingly I admit it was a fun sport that requires hand eye coordination and skill. There is something strangely satisfying about hitting a target straight on. However that leap between the abstract of a pistol as sport, and reality of weapons that injure is still too short a bridge for me to be thoroughly comfortable with. I think I’ll give ladies night a miss.

Flyer for ladies night every Tuesday

I’ll be washing my hair on Tuesday

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