Until recently I’d never been to a gun range. Me and guns? An interesting combo. A hilarious and mostly safe experience too. My trainer was so hot. Over six feet tall, muscular. Intense looking. He made me nervous and want to date him. He had a black backpack with three guns. An automatic rifle with the stock piece on it so that you could shoot it like a pistol or rifle. A 38 revolver and a 9mm gun. We entered the building and as we ascended the stairs I heard gun shots fired. Am I doing this? Yeppers. There was no turning back, besides I’ve wanted to learn how to handle a gun, shoot to kill when in danger. A zombie apocalypse could happen so it’s smart to be prepared.
Rows of stuffed animal heads like deers, bears, and mooses lined the walls. The place was loaded with guns and knives. There was also a separate room with specialty weapons. The bazooka was huge. I favored the pink camo rifle and pink handgun. You can be dangerous and stylish too. Smile. We had to sign a release form in case I shot myself the owners could be worry free of having me as a liability. We had to purchase protective eyewear and earplugs. They were the bright, orange squishy kind. The trainer showed me how to roll them and then insert them in my ears. While he explained this I followed his instructions and watched his lips move as the sound of his voice muffled some. The noise from others in the range less prominent. The glasses were clear, plastic ones, lightweight, and they looked relatively good on me. Who cares, right? I do, kinda.
I felt like I needed an outfit like the one Trinity wore in the Matrix. Something to make me appear tougher, less than a wuss I truly am at heart. I know that I should’ve only been concerned about safety. I know when to be brave though and once I stepped a foot inside the gun range I was ready for action. Oh, I almost forgot, we had to buy target sheets you see pictured here. I made some of those holes. We were assigned specific lanes. The lighting was a little dim and the room was small in size, but really long for range shooting. I noticed the rules posted on the wall. Things like not wearing protection on your eyes or loading the guns at the back table were prohibited. And a major no, no (which yours truly failed to adhere too—wait for it) was pointing your gun at another person or just pointing your gun up period was another rule. That’s not safe. “Always point your gun down range, unless the weapon is unloaded and cleared,” he said.
The other shooters in the room were creating a raucous with their weapons. Gunshots were extremely loud although I was wearing earplugs. I was shaking and sweating profusely, but committed to learning how to shoot a gun. Guidance from my trainer helped me feel confident. He was knowledgeable with nice cologne. I really enjoyed when he stood behind me and held my arms to steady them before he gave instructions for making the shot. I didn’t want him to let go, but I had to do it alone. The revolver was heavy in my hand. Actually, each gun was heavy to me. I loaded the guns with ease. But shooting them was not an easy feat. The anticipation of what would happen once I fired the weapon scared the kink outta my hair. I thought you’re about to pull the trigger as I held that 38 revolver with my right eye closed (the wrong eye, duh!), trying to align the target between two tiny dots on the gun, and still my jitters.
There was a lot of kickback so I prefer to cock the gun first and then shoot it. The automatic rifle was slightly lighter in weight, but still heavy to hold. Out of all three guns it was the biggest gun I’ve ever held and fired. I folded the stock on it. Idk. It felt better holding it against my shoulder like that as opposed to trying to hold it like a rifle just right against my shoulder. The magazine on this gun holds twenty-five bullets. I could fire away. Pa-pa-pa-pa-pow! That’s what I attempted to do; however, anxiety kept me from being trigger happy. My hands were jello. And my t-shirt was moist. I even had to remove safety glasses at one point to wipe sweat from my face. Pure comedy. This is also when I learned that I was supposed to close my left eye and look at the target aligned with the sights on the gun. I had no clue that it was essential to achieving a good shot. Clueless, beginner that I am, I closed my right eye and left the other one open. Most of my bullets were super off target.
There was a switch at the gun station that you had to press to either bring the target sheet closer or send it farther away. I shot those weapons at the closest range, which was 21ft. I had an incident with the 9mm. It was the heaviest gun. I felt its power. I placed the magazine in it too gently the first time so my trainer made me do it over. “Smack it inside until you hear it click,” he said. This gun holds ten bullets. I lasted two rounds. The first time I fired the gun, it had so much recoil and noise I was eager to put it down and never fire it again. “Do it again,” he said. I wanted to wimp out. I couldn’t wimp out.
The second time I fired that oh so heavy, beast of a weapon that sounded like a bomb exploding, I felt something hit me. Panic. It hit my mouth, my front tooth. Was my mouth open? I cursed and spun around with the 9mm in hand, aiming it toward Mr. Hot Guy, saying, “It hit my mouth! I’m done!” Luckily, I didn’t kill him or anyone else in the gun range. He told me to point the gun downrange and immediately I turned around toward the area, frightened with a throbbing mouth, and laid the gun on the station. Later I would learn it was the casing from the bullet that hit me. Hilarious. I thought I’d shot myself in the face. Guess who made a shot right in the spot marked “X”? Next time I’ll have on a cool outfit and mouth guard.