This weekend was too short. Much to short. I took a nap this afternoon, which was clearly a mistake and now I'm suffering from insomnia. Tomorrow (today) will suck.
It was Corey's birthday and he asked for a very small celebration with only myself and Quoc. Saturday afternoon we met at my place and discussed important topics such as what's the coolest aspect of the Star Wars universe. We briefly went over the agenda then decided to pile into the car to do something unusual.
We went to shoot guns. Three grown men who are reasonably intelligent and relatively mentally stable thought it to be a great idea to ring in a new year for my best friend by decimating paper targets with high velocity projectiles.
We enter the range and I could sense a bit of nervousness sweep over the two of them. Remember Quoc used to be in the Army, but in all his time he never shot a handgun at any sort of target be it person or otherwise.
Having the most experience with guns, and that's saying very little, I take charge and rent us a Glock 9mm. I figured it would be a good overall caliber. Still powerful, but not much kick and not deafening.
They both agreed that I was to go first. Just like when the three of us went skydiving I was to take lead on the activity. I guess I make a good guinea pig.
I hang the target, load the magazine, move the paper to a reasonable distance, put the clip into the gun, release the chamber, and take aim. I was to take the first shot. I leaned forward and squint. My sights were bearing onto my intended. As my fingers squeezed the grip I remembered it has been years since I fired a weapon, but I knew what was to come. I squeezed the trigger.
The small kick of the gun startles me at first. The sound from the muzzle bursts enough that even with my ear protection I feel the noise assault my sense. The smell of gunpowder rises into my nostrils and I lower my gun a bit. I look down range and see where the bullet met up with the paper. I take aim again and fire some more.
I empty the magazine and take my target. I did okay.
Corey and Quoc both had a great time shooting and did very well. We went through 300 rounds of ammunition and improvement was apparent. I enjoyed my time as well. Contrary to what Hollywood may tell you shooting a gun is not a simple task for most and takes more skill than the unlearned would realize. After firing so many rounds, not to mention loading the clips over and over again, we felt a bit drained.
I started to think about why we enjoyed it so much. I guess people get really nervous around guns and rightly so. They're dangerous. They can hurt if not kill you. My generation knows little about weapons and that's possibly a good thing, but to actually learn how to use a handgun safely and correctly feels like overcoming a fear for many. I noticed the place was very packed with people to my surprise. They had a waiting list it was so busy. They all seemed like normal decent folk who enjoyed shooting as a sport and not the slack jawed simpletons that everyone associates with gun culture. Ages, races, and genders were diverse in the range. No I won't look down on them for enjoying a sport or cower that they may or may not shoot up a place.
Do I expect people do have a different opinion of me that I enjoyed shooting a handgun at a paper target? Oh most certainly.
During dinner we sat and discussed hitting a liquor store for later that night. Not familiar with the area we talked about how we would go about finding one. I looked at Corey.
"If only we had some device that could search a database to find information that we need," I said to him.
He pulled out his Iphone and commented how he was picking up my sarcasm. We spent quite some time trying to locate a liquor store through the small phone. Finally after much frustration at the use of it Corey asked the waitress where the nearest store was. She gave us simple directions that proved to be useful.
I guess we need to up our Iphone IQ.
After purchasing a few bottles we headed to go-kart racing. These are not your simple lawn mower vehicles. These are high speed electric karts that can go up to 35 mph. It was then we learned it was a really bad idea to eat before this activity as we all felt nauseous turning the corners at such a high rate of speed. It doesn't sound like you're going that fast, but sitting so low to the ground and in such a small vehicle it sure felt like you were flying.
After three races we were wiped. Steering actually took some muscle.
We headed down to Corey's where we ended the night with drinking, conversation, and video games. Next morning we had a greasy spoon breakfast and finally I went home to get some much needed rest.
Corey seemed to enjoy his birthday celebration and I was happy to be a part of it.
"Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician." - Jeff Cooper