What an experience.
We had to undergo a safety + how to shoot briefing. By the time the safety one was over, I was regretting sitting there. I was terrified of shooting a gun. Seriously, it was the most sobering briefing I have ever been to. It’s good that it was because live ammo could kill someone. I held real bullets in my hand and it really sank in. Shooting is no joke. I mean, I may have gone in feeling excited but the sheer power of that little piece of metal is scary. A single bullet can travel through 36 inches of human. 36. Our instructor, David told us stories of his friends mishandling their weapons: one died. Reality sinks in and you get jittery listening to that.
We had to learn the proper stance for shooting a gun and so, he asked to assume the positions we assumed were correct, before he went around and pushed against our fists (you pretend like you’re holding a gun) to simulate the recoil of a gun. Everyone basically rocked on their heels. We were taught how to place your hands properly with the KEY idea of “DO NOT PUT YOUR FINGER ON THE TRIGGER UNLESS YOU ARE 100% READY TO SHOOT WHATEVER IS IN FRONT OF YOU”.
We each had 50 rounds to shoot and my mom went up first and kinda freaked out a bit after shooting just one. It’s not easy because you have to focus on the right parts of the gun (We used Glock 19s) and get them in the right balance. If you have eye problems, it take a while. She took a break after one shot, and it was my turn. My first time shooting a real gun. That first shot.. you can never quite forget it. Your arms are shaking, you’re trying to get into the right stance, you’re trying to focus on the target and balance the front and rear sight (the bits of the gun), you have to maintain a firm but not too tight grip on the gun, you pull the trigger slowly but firmly with increasing pressure.. and it goes off. The shell ricochets back. That amount of power in your hands.. it either overwhelms you or exhilarates you. It was both for me. The actual sound of a gunshot in real life is not exactly what you hear on TV, even through earmuffs.
As each person goes up for their first time, you shoot one bullet before the instructor loads up the magazine with the other 19 for the first distance of 6m. It gets easier to shoot with time but what you’re not always ready for is how tiring it is to maintain that posture. My arms began to tremble and I had a hard time trying to focus with only one eye. In hindsight, I think I shot better with both eyes open.
That’s how it went: me, Aaron and then my mom. We did 6m, 11m and 15m. I didn’t do too badly at the first round: 18/20 rounds hit the target paper. But it got subsequently worse because my arms could not take it. I clearly need more upper body strength. It didn’t help that the shells kept hitting me in the face. So, it went 18/20, 9/20 and 1/10. Bad, I know. My brother got the instructor to film my mom and me, and according to Aaron, I looked far calmer than my mom did. However, my mom’s track record was amazing: 16/20, 18/20 and 7/10. Aaron got about 14/20, 7/20 and 3/10. My mom was the one who freaked out the most but clearly, her skills superseded mine. But I looked badass doing it. haha. It helps if you go in with a storyline in your head: mine was Jamie Moriarty from Elementary. I may have looked like shooting was no biggie for me but I missed a lot of shots. But as you can see from my target sheet, if I ever shoot at someone, they’re likely to be sterile or suffer from serious digestive organ damage. So, yay me.
Aaron wants to join the shooting range. I can’t because I won’t be here. It’s an expensive hobby though. We managed to get Groupons for it, for a trial so it wasn’t that expensive this time but all in all, it’s costly to maintain.
I have total respect for actual gunmen now. It’s tiring. It’s difficult. You know how in movies, bank robbers just randomly aim the gun places.. that part isn’t too hard, if you don’t care that bullets can bounce back and hurt you, too. There’s so much that goes into it, that you don’t notice. I’m at least proud to say that I can be critical of actors that handle firearms, kinda.
Shooting a gun can officially be crossed off my bucket list. Will I do it again? If it wasn’t that expensive, maybe yeah, I think I would. Would I OWN a gun? Probably not. You’d really need to be thoroughly skilled to handle it and keep it in a drawer beside your bed. I can’t fathom something like that at this moment in time.