The shooting range. Oh how I’ve longed to shoot off a set of twin rifles, pop off an oozi or hold a silver smith ‘n Wesson sideways against a punk ass bitch. Yes, most of my gun knowledge comes from the movies or video games, but I assumed it should be just as easy to pull the trigger in real life as it is to pop off a pimp in Grand Theft Auto…..right?
It all started with Duck Hunt…
I loved that Nintendo video game and, if I can be blunt, I kicked ass at it too. No duck was safe when I was at the controller. I could even accurately hit that damn dog too (you know, the one who laughs at you when you miss) if the system was advanced enough, damn dog!
Nelley get your gun
Guns as far as the eye can see! They have to buzz you into the showroom area, there are cameras everywhere and they have to buzz you out to let you leave. They even take your driver’s license away while you’re in the shooting range. High Security – check! There are so many guns to choose from and I can’t decide on which to shoot first. I settle on the basic – a 9mm handgun. Cool. We’ve signed in, picked our weapons of choice and now we wait for our turn.
In the line of fire
We suit up in protective earphones and eyepieces and 45 minutes later, we’re -BANG- onto the -BANG- shooting range. Our -BANG- assigned gun-guy dude is -BANG- going to, or is telling us -BANG- how to safely hold and -BANG- shoot our guns. I’m trying to -BANG- listen to him so my girls and I move in close -BANG- to hear him but all I can understand is -BANG- don’t point anywhere but at the range -BANG- (and duh!). I’m trying to loosen -BANG- up but I can’t. The loud -BANG- sounds from the other shooters in the range is getting to me and I can’t -BANG- concentrate. Plus we can’t take off our protective ear wear to hear him better or else we’ll go –BANG– deaf from the shots. Plus if they’re this loud -BANG- with the protective ear wear on, then I don’t want to -BANG- hear what it sounds like without protection.
I’m first up to shoot but before I can take aim, I have to put some of the 50 bullets I bought into the dang clip. One by one.
I paid $32+tax for this so these clips should be pre-loaded! There’s no manual clip loading in Duck Hunt. Hump. In 5 minutes, I’ve managed to wedge in only 10 bullets….5 with the instructors help (show me again…and again….and again…and 47 more times please).
He warns us that the empty shells may pop up and hit us, but not to worry or jump when the searing hot metal hits our flesh. Right. I’m jumping already just from the sound of the gun shots (they’re never this loud in video games!) so I hope hot bullet corpses don’t smack me in the face.
Why did I wanna do this again??
Take the shot
I’m up. The gun is heavy and industrial looking. Following his instructions (technically he has to physically move my hands and body into position because I’m frozen in place) I’m ready to shoot. I look at my lifelike target, take aim and start shooting at the shoulders and other non essential areas so that the paramedics can revive him after I’ve finished (the paper target’s family would thank me). After each shot, our instructor tells me I can open my eyes now. He also reminds me to breathe since I seemed to have forgotten how (air goes in and then out, right?). I’m only 3 shots in and I’m done. This sucks. I turn around and my girls are dying from laughter behind me…and taking pics. Argh!! I hate the sound, I hate the explosions from the gun, and I hate the smell of gun powder. I take 7 more shots at the instructor’s encouragement and then I’m ready for a break. Unfortunately, the instructor took my obvious hints and filled my secondary clip with 18 more bullets.
Ok, I’ll just shoot off the rest and then I’m done. I’ll do just enough to earn my street cred (done!) but not so much that people think I actually like shooting these things (not a gun freak – done!). 18 more shots down and I’m free to leave the area and let the others in my group take aim. Phew. Enough with this human target stress.
I’m going back to Duck Hunt.