Today was the big day when I learned to shoot a gun.  D came over with his XD .45 and his 1911 and showed me the basics like don’t put your finger on the trigger unless you plan to shoot and kill, how to take the gun from someone else or pick it up off a table, how to hold the gun, my stance, how to aim, how to depress the trigger, about the safeties, and how to load the things, etc.  Then we went to the range.

Having never been to a range, I had to read this paper about gun safety and range safety and all that good stuff.  Number 16 on the list was to tell the Range Dude, “I think the Brady Bunch is a great family show.”  They just want to make sure you’re actually reading the sheet.  D said when he first went to that range that he didn’t say the sentence, and Range Dude was like, “Is there something you want to say to me?” and D goes, “I thought the Partridge Family was a better show.”  Guffaw.

When we were still at my house, we discovered that I don’t have the upper body strength to operate the part that slides to open the chamber, so I definitely am not strong enough to deal with the kick on D’s .45s.  So we rented an XD 9mmfor me.  He went first and shot his 1911.  I was pretty freaked out by the amount of noise.  Obviously it was going to be loud, and I had on ear protection (you have to wear ear and eye protection or you can’t go on the range).  But holy freaking cow, it was LOUD.  I also didn’t expect to see the flash when the gun goes off or the spent casings (I hope that’s the right word) flying out of the gun.  I thought they just kind of fell.  No, they do not.  They fly.  So by the time it was my turn (which didn’t take long because he just goes firefirefire 16 or whatever times, and he’s done), I was pretty freaked out.  I jumped every time somebody else in there shot, though not so much when D shot.  I really wish there was a way for me to communicate how godawful fucking loud it was.  You could feel it in your whole body though.

Okay, so my turn.  D loaded the gun with three bullets and set it on the table.  I picked it up just like he taught me, got into my little stance which is a suck stance – I apparently kept having dance posture which is way back rather than gun posture which is shoulders over your front leg, and aimed.  And then I aimed a little more.  And a little more.  D finally said, “Anytime you’re ready.”  So I aimed for a while longer.  I finally shot the damn thing which I had aimed at the red bit on the bad guy (center chest), but I missed.  We never did figure out where that shot went, but I’m assuming it didn’t hit the target at all.  Then I started shaking, said, “Oh my God,” and put the gun down.  D goes, “You still have two more shots.  Take them.”  It took a minute, but I finally did it.  I have to say, I was fucking hating life right then.  You know, you’re on this range with all these people with guns, and you’re aiming at a target which is intended to represent the bad guy busting in your house, and it all seems very real.  It just kind of hit me that I was holding a very lethal weapon in my hands, and my intention was to shoot to kill, and I didn’t like it one little bit.

After that we’d alternate.  My next few tries were with five bullets loaded, and I kept putting the gun down about halfway through them.  I was still semi-freaked, but it was getting better.  I think it was somewhere in there that I finally hit the red.  It was an accident.  I kept anticipating the muzzle rise (not sure if that’s the right word either, but what I mean is that when I shot, because my arms are puny and my grip sucks it and my stance was incorrect, the muzzle of the gun would raise up), so I would lower the gun slightly before I shot.  I have a nice great big hole in my target right under the red from hitting it so many times there.  At least I was consistently bad.

 I worked up to having ten bullets loaded and shot them all without putting the gun down.  I didn’t realize I was out on my last try, and I shot with the gun empty.  That’ll make you feel dumb, but it really pointed out how I was dropping the front of the gun right before squeezing the trigger.

One other thing that really freaked me out was when my target was close to me.  I mean, it’s a piece of paper for Pete’s sake, but it was somehow intimidating to have it three yards away.  D said most defensive shootings are within touching range, so I had to do it.  I was much happier when he moved it out some.

So would I do it again?  Probably, but with a different gun.  I wasn’t thrilled with that particular one.  Neither was D when he shot it.  He likes his .45, but said the 9mm sucked it.  Our Russian friend, S, was like, “Why didn’t you put her on a Beretta?”  Because D doesn’t like the Beretta, that’s why.  He’s very particular. 

We went to lunch after, and talked a little about my coaching situation.  He said he’s still trying to figure out what I should do once he’s gone.  He’s concerned about the drive to Phillip, so he wants me to try a few different coaches.  Fuck that.  This is going to be hard enough without having to try out coaches.  I wish he’d just pick one for me and leave it at that.  I said, “You’re really going, aren’t you?”  He nodded.  I didn’t cry for once – I did that on the ice yesterday when we were working on Willow Waltz.  I said, “It’s never going to be ready on time.”  He said to let him be the judge of that when it gets closer to the competition.  I let loose with, “Well, how will you know?  You won’t even be here!!!” and then boo-hoo’d.  Awesome! 

P.S.  I kept my target, but it’s in my trunk right now so I can show it to my dad when I have dinner with the family tomorrow night.  I’m too lazy to get it out and take a picture of it right now, but I’ll try to remember to post a picture of it soon.  Plus my arms are sore and I don’t feel like even holding a camera.  Now that’s pitiful!

Advertisements