Saturday started as a normal day. I got up. I worked on my fiction re-write. I had some lunch. Then D. returned from the park with the dog and everything turned strange.
"Wanna go shoot some guns?" He asks.
This was my chance to say, "No, dear. I'd like to have a normal day." But I didn't say that. I said: "Whatever."
Then things got weird.
You should know that even though I am from the United States, and I live in a state where a teenager (Eric Harris) can have an M-16 on his dresser and no one thinks anything about it, I have never shot a gun. I never held a rifle, loaded a shotgun, downed a bird or an elk, or even really paid that much attention to guns.
D., on the other hand, grew up around guns. He hunted deer and elk with his Dad. He shot Marmots from his window with his air powered 22. His dad is a card carrying member of the NRA. He even has one of those bumper stickers. You know the: "guns don't kill people, people kill people".? D. has even been inside the NRA headquarters in New Mexico.
We get in the car and drive to the Firing Line. We walk into Colorado's largest gun shop and pass this sign.
"Handgun Training: $125"
"Concealed Weapons Permit: $152"
"Protection for your family: Priceless"
I'm horrified. I am thinking about leaving when I am drawn in by the smell of testosterone, junior high school jitters, and cordite. This is a completely foreign land.
We walk up to the counter and D. starts talking to the clerk. They start speaking a foreign language that is almost incomprehensible. I feign interest.? It's like some male bonding ritual with homosexual undertones.
"What size? How much? How big? How deep? How many targets?"
They go back and forth finally deciding on a Glock 9mm and 100 rounds. He gives us lane 2 in the public section. (Yes, you can join the Firing Line and fire in the members section.)
What's a geek to do? I completely geek out.
Did you know that yellow/orange fire actually burst from the end of the gun when you fire it? Amazing. I discovered this when the woman next to us fired her 38 special into the ceiling a number of times. Flash of yellow, load blast, then burst of white chalk from the ceiling.
There was a guy there with his four toe headed blue eyed children. One at a time, he would lead them to the lane and they would fire weapons. His teenage daughters looked incredibly bored. His fourteen year old vibrated with anxiety and excitement. He kept texting his friends and saying into his cell in a loud voice, 'well maybe when I'm done firing.' Ew.
And you know, it's remarkably easy to load a hand gun and fire it. In fact, it's easy to hit the target. Scary easy.
So how did I do?
D.'s on the left and I'm on the right.? This is our first time ever firing a handgun.? This target was at 25 feet.? It's a little frightening isn't it?
We left reeking of cordite and went on to see a Murderball tournament.? But that's for another day.