When my first son was born I proclaimed, “There will be no toy guns in the house.” <Insert Laughter Now>
Yea I know. New mothers think they know e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
What I didn’t know at the time is that little boys don’t need toy guns. In their world, everything is a gun. Imagine my great surprise when I first saw my toddler pick up a stick, point it and call, “POW POW!”
You can take the gun away from the boy but you can’t take the gun out of the boy.
Since then, my boys have been trained in firearm safety and shooting during scout camp. A friend has taken one of them to the firing range often. Every child, including my daughter, has a BB gun. And as you may remember, my oldest now has a Remington shotgun.
But me? Other than the BB guns, my hands have never been on these objects in question. Until?
I can now say I have shot a gun. <breathe… breathe…> As of TODAY.
The time was coming. It was inevitable. Therefore, when my neighbor and her Navy husband asked if I wanted to shoot today, I jumped right in.
AND SHOOT I DID.
I began at their house with a training session on hand placement, safety, aiming and firing. They also explained I would have to read a sheet of paper at the firing range and then will have to answer a question or two about it before I get my “card.”
Did I get two questions? OH NO, NOT ME! I had a ton of questions. Fortunately, my son and another person had to answer at the same time, allowing for a bit of fudging on a select few.
Fast forward to ear protection, eye protection and plenty of nerves. It is one thing to see someone shoot on television, but to FEEL someone shoot… to HOLD a gun that can potentially KILL. It is a completely different ball of wax.
They started me with a Barretta 22. There was almost no kickback, making the gun FUN to shoot. And how did I do? As well as my amazing neighbor who owns it! FIRST TIME!
But then came what I found to be my greatest challenge. They let me try a Sig Saur 226 9 mm gun. Navy Seals shoot this gun. And at that moment, it was in my hands. Loaded.
Did I mention guns are LOUD. I mean loud as in your sinuses vibrate as people shoot around you. Having that power in my hands was frightening, to say the least.
Think Katherine. Think. Hands correct? Feet spaced? Target in sight? Here you go… squeeeeeezzzeee BAM! My heart began to race. BAM! Was I going to pass out? BAM! I am hitting the target! I am actually BAM! hitting the target!
I am happy to say the target’s large intestine will never be the same. I didn’t hit in the middle, I hit low to the right. But consistently, meaning I was anticipating the noise and lowering the gun just before I pulled the trigger.
My next try? BOOYA. Not bad for my first time!
How far I’ve come, from no toy guns to facing my own fears and shooting them myself. TODAY, I WAS SHAKING IN MY BOOTS!
Do guns still scare me? Yes. Absolutely. You bet. But I have turned part of that fear in to knowledge and respect. What a scary, different and exciting day. I am proud of myself. “I done good.”
Do you shoot, and if so, what? Or do you NOT shoot? Why?