So, apparently the gun laws in Florida are pretty lax. And since the gun laws up in the Northeast are pretty strict (especially in NJ and NY), my stepdad, Victor, had a field day when he moved down here. Now, keep in mind that my mother is not exactly a gun-friendly person. She doesn't even like the idea of laser tag or video games. So, imagine my utter shock when, while eating breakfast, Victor walks up to me and hands me a 40 caliber handgun. (Uhm, WTH?!) And then he asks me if I want to go shooting with him. Personally, I've always wanted to learn how to shoot a gun. I don't have a vengeful heart or anything (well, not THAT vengeful), but I would like to have a gun for my own protection. As you can imagine, I jumped at the chance to shoot a real gun (in a safe and secure environment). My mother was not happy. At all. She kept passive-aggressively telling me that she did not raise me to shoot guns. Once she got over her initial aggravation with my Rambo-like desires, she told me that she didn't really mind if I went shooting. It's not like I needed her permission, but it was nice to have.
The actual experience of shooting a gun at a shooting range was interesting. It was exactly as I pictured it. Victor and I walked into a store that sold guns, bullets, holsters, and knives. It was very "redneck." Victor purchased 2 targets, I put on googles and noise-canceling headphones, and we went into a kind of sketchy-looking room where 4 other guys were shooting. (Yes, I was the only female in the room. It really made me feel badass.) Victor showed me how to hold the gun and told me (repeatedly) to make sure the my grip was as tight as possible. And then he shot it. It wasn't as shocking as I thought it would be. I thought I would be too scared to try. That was definitely no the case. It took me a few minutes to feel comfortable holding the gun. And it took me a few more minutes to convince myself that the gun wouldn't go crazy and shoot me in the head. But when I finally took that first shot, it was amazing.
There is nothing like shooting a gun. The sense of power cannot be paralleled by anything. You need to grip the gun firmly, but comfortably. You need to aim appropriately. You can't anticipate the kick-back too much because your shooting will be more off than if you let it surprise you. You need to pull the trigger ONLY when you're ready. And then, assuming you hit the target, you get to see a hole in the paper and know that a bullet flew threw it. It's pretty surreal at first. But, after shooting a few times, it becomes more and more real.
Victor and I shot several clips of bullets. My aim was pretty decent, considering I had never shot a gun before. Most of the time, I shot in the general area of where I was aiming. And the kick-back was indescribable. I was afraid that it would hurt. Well, it did. My hand hurt for the rest of the day and the day after. But it wasn't horrible. It just made my bones ache.
When I'm older, I'm getting a gun license. There is no doubt about it. I love the idea of going to a range and perfecting my aim. Contrary to popular belief, it will make me feel safe. And I won't accidentally kill anybody.