• Fri, Oct 19 2012

Guns!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I’m bitter about anything from my childhood, it’s that I wasn’t allowed to play laser tag. Not that the opportunity never presented itself (trust me, it did) but that my parents didn’t let me. My dad is a serious pacifist, and I think the idea of my running around shooting people with a gun, even if fake, was too much for him to bear. I also wasn’t allowed to watch PG-13 rated movies until I was, like, fourteen. (I secretly still did at my friends’ houses, but Austin Powers isn’t even funny when you don’t get penis jokes)(actually, come to think of it, it’s not when you do, either).

I think that my parents were trying to protect me, that they thought simulated “violent” images would scar me. And to be fair, I cried a lot the first time I saw Bambi. (I’m sensitive, okay?). But really “protecting me from violence” just scarred me in a different way.

When I was ten, a close friend had a laser-tag birthday party, and I couldn’t go. I was never a cool kid, so not getting to attend what felt like the coolest party ever, made me feel like my social life was over. I also frequently had to turn down invitations to see PG-13 movies with my friends. Obviously none of that really mattered in the long run, but despite realizing now that my parents were actually awesome, I’m still a little bitter about the laser tag.

So last summer, much to my liberal father’s horror, I went to an actual shooting range to shoot actual guns.

With my mom.

On a whim, we’d decided to take a class, “Level 1: Basic Personal Protection,” an eight-hour, two-night course most people take in order to qualify for a handgun carry permit. We had absolutely no desire to attain such a license, but we both were completely clueless about weapons (unless you count my mom’s tai chi sword? No, let’s not) and thought the shared experience would be, well, hilarious.

It was.

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  • Lastango

    The most striking thing about your post is how confused and ignorant you are about firearms. The most “surreal” and “weird” thing at the range was you — and your utterly ungrounded opinions and condemnations. But kudos for going to a range. Perhaps you’re ready to take your next steps, so you can blow away your cobwebs at the same time you’re blowing away the targets. Try starting here:
    http://www.nrahq.org/women/index.asp
    By the way, self-defense with a handgun is a specialized skill that cannot be learned in a brief or general session. There are dedicated schools and instructors for that. Here’s one:
    http://www.frontsight.com/testimonials/self-defense-class-for-women.asp
    Good luck with your research and your shooting career.

  • monkey87

    But her point WAS that she was confused and ignorant about firearms. She pointed out that it was because of the way she was raised.

    Also, eight hours doesn’t seem like a brief session…

    • Lastango

      “Also, eight hours doesn’t seem like a brief session…”
      ======
      This is when the possibility dawns on you that maybe you think so because — wait for it — you don’t know anything either!
      So, fix that! Start reading. You’ll wonder why you ever thought defending yourself with a firearm, especially a handgun, is simple. There are many aspects, and there is a lot to know about each one.

    • Lastango

      “Also, eight hours doesn’t seem like a brief session…”
      ======
      This is when the possibility dawns on you that maybe you think so because — wait for it — you don’t know anything either!
      So, fix that! Start reading. You’ll wonder why you ever thought defending yourself with a firearm, especially a handgun, is simple. There are many aspects, and there is a lot to know about each one.

  • Beth

    I had a similar experience this spring- there was a Groupon for our local gun range, so my friends and I bought some as part of our ongoing Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness Training (it’s a joke, but we learn new skills.) I’ve always been very anti-gun because of what you mentioned- they are created for the sole purpose of killing. There are a lot of other reasons too, but I digress.

    We walked in to the range, they gave us a gun (it was big!), showed us how to reload it, and let us have at in a stall alongside about seven other shooters. It was horrifying! It was loud, shells from other guns were flying all over the place, and I just couldn’t help thinking that at any time, any of the other gunslingers could have turned around and shot us all (I know, these were the responsible gun folk, and every else had guns with which to defend themselves, but still, human bodies are so fragile, and accidents happen!)

    My target was zombie-shaped, so I felt a little better knowing I could put one down (haha), but I don’t think I’ll be shooting any guns again until the zombie apocalypse. I’ve heard it’s better to get lessons, a private stall, or to do it outside, and I could see that, but I’m still not convinced that every house needs a gun.

  • jess

    I did the course all in 1 day back in the spring (it’s pretty intense to be there at the range for 8 hours!) when I was back in Memphis visiting my parents (I live in NYC) and I actually decided to go all the way to get the license.
    There was definitely a good mix of people there and I was just as surprised as you were. It was fun but, as you said, I still can’t imagine just having a gun on my person just casually…

  • Roxanne

    This happened just two days ago right down the road from where I live. And keep watching to hear what the reporter adds at the end.

    http://www.news9.com/story/19858704/12-year-old-girl-shoots-intruder-during-home-invasion

  • Roxanne

    This happened just two days ago right down the road from where I live. And keep watching to hear what the reporter adds at the end.

    http://www.news9.com/story/19858704/12-year-old-girl-shoots-intruder-during-home-invasion

    • Lastango

      **sob** I love a happy ending!
      ===
      For anyone who reads the article but doesn’t watch the video, here’s what the reporter says at the end:
      “(The suspect) was also arrested back in September of 2011 for allegedly abducting a 17-year-old girl with a diminished mental capacity.”

    • Lastango

      **sob** I love a happy ending!
      ===
      For anyone who reads the article but doesn’t watch the video, here’s what the reporter says at the end:
      “(The suspect) was also arrested back in September of 2011 for allegedly abducting a 17-year-old girl with a diminished mental capacity.”