Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bang! Bang!

I've never seen a gun in real life, never touched a gun, never shot one. When the guys in our singles ward heard this, they determined to "give Sister Nelson a proper education" in the sport of target shooting.

Thus Kevin and I joined 4 young adult gun lovers + our 77-yr-old ward clerk at the George Nourse outdoor gun range on Labor Day for a morning of bang-banging.

I was shocked. How many guns does a person need to have? How about 6 or 7 each, some inherited from their fathers, but most purchased at $450.00 each, at least. Then there's the bullets, ranging from $1.00 each to a box of 50 for $20.

So anyway, they set up targets by taping paper bull-eyes to cardboard boxes, weighted the boxes with rocks and we were in business for the next two hours.

Clip-loading: Hurts,pinches, requires some finger & hand strength.

Aiming: Right eye is useless, so that means shooting left-handed. Left hand has had a
tremor for several years.

Pulling triggers: No apparent strength in my left hand. Pulling, pulling, pulling, cringing and eyes mostly closed. Hey, why isn't this thing working? Then BANG!
I have shot my first gun--a magnum something or other. Frankly it looked like a toy, but the noise--OUCH! Yes I was wearing earplugs, but still it reminded me of a crack of thunder directly overhead. Physically painful in the ear.

So I shot half a dozen type of guns, ranging from a stubby handgun to magnums, glocks,
military rifles. Rifles are heavy, especially since I was using my weaker left side. I couldn't get through a 15-bullet clip without resting.

What did I hit? Hard to know. The bullets ripped through the boxes and raised alot of dust in the distant dirt.

Did you know the average handgun requires 6 lbs of finger pressure on the trigger, but a hair-trigger guns requires only 2lbs pressure? These are supposed to be strictly police-issue guns, though Bro. Barton managed to snag one years ago and was happily ping-pinging away.

Did you know the difference between regular and hollow-point bullets? Regular bullets leave the same size hole both entering and exiting the target. Hollow-points spread on impact and tear a much larger exit hole.

Did you know guns spit out shells as you shoot and they are HHHHHOTTT! I didn't know that until one landed on my neck and hung up on my shirt. I did a little dance of surprise with loaded gun in left hand. ouch, ouch and brushed it off with right hand. It raised a microscopic blister which I was proud to show off at work the next day. "Look at my wound from target shooting. Cool, huh?" By the way, as I am doing this dance, B.A. tells me, "Sis Nelson, When not actually shooting, keep your gun pointed at the ground instead of waving about towards whoever you're talking to."

The blister was not my only wound. I kept removing my earplugs to hear instructions. Bad idea. Now my right ear "hears" with the effect of being underwater. After one week, still no improvement.

Now that I have shooted, I can't see the attraction of going again. The boys love the sport enough to buy numerous guns, truckloads of ammo, concealed weapon permits, and they carry loaded guns everywhere, except church. They also love to watch violent movies and TV shows which, in my opinion, creates a mental paranoia of trouble lurking at every corner. Not ironically, each of these kids are stunted in post-mission life, doing nothing to further their education or marital prospects.

Today at church, B.A. approached me with great enthusiasm. "Sis Nelson, you've got to come with us again. This time we'll teach you how to shoot western rifles." (Think Matt Dillon and Gunsmoke.)

There you have it. I have lost my innocence. By the way, I also shot gangster style.