When the idea was presented to us, it was met with a lot of nervous laughter. When the evening arrived a group a brave souls gathered for a safety lesson. Some of the ladies had used weapons before, but most had not. You have to know, that I have handled guns before…it is a requirment for Correctional Officers. No, I never carried a gun on the yard, that would be too dangerous, but I did have guns when I drove the perimeter. I also knew what I had to do with one of those guns if I ever saw a prisoner trying to escape and he refused to “Halt” when I asked him to. My superior officers filled our heads with images of the havoc an inmate would reek on the community if one was allowed to escape.
I have to say that going to the range with a group of women was much different than going with my fellow Correctional Officers. In my COTA class (Correctional Officer Training Academy), it was mostly men (you kinda guessed that didn’t you?) Men are so competitive! So when I went to the range with them, there was some joking around, but mostly it was serious business. With the ladies, nerves led to much laughter and we had a blast. I don’t mean to imply that we were friviolous; we weren’t by any means. Before we went to the range our mentor taught us the safety rules and said if anyone did anything unsafe he would blow the whistle. I am proud to tell you that he never had to do that with us. (Pssst…a secret, he did blow it when he took the husbands!)
While I have used guns before, it has been a long time (never mind how long!) At the Range, the first gun I tried was a pistol. I remember putting my hand on it and thinking, “This is not right! Ack, this goes against my very nature.” And yet, when I picked it up and pulled the trigger I was hooked! I have no reasonable explanation for this. I do not ever plan to shoot an animal, and I would only shoot a human in self-defense (family-defense). I pray that never happens. So why the fascination with the guns?
I think it was many things. It is overcoming fear. That is exciting in itself. Yes, I was nervous, it’s been a long time. It is competing with yourself to make the next shot a little closer to the bulls eye. And what can I say, it is some thing primal about holding something so powerful and controling it. The AK 47 (semi-automatic) puts out a flash of flame when you fire it…who could resist that?!
In the name of science…(pretend you believe me)…I will tell you which weapon was my favorite. The ladies had very different tastes about which one they prefered. Some chose pistols, others rifles. My favorite hands down is the shotgun. It is probably the least expensive of all the weapons we tried that night, and the ammo is inexpensive too. (Budget is always a considering factor). When you shoot the bird shot at the target, it makes a really big hole. Impressive. The real reason I love the shotgun though is the classic sound it makes when you chamber a round. If that doesn’t scare the bad guys away, nothing will.
All that said, I do not own a gun, so you are still safe to visit my home. Just don’t come unexpectedly in the middle of the night, because I do have a big dog and his bark is not what you need to worry about! Ok, ok I confess…my dog is old and he has hip dysplasia, not very ferocious. But then I know you won’t come in the middle of the night so “no worries” for either of us!