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Training day

Guns fascinate guys since they are little boys. As we grow up we try everything. We might start by throwing rocks, using slings, throwing spears and darts, and maybe even archery. At some point, we might even upgrade to paintball and compressed air guns. The real guns are out of reach for most of us until we are not really kids anymore. Debatable for some, we remain kids all of our lives. Just the toys change.

So yesterday was my chance to meet with real guns. And not only one but two of them.
A 9mm pistol and a Walter shotgun g22. Close range and long-range. It wasn’t something that I planned on doing. I got a voucher from my wife who thought this would be relaxing. The equivalent of a day at a spa for girls. To some extent she was right.

As I got to the shooting range I realized this was not a place to relax. And no spa insight. Instead, I got bombarded with rules by my trainer who was a professional shooter.

  • never point the gun at somebody and always keep in mind where it is pointed
  • keep your finger out of the trigger area until you shoot and then get it out immediately
  • if by some chance you drop the gun let it fall, accidents happen when you try to catch it and press the trigger by mistake
  • always do what you are told by the trainer

At least that’s how I remember them.

We started with the revolver. He showed me how to pick the weapon, how to hold it. Where to keep your fingers and how to squeeze it with both hands. Then he showed me how to arm it, how to reload it, and finally how to aim and shoot. I’m gonna be honest, it’s a bit weird at first. Not like in the games or movies where you just shoot.

After I hold it for a while and tried to get familiar with it I got it loaded and I was left to do my first try with it. Basically, you point the gun, aim, and try not to move the aim while you move the finger on the trigger and slowly pull it.

BAAANG. You hear a thunder, your mind stops for a second before you get back to reality. Quickly I remember the rules and remove the finger of the trigger and soon enough I put the weapon down before I try to comprehend what happened. Not sure if I did all that by myself remembering the rules or I was guided by the instructor. I didn’t expect the bang to be so loud. I had noise cancelation headphones on and it still felt like thunder. The recoil is quite strong too. Wasn’t expecting this from what I considered the basic weapon and “lamest” of them all. That’s what happens when your experience only comes from movies and games.

The closest thing I can associate to this experience is a small electrocution, you feel it in your whole body, and it short circuits it. That happens the first few times until you get used to it. Like everything in life. Then you finally can enjoy and “relax”. I had 15 shots, mostly went in the center of the mark. I think that’s pretty good for the first time. Or maybe it’s because I took my time with every shot.

Next, I went for the second weapon, the shotgun. It’s a totally different experience. The good thing is that it had a scope mounted on it as the target is way further and a lot smaller.

After a bit of training, I got to use it too. This felt different, more like a toy gun similar to how I was used with air guns. It’s a bit harder to get used to the scope as you really have to keep the gun fixed and pushed to your body. It took me a while to get used to it and I shot the first shots a bit lower than the black spot but still in the circles of the mark.

It’s a bit trickier and harder to aim, at least in the beginning. The weapon is a lot heavier and if you take too much time aiming you will get tired and it’s even harder to aim afterward. But when you push the trigger it’s like nothing happens. So you can just push again and again without much aiming.

If you didn’t notice by now, I really enjoyed it and I’m sure with practice I could get better. I would definitely go back and try it again even if it’s a bit costly to have this as a fully-fledged hobby.

As I returned home, my wife asked if she can see the targets. I guess it wasn’t really what she expected and she told me she wants to buy a bulletproof vest. She was joking. I think. Not a bad idea if I think about it.

You can’t truly call yourself “peaceful” unless you are capable of great violence. If you’re not capable of violence, you’re not peaceful, you’re harmless. Important distinction.

Stef Starkgaryen

If you get a chance, check out my book:

Side by side is a book about the first years of parenting. Both the beauty and the hidden side of parenting. The long nights and troubled days. Parents who try and fail and then try again. And how your little one puts a smile on your face and you forget everything just in time to start a new challenging day.  It follows the first 2 years of a new dad and his journey, side by side, along with his son. 

7 thoughts on “Training day

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  1. I grew up in the woods and I don’t remember a time when we didn’t shoot. We used to take little .22 pump action rifles to hunt the giant banana spiders that would seasonally infest the area. It sounds ridiculous now, but it was fun. It’s been years since I shot even though my dad still goes to the range regularly. I got bored with the targets and I don’t like killing things (except maybe spiders) and to your point, it gets really expensive, especially now with ammo being scarce. Anyhow, thanks for your post, I enjoyed it and it made me nostalgic.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Big enough to shoot at!! HA! They are technically called Golden Orb Weavers and they can be three inches across. Their webs are huge and so sticky. I ran through so many in my childhood that I am forever traumatized and terrified of spiders.


      2. Those are not spiders, they are Arachnids from Starship Troopers. We don’t have that kind of exotic creature around here. But we have vampires. If it counts for anything.

        Liked by 1 person

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