Wednesday, August 27, 2008

happy shoot-iversary to me

2 years and two days ago, I had never shot a gun. I didn't want to touch a gun. I didn't want guns in the house, didn't want guns in my life. No, no, no. No guns. No. I didn't like guns. A textbook case of hoplophobia, that was me.

Mike spent a long time talking me into going to the range. I almost chickened out. I remember sitting on the couch, so afraid that I was near tears, saying, "No. I can't. I just can't, I don't want to..."

"Just try it once. It'll be okay, nothing bad will happen, I promise," Mike said patiently, clearly not understanding why I was so upset. To him, it was just a gun, no big deal.

Me, I was freaking out inside, alarms going off full tilt in my head. "Gun! Oh no! Gun! Scaryscaryscary!" Looking back on it now, I realize that my reaction was completely ridiculous and irrational - and I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly what it was that frightened me so much.

Mike held out his hand to me, saying, "Come on. Let's just go." And because I'm deeply infatuated with him and wanted him to like me, I put my hand in his, stood up and went.

I was silent in the car on the way to the range, shot 5 rounds from a Smith & Wesson model 642, and cried in the car on the way home.

But if I had known then how my life would change - the things I would learn, the inner strength I would find, and the amazing people I would meet - all because of that one simple act, I might have gone out and celebrated.

23 comments:

Turk Turon said...

And we're glad you did!

And good for you, Mike, for being so patient and persuasive.

Less said...

YEAH! What TT said!!

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

woot

Jay G said...

Huzzah for open-mindedness, Breda. And congrats on the gun-iversary!

(I don't even want to think about how long ago *I* started shooting!)

Geoff said...

You've come a long way and done a lot to be proud of. I'm glad you took that first step with Mike.

I'm amused with how quickly it becomes fun. My step-daughter was all shrugs and "whatever" the first time I invited her to the range. Then she dropped the hammer on a .22lr round. Huge eyes, set my CZ down and did a little dance I wish I could have recorded. Now she asks on a regular basis when we're hitting the range again. (Did the whole shocked dance thing the other day too when she fired her first 9mm round.)

Jersey Gunsmoke said...

It'll be 3 years for me in about 4 weeks. Fun isn't it?

Lot's of discipline's to choose from, and when you find the one that *clicks*, look out, cause you'll end up getting interested at what you first thought was lame.

Keep it up, and good shootin'!

doubletrouble said...

Congrats cailin-

You've come a l-o-n-g way!

Crying at the though of shooting to completing an Appleseed shoot- that's a helluva journey in 2 years.

Really, NH isn't that far...

Earl said...

Mike had the good sense and patience that many a good man doesn't. And the world is better for it, I don't know how many he has started since then, but I have an idea that you have been preaching pretty steady since you were converted - and steady growth continues. And you have a real job, you may not carry a gun there - but the WORD is pretty powerful and folks seem to believe librarians before hulking thugs...

Mad Saint Jack said...

I had no idea it was such a short period of time for you to become such a great shooter, such a great blogger, and such a great supporter of the Second Amendment.

OrangeNeckInNY said...

I always shot guns in one form or another, although some people might say that a pellet gun isn't a real gun at all. Well, to them I say, "if YOU grew up on the Lower East Side of downtown Manhattan, you shoot whatever you can get your hands on." And back then, it was still legal to get air guns. And shoot pigeons with them from the rooftops. Then came a span of about 9 years where I didn't shoot at all because of the gun bans, high school and college. When I got my first job, I started buying air rifles to shoot in my apartment (I still have most of them). Then I moved out of The City and into the suburbs, where I was free to go to any gun store and buy any legal gun I wanted. So I did. After 9/11 happened. It started with a Remington 552 Speedloader semi-auto. Then it escalated from there. There was the first Mossberg 500. Then a bolt action .17 HMR. Another .22 in bolt action; an AR-15; a 7.62x39 bolt action carbine; a 7mm Rem. Mag.; a Sig P239 9mm pistol; a .243 Win. bolt action rifle; and just yesterday a Kimber 1911 Eclipse Custom II in 10mm.

In between, I started buying high powered break-barrel pellet rifles and pellet pistols. My favorite pellet pistol is the Crosman 1377 multipump that I upgraded with a steel breech and rear sight, along with a custom fit fiber optic front sight. That thing is a tack driver out to 20 yds with open sights.

Then came archery. Oboy! I'm only 4 years into archery and I've already "robin-hooded" 5 times - once at 5 yds; twice at 20 yds; another at 30 yds and finally one at 50 yds. I'm sure there's going to be more. Shooting is highly addictive and it's just you and your target.

So that's the extent of my "toy" collection. It will definitely grow as will my love for shooting.

Breda, I'm glad I found your blog. It's one of the first things I read in the morning when I get to work. Love your blog. And I read Mike's too.

Matt said...

Wow -- I can't imagine you as not a shooter.

Maybe there's hope for a Poor Canadian like me, then. You're quite an inspiration and a role model.

Vertel said...

And now I am seriously curious as to what provoked Gun Range Visit #2, and your reaction to that one.

Brigid said...

Good for you. We're glad you joined in.

Weer'd Beard said...

No idea what date it was for me...Definitely Fall, as School had just started, and I remember it was 1999. I wasn't a hoplophobe...I just thought guns were icky, and un-romantic, and frankly I wouldn't have minded seeing them all banned. They were used for violence and stupidity, and did little good in society.

Well then a buddy, who's Dad had a great collection and a private range asked me if I wanted to go shooting. I thought "Hey, I haven't done it before, what's to loose." I didn't get excited, I just went. I started with .22s, worked up so some various long guns...shot a scoped .30-06 and thought that was neat (Recoil whore from day #1!) but when the WWII M1911A1 came out I HAD to have one of those...not for protection, not for rights, just to have!!!

I couldn't afford one at that time (and I was only 19, so I was too young too, but I didn't know that) So instead I started reading about guns....that's what changed my life...everything I THOUGHT I knew was WRONG!

The rest is history...and where the hell is my carry permit?? I'm calling the cops at 9 to see what's the hold-up??

Enigma said...

Hehehe.....welcome to what the anti's would call The Dark Side, My Dear. I am glad that now you are now among the enlightened, that you see the light. We're not so scary after all. Congrats on Mike's patience and your open-mindedness. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

You cried on the way home. What made you go back to the range?

I started shooting in the runup to y2k. I bought some guns to beat the NICS implementation (not all great choices) and bought some used ones later. I don't have time to practice now, and need to make some.

Ted said...

Wow - I had no idea you've only been doing this for two years. Congratulations on the blogiversary and REAL congratulations on your marksmanship!

I'm pointing the Mrs to your post.

And I second Doubletrouble's comment. You make the hike, I'll dig up another Teletubbie. I know I've got one somewhere ....

Billy Beck said...

I'd give a lot to understand the psychology behind this. What you're describing in your former attitude is, to me, the height of irrationality and I wish I could see through it. It's the damndest thing.

stbaguley said...

I've seen this before... The wife makes excuses lame or otherwise when I try to get her to come with me to the range. Where there is no will there is no way! She already knows I like her and doesn't need to impress me any more than she already has. I really want to share this sport with her. Need to know more or just need you to write her and her sisters out there an open letter. This post looks to be a good start on that. Thanks!

Aaron said...

I'm sure glad you joined the gun friendly crowd. I've used you blog more than once to convince perspective female shooters that it's not just men and 'butch chicks' that shoot.

Alex said...

Congrats!

I recently became a CWP instructor. It looks as if I will be teaching my first "ladies only" CWP class next month. I think the experience will be very satisfying. Nothing is as scary as the unknown. Taking away that irrational fear, and replacing it with knowledge and confidence is a wonderful thing.

Please let us know how your search for a Bersa holster is going.

Mark said...

Well, Happy Shoot-iversary! I have only read your blog a couple of times (thanks to keepandbeararms.com). I am really interested in learning what was at the root of your fear of guns, ie. lack of knowledge, guns are for killing, I'm afraid I'll hurt somebody, too big, loud, heavy or whatever. If you have covered this, I apologize. I just want to know because I want to introduce more people to the fun of shooting.
Great blog. Keep it in the X-ring.

Robert said...

I just hope you are watching some of my videos about this kind of stuff.

Congrats on becoming more like yourself! And thanks for your presence on the web!