My friend begged me all week to go to the shooting range on Saturday morning. I tried to get out of it, suggested lots of other fun plans (like running). I didn't want to go at all.
Guns scare me and the last thing I wanted to do was hold one in my hand and actually fire it.
But his incessant pleading eventually wore me down.
I caved and next thing I knew I sitting in NRA headquarters, taking a test on gun safety, wondering how I'd been duped into this.
My new fancy NRA range card
I passed the test, got my NRA range card and eventually our little group was standing in a lane at the firing range. As the guys assembled guns and filled magazine cartridges, I was scoping out the people in the other lanes.
Some of them matched every single NRA stereotype you could imagine. Others didn't. I couldn't believe the number of little kids that were firing guns.
Eventually our little area was set up and ready to go.
At this point, I was still hoping I could get out of the actual firing a gun thing and just sit and watch the guys, but they weren't about to let that happen.
After a brief rundown of safety and how to aim, I found myself holding an H&K USP (9mm).(It was some sort of handgun).
I stood there for a while just holding it.
Then figured I should probably just get it over with.
So I squeezed the trigger.(The range doesn't allow photos of any type, so you'll just have to take my word that I actually shot it).
I fired all the bullets at the target and actually managed to hit it a few times.
When it was empty, I quickly handed it over and was hoping to be done.
But nooooo, the guys had other plans.
In total I fired:
- AR-15 BHAR (.223)
- AR-15 carbine (9mm)
- H&K USP (9mm)
- the AR-15 HBAR (converted to a .22)
The AR guns were huge and scary and I think semi-automatic. (Google them if you want to see pictures) One of them had so much force that the bullets went clear through the target and ricocheted off the back wall like 150 feet away.
All in all, this experience was pretty terrifying, and I'll be very happy to never hold a gun again.
But at least I can say I tried it once.