30 New Things: Fire A Gun

Growing up in rural Minnesota, in a family that views squirrel tails as acceptable Christmas tree decor, you would think that I would be seasoned with a six-shooter. You would be mistaken. The closest I’ve ever come to firing a gun is a rousing game of Nintendo Duck Hunt, and even then I was often the kid who’d get fed up with that smug laughing dog and end up pressing the barrel of my gun against the TV screen.But I digress.

Yesterday, I attempted to earn my stripes as a Minnesotan and go shoot some stuff. My lovely friends Annie and Matt know infinitely more about these things than I do. Matt gave me a briefing in the parking lot and I began to quietly freak out about the possibility of shooting myself or others. Puuuuuuke. Because that could happen, yo.


Upon entering the shooting range, I discovered that the Burnsville Pistol Range is apparently hopping on sunny Sunday afternoons, stuffed with ladies in french manicures, 19 year old boys, and old men with Alabama Thunder mustaches shooting at paper plates. I think they were all less than impressed with my sundress, chunky ethnic necklace and gladitor sandals. But really, what should a girl wear to a shooting range?

We all donned the deeply sexy eye protection and ear muffs and headed into the range. Matt loaded his .22 and showed me how to hold and site it and told me to have at it. And it was so strange, you guys. A .22 is a wee little whippet of a gun and there wasn’t any of the kickback that I’d been expecting. The only impact of the gun that I saw were little black holes peppering the target 20 feet away – it was disturbingly easy to lose sight of the fact that this? This was a real gun. And it could really hurt people. I couldn’t seem to make the connection between the thing in my hand and what we see on the news every day. The thing in my hand seemed more like the Duck Hunt controler than something used by the gangs that prowl around my school every night.

But then Matt gave me his 9 millimeter and all of a sudden everything became a bit more ‘Law and Order’ and a bit less laughing dog.

You guys? That business is intimidating! There was the kick I’d been expecting. And the deafening noise. And the giant holes through the paper target. I lasted all of two rounds with the 9 mm, feeling more Laura Ingalls than Lara Croft.

I’m not sure that the shooting range is going to be my new hang out, but I’m definitely glad I tried it. If for no other reason than now I’ll have something to add to conversations everytime I go back up north to my hometown.

Have you ever fired a gun? Would you?

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  1. lovelornunicorn

    Oh exciting, I'm hoping to get to do this on saturday, it was an Extra for Experts on my list of 26 things before I'm 26 (inspired by you, natch) because I didn't think I'd be able to wrangle it. It's been on my list of things to do forever so I'm pretty excited, but pretty scared too.

  2. What Was I Thinking?

    I've been to a shooting range once & that was enough for me. The experience changed my mind about guns because it really is up to the person to turn the gun on another person… but I still like Canada's strict gun control laws!

    Great post!
    What Was I Thinking?

  3. MP

    Growing up in the country we had guns in the house and dad was forever shooting rabbits and squirrels in the yard. You'd think I would have learned to shoot at some point, but like dear Sarah, no dice. Kudos to you for taking the plunge! I think I'll just live vicariously through you. πŸ™‚

  4. Darcie

    i can't believe you'd never shot a gun before, sar. never with anna's dad? i shot 22's with my dad and brother, but rod was the one who taught us to shoot the "midnight special"…a pearl handled lovely just the right size to carry in your ladylike clutch. you know, for fending off rapists. didn't he teach you about fending off rapists? i <3 rod. πŸ™‚

  5. Luinae

    The idea of firing a gun seriously scares me……..but kudos to you for doing it!

  6. Kortnee

    Absolutely love shooting guns. I favor a .22 because it doesn't kick and I'm a pansy. πŸ˜› But you're right, it's easy to forget that it's a real gun, a gun that could seriously do some damage. They're fun though, as a stress reliever, going down to the range and shooting a couple clips. I'm a rifle girl myself, don't much care for pistols. Weak arms I guess? I don't know.

  7. A. Truscott

    That IS something I'd like to try- although it's a definite possibility I'd end up causing serious accidental harm.

  8. Sexy Sadie

    In my family you now north of Mexico kind of texas cowboys.. for years at age sixteen you were given your first gun, my father has one, granmother, grangrandfather… everybodyu has one but me and my sis.. father said he would never give us a weapon… and to think I love working in a restaurant and stabbing pieces of meat..

  9. Midge

    Ohhh my friend took me once. I was good for the first few rounds and then it started to freak me out a little.

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