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Ann Beaudet


10 Things I Learned From Shooting a Gun

My youngest son asked me to take him to the gun range for this birthday and shoot a gun with him. He had never been before and neither had I.  

The gun range was not on my bucket list, but since it was my youngest son's big day, I said okay let's make a party of it.  We invited the whole family.

10 Things I Learned From Shooting a Gun

    1. As a fiction author you have to try various experiences

    Doing something that scared me  like firing a 45 calibre hand gun gave me a lot of kinesthetic knowledge about the feel of a loaded gun in my hand.  Crime novel, here I come.

    2. It unlocks your prison of fear

    There is a quote that says ' if we only do things that please us and don't frighten us, we remain prisoners in gardens of our own making'

    There is an exhilarating feeling when you overcome fear and challenge yourself to do what you don't want to do. And pull the trigger.

    3. Shooting A Gun invokes all of the senses

    It is loud! It sounds like  50 4x8 sheets of playwood falling down beside you when you fire the gun. You need ear plugs.  Trust me.  I took my ear plugs off too soon.

    You may get hit by an empty shell kicking back so must wear goggles.

    It smells like sulphur in the range

    It takes like sulphur and iron in the range

    Your eyes fixate on the target and aim for the bullseye

    The gun is heavy

    Your thumb must not go behind the magazine compartment at the back as the mechanism kicks back when you fire and will hurt your thumb

    4. Sensory Overload

    You feel the power of the instrument in your hand in a visceral way.  This item has been used to kill, mame, threaten, protect, defend. 

    All the movies you've seen, books you've read now take on a new reality.  You associate the feeling of shooting with the stories and feel a bigger impact from the story now.

    You can write your own story about it now.

    5. You feel the weight of a gun both physically and emotionally

    The 45 was the biggest and heaviest handgun they had at the range.  The attendant double checked that I wanted to shoot the largest, heaviest, handgun, as they had smaller ones.  I wanted to have the biggest challenge and shoot the 45 calibre.  You feel heightened fear, awe, and disgust all at the same time when you shoot  the weapon.  You have a present moment, now is all that matters sensatio and a heightened sense of attention.

    6. Go Big or Go Home

    Since this was likely my first and last time going a gun range, I wanted to try the big gun.

    7. Doing traditionally ‘guy things’ is important for women and Vica Versa

    The line-up outside the gun range was as long as a 50 percent off sale at Macy's but it was 99 percent guys instead of 99 percent women.  

    Guys feel a need to protect and women feel a need to be protected.  There I said it.  I felt the burden of that. It helps you grow as a person to feel empathy for someone else's experience.

    I saw what it was like to feel like a protector, a first responder, with good intent, and what the weapon of choice also might be for someone with bad intent also.

    8. The last skillset a middle aged woman is expected to have is ‘sharpshooter’ ‘crackshot’ at the gun range.

    The attendant was wary of a woman shooting their largest and heaviest handgun but I hit the target multiple times and didn't cause anything untoward to happen.  I like  going way out of my comfort zone and pleasantly surprising myself and others.

    9. This experience may come in handy in the future

    One thing I've learned is everything happens for a reason.  Knowledge is always useful to you at some later time ehen you least expect it.  You will fingd your familiarity with a topic will help you relate to and understand people better.

    10. Canada Banned Handguns 6 Months After I visited the range

    They say the one regret of the dying is they wish they had taken more risks and seized more opportunities.  I don't want to be on my deathbed  regretting not spending time with my son doing sonething he wanted to do on his birthday.  And as it turned out I seized the opportunity before the ban.

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