Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Guns & Ammo

I told David I registered for a class.  He failed to ask me what the class was for.

It was Basic Handgun.  David assumed I was taking a quilting class.  

When I returned from class, he asked how class went.  I said fine.  I went inside and hung my target on the wall above the bed on his side.  I have mentioned before that he is suspicious that I am going to try to kill him someday because I like to watch shows like Deadly Women.  I didn't think about it until later, but hanging this above where he sleeps might have seemed a little passive-aggressive.

Regardless of what he thinks I am not planning anything of that sort but I was planning something.  His birthday present.  He mentioned a while back that he would like to take the concealed carry class.  He has also mentioned that he would like to get a new gun.  David is very hard to buy gifts for so when he made the comment about the class the plan went in motion.

Target 1:  A 9mm, not sure the brand, maybe Glock?  I know he said but I was so nervous.  Plus it is excessively hot on the range and I can feel the sweat running down my back and beyond which is quite distracting.  I am shaking some when I load the first 5 bullets as instructed.  I hope he doesn't notice.  If he does, he doesn't mention it.  When I aim the first time and prepare to pull the trigger, my heart is pounding.  I hit right on the number one.  After the first 5, we do 10 more on this circle.  I am still trying to control the shaking.

I don't want to have a a gun in the house without knowing how to use it.  David had one in the past and this always bothered me - the not knowing.  I started looking into the concealed carry class so we could take it together but was concerned about my total lack of knowledge.  So, I decided to take the basic class first, alone.  Yes, I could have asked David to teach me but I have been married long enough to know this is a bad idea.  He will get annoyed.  I will get annoyed.  Best to get a stranger involved.

Same weapon, more distance.  I am a little calmer.  I can do this.  He and I were talking in the classroom about aiming with one eye closed vs. both open.  I tried to keep one eye open for one round this time.  It hit inside the circle.  The one with the 4 on it.

I signed up for a Sunday class.  I had already decided to tell him that it was related to his birthday gift if he asked but that proved unnecessary, since he didn't.  The instructor isn't there when I arrive and seeing just my name on the registration sheet, I ask if they cancelled and didn't notify me. is a private class.  I didn't realize that when I signed up but am happy about this development.  Now I can embarrass myself in relative privacy.

They tell me the instructor is a short Hispanic guy with a goatee.  When he arrives, one of the guys says, "See?  Didn't we describe him accurately?"  They did.  He is probably 6 inches shorter than me.  This leads me to wonder how they described me to the instructor.  "Your student is the overweight, middle-aged Amazon white woman" or something like that.  The instructor asks about my experience and I tell him that I have never even held a real gun.  He doesn't even blink.  

Different weapon, same distance as #2.  This is a Sig Sauer, I am paying better attention now that the initial excitement/nervousness is over.  It is less comfortable in my hand, I feel like my stabilizing hand is in the way, and the trigger is very different.  I fire 5 times (out of 10 again) and stop.  I look at the target.  "What's wrong," he asks?  I ask him, "Am I missing the target altogether?"  He smiles.  "No, you shot through the same hole."  Even though this weapon feels weird, I have better accuracy with it.  Me or the gun?

Class consists of an hour in a classroom learning about the weapons and how the ammunition works.  I learned a lot.  Terms I have heard before (like double-action) are no longer vague concepts, I actually know what they mean now.  Then we spend an hour on the range.  He has 3 weapons but we only fire 2 of them because my giant Amazon hand is too big for the revolver he brought.

Before class, I was talking to another woman outside.  She is there to shoot and with hopes that someone can help her.  She can't pull the slide back on her own 9mm by herself.  Back in the classroom, I asked the instructor if this might be an issue for me.  He looks over, raises his eyebrows and says, "I will be shocked if you can't do it."  He hands me a weapon.  I can do it.

Same gun as #3, more distance.  He tells me to load 15 rounds but I am only able to get 12 in.  I am still a little shaky and I am a LOT sweaty.  His next student has arrived.  I am ready to call it a day.

The class went well and I didn't embarrass myself after all.  I also didn't accidentally discharge the weapon, shoot myself, shoot the instructor or totally miss the target, all real concerns I had - reasonable or not.  I don't know if I will end up going to the range for "fun" in the future - I think that remains to be seen - but I am glad I did this.

The instructor said that based on my performance he felt I would have no problem passing the concealed carry test.

To all of you women out there talking on your cell phones in public restrooms...consider yourself warned.

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