Recently a friend and I went to a skeet shooting range because we wanted a safe, real-life alternative to the Nintendo NES game Duck Hunt. As soon as I arrived on the property I knew that things were serious because everyone was walking around with a gun in their hand. I stepped out of the car very carefully and tried not to make any sharp movements or loud noises because I didn’t want to excite the gun-toters and end up as a potential target. As I calmly walked to the front desk, I heard five simultaneous gunshots and my natural reaction was to swiftly collapse my nervous body to the ground—this was a skill that I perfected after living in the hood for eight years. However, I had to remind myself that I wouldn’t get shot as long as I don’t get in the way of fire….I hope. This was a true test of faith!
I approached the front desk and expressed my interest in skeet shooting. The man asked in the most southern accent, “you ever shot a gun before?” I didn’t know if playing DOOM on Windows 95 counted as shooting a gun, so to be safe I said “no.” He gave me these massive bullets and said “wait over there!” I listened because when a man hands you a box of bullets and tells you to do something, you do it! A few minutes later, a different man with a gun in his hand approached me and without making eye contact he said, “follow me.” I wasn’t sure who this guy was, what he wanted or why he wanted me to follow him, but this man had a gun in his hand so I better listen carefully!
My friend and I followed this man into the bushes, not knowing if he wanted to play a good ol’ fashioned game of pin-the-tail-on-the-Geremy–his bullets being the tail, but I stayed brave. Soon, he took my bullets, introduced me to the gun and showed me how to shoot the clay discs.
When I tried to load the first bullet, I accidentally pointed the gun in the instructor’s face, but luckily he was pretty forgiving and he just aimed the gun elsewhere. I guess this happens a lot. My first shot— miss, second shot–miss, third–miss. What was wrong with me?! That’s when he told me–you’re closing the wrong eye! What a rough start! I recovered nicely by hitting 18 out of the 20 discs. I guess all of that practice playing Duck Hunt when I was 7 years old payed off!
When I was done with my ammo I took one of the used shotgun shells to keep in my car so if any ex-convict tries to mess with me, I can show him the shell and say “You see this?! I’m not afraid of going back to jail!!”