Make these ads go away.
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 30

Thread: Shooting Gallery

  1. #1
    Premium Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    9,971
    Local Date
    12-13-2019
    Local Time
    02:41 AM

    Shooting Gallery

    I went to a shooting gallery last week. It's my first time shooting a gun since my time in the Navy back in 1974.

    It was an interesting experience. What I realized after the first shot was that shooting a firearm is different than any other similar type of hobby I've ever been involved in. There's pulling the trigger and looking for the results, period. It isn't like archery or any other sport using a projectile where I can watch the unfolding of my action to trace the results. If I throw a javelin, launch an arrow, throw a football or baseball, shoot a basketball, or shoot a hockey puck, I get to watch the action unfold to the results. Not so with shooting a gun. Even watching violent video games, the animation usually shows the path of the bullet in some way, but that's not the reality of it.

    As I'm aging and searching for something to do with my time I thought I'd give this a look as a hobby.

    Perhaps my perspective is only that of a newbie and there is more to the gratification of shooting guns? For those who are more experienced, I'd like your perspective or advice.
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”
    Voltaire

    I have only one thing to do and that's
    Be the wave that I am and then
    Sink back into the ocean

    Fiona Apple

  2. #2
    Senior Member Saint_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    The High Rockies
    Posts
    3,233
    Local Date
    12-13-2019
    Local Time
    12:41 AM

    Re: Shooting Gallery

    I went out shooting about a year ago as well. I grew up with guns and owned many at one point. I found that I was as good a shot as I ever was...then I almost shot my foot off.

    I guess shooting guns for fun would be a good hobby for some. Not me, though. I hate guns.

    I used to own guns. I had a Marlin Model 60 (.22 with a 16 shot barrel feed), a Ruger 10/22, and a 9mm Luger. I mostly liked to go out and hunt beer cans with my friends. Like all teens, I loved the feeling of power firing a gun gave me.

    Then came a day when I was 17 years old. The age well-known for stupidity and irresponsible behavior. My friends and I had been drinking all day. That was our first mistake. In those days the drinking age in New Mexico was old enough to see over the dashboard, operate the pedals, know the name of a beer at the drive up window and have cash that was green.

    Like all western children, we had taken hunter’s safety when we were 12 and had pretty much grown up with a gun in our hands. Of course, when you are seventeen, twelve is a million years ago. So we all got our .22s and headed out to Chokecherry canyon, a desolate badlands-type landscape. We strolled along, drinking and talking, but not seeing anything worth shooting other than some old, rusted out and abandoned cars. So we decided to split up.

    That was our second mistake. The third mistake was to circle in opposite directions.

    As my best friend and I trudged to the top of a steep hill, our heads popped over the crest. At that second, a bullet zinged off the top of the hill, throwing dirt on our faces and whizzing right past my ear close enough to ruffle my hair. We hit the dirt, then crawled to the brink and looked over. We were surprised to see our other friends in a ravine on the other side, laughing and hollering.

    Embarrassed and frightened, my friend and I stood up and yelled to them, “You almost killed us, you idiots!” (Actually, we used much more colorful language.) This was replied to by a torrent of catcalls and dispersions concerning the character and quality of our family line, with hints as towards the lack of courage in our ancestors.

    Being a teenager, naturally my friend and I were jealous of honor and quick in quarrel. We yelled back, “Oh yeah? Let’s see how you like it!” We raised our rifles and waited for a second while our friends scrambled behind a rather large boulder with a steep dirt hill behind it. Once they were safely under cover, we opened fire with both guns, stitching the dirt all around the boulder while our friends screamed in fear.

    After we stopped, barrels smoking, we laughed hilariously as they crawled out from behind the boulder cursing us loudly. They yelled, “You idiots! We shot at you on accident, but you shot at us on purpose.” We took that as our cue to return the insinuations as to their DNA and family tree.

    After that, things began to get really crazy. We were shooting and running everywhere. Naturally, we were just shooting to frighten and calls of “If you kill me, my mother will kill you!” were tossed back and forth. I remember at one point, I was hiding behind a tree that was four sizes too small to hide me, while I listened to bullets hitting the other side with sharp “Whack Whack” noises.

    As I peered around the tree, I saw my friend running from cover to another, better position. So I took aim at his heels and gave him the “Dance, stranger!” treatment. Unfortunately, at that point one of the bullets ricocheted off a rock and ran up his forearm, not breaking the skin, but leaving a arrow-straight burn trail.

    We decided that we’d had enough fun for that afternoon, but the day wasn’t over.

    Late that night we had still been drinking, since that was our hobby in high school in the seventies. We were driving out in the hills looking for a keg since they went on pretty much continually all weekend long. We saw a truck coming the other direction, loaded with guys our age, so we flagged them down to ask if they had any info.

    I not quite sure who started what after that. I have a feeling that it was my best friend who was known for a big mouth and a quick temper. But at any rate, within minutes the seven of them and the five of us were engaged in a full blown, knock-down, drag-out street brawl. I was up against a guy my size, but he no stomach for it by the look on his face. A couple of quick punches to the nose and a kick to the stomach sent him packing.

    I turned around to see how my friends were fairing. In the dim light, it was hard to tell who was who, but I recognized my best friend’s brother, a hulking Navajo kid, stalking after another quickly retreating kid twenty yards down the road. He seemed oblivious to another kid on his back pummeling his head and shoulders.

    I glanced to my right and saw my best friend had taken a hit. He was on the ground, in a fetal position and didn’t seem to be breathing. As I watched, the kid who was fighting him drew back his foot and gave my friend a brutal, vicious kick to the face. My friend’s head snapped back to a terrifying, unnatural angle. He lay motionless. I was convinced that his neck had been broken.

    In my intoxicated state, a thought swam into my mind, insistent. “They killed my friend. Now I have to kill them.” I felt very calm. This was one of the two times in my life where I thought I was a little insane. I walked over to the car, opened the trunk and pulled out the Marlin. I turned and walked straight to the guy who had killed my friend and drew up the rifle to eye-level. At three yards, with a semi-automatic, there was no way I could miss.

    Terrified, He threw up his arms a screamed, “Don’t shoot, man!” I felt my finger tightening on the trigger. At the last second, I heard a small voice in my head, “Don’t kill him.” Call it sanity, conscience, God, or just sobriety, I pulled off a little to the left and fired. At the sound of the shot, everyone stopped fighting. The boy stood there for a second, watching me looking down the barrel at him, then took off running for his truck followed closely by his friends.

    As they desperately tried to start the truck, I walked around the truck blasting headlights, tailgate, mirrors, everything except the tires. (I guess I wanted them to leave.)
    Finally they drove off at a pretty incredible rate and I dropped the gun to my side.

    I turned, sick at heart, not wanting to see my best friend lying in the dirt. “What would I tell his mother?” I thought. Imagine my shock and amazement as my friend got up, rubbing his neck and dusting himself off! I heard him say, “Sheesh! I thought you were going to kill those guys!”

    So I had almost gunned down seven men in cold blood…for nothing.

    The next day, I decided that I was not responsible enough or intelligent enough to own a weapon. I wanted nothing to do with guns again. It seemed to me that situations like that could all too easily be repeated in the future.

    So a friend of mine who was kind of stupid told me he would buy all the guns from me. He came over that day with the cash, because, shaken as I was, right now wasn’t soon enough to get rid of them. I debated selling them to him, because he was known to be a complete idiot. But what the Hell, if he did something stupid, that wasn’t my fault, was it? (So I thought in those days.)

    I gave him the Ruger first, but I took out the clip before I gave it to him. He played with the rifle for a while. Then he said, “Give me the clip.” I replied, “No.” Naturally he asked, “Why not?” I told him, “Because you’ll do something stupid with it.” I was kind of blunt and tactless in those days. Of course, I was actually the one being stupid for considering selling it to him in the first place, but teenagers don’t think that way. He kept begging and pleading, though, and I finally gave in telling him, “This clip is loaded, you can look at it, but don’t put it in the gun.”

    So fast that, to this day, I still can hardly believe it, he rammed the clip into the gun, pulled back the bolt and released it. Since his finger was on the trigger, the gun went off immediately. Luckily, the Good Lord watches over fools and children. The gun was pointed at the ground. Unfortunately, the bullet ricocheted off the hardwood floor and passed through the wall into the next apartment. The family wasn’t home, but I’m pretty sure that their cat lost one of his nine lives.

    So what’s my point? It’s this: gun safety has come a long way. We have trigger locks, gun safes, and ammo cases. But how can you design a gun that is “stupidity-proof?”
    Like alcohol, you can pass all the laws you want, but anyone who wants a gun will get their hands on one if they are available. Anyone: criminals, citizens, and children.

    You can say that everyone should have training, but I had it and I completely forgot it in the passion of the moment. Worse yet, there will always be intense, emotional situations in people’s lives. Guns have a terrible tendency to make those temporary situations worse.

    I’m writing this post today, not because I wanted to expand on Ahso's gun thread, but because I got the word that yesterday that my favorite cousin tried to commit suicide.

    He is in the hospital with a shattered jaw. Amazingly, the bullet went out his mouth. His face is disfigured, but he didn’t lose any teeth and I know that the doctors can work miracles with plastic surgery these days. He has been diagnosed as manic-depressive, so now he will get help and medication and perhaps lead a normal life. He wanted to kill himself because of terrible financial problems, something I can relate to intimately.

    There was once a time when I felt the same way. I had lost everything, was homeless, alone, and just out of jail. What saved me was my faith, (I believe suicides go to Hell) and the fact that I didn’t have a gun that night. The next day I felt better. You will argue that my cousin could still have found a way to kill himself without a gun, but he didn’t. He used a gun.

    Guns always seem to be everyone’s favorite instant solution to a temporary problem.

    I haven’t owned a gun since that day. My wife doesn’t like them and I have granddaughters now, so I won’t be buying a gun anytime soon. I’ve lived an adventurous and dangerous life and gotten along fine without them. I’ve faced down vicious gangsters and crazed, delusional Vietnam veterans. I’ve had live rounds put in my mailbox from the local gangs as a message for throwing their soldiers out of school. I’ve had bullets whistle by my head when I was out cutting firewood. I’ve had strangers shoot at me from across lakes.

    But I’ve been fine, I’ve never needed a gun, and it looks like I never will. It’s a personal choice, and I won’t deny others their right to own a gun, but I just can’t buy that a gun is a “necessity” of life.

    That just hasn’t been my experience.

    It just seems to me that guns cause more problems for people than they solve. "Shooting Gallery" indeed...that pretty much describes our whole country.

  3. #3
    Supporting Member spot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Brigstow
    Posts
    36,078
    Local Date
    12-13-2019
    Local Time
    07:41 AM

    Re: Shooting Gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahso! View Post
    For those who are more experienced, I'd like your perspective or advice.
    You need to load your magazine with tracer rounds.
    Nullius in verba|||||||||||
    Who has a spare two minutes to play in this month's FG Trivia game!

    The watch of your vision has become reasonable today.

    England's troubles will increase until the bishops open Joanna Southcott's box.
    It’s normal. You must provoke. You must insult the belief of all monotheists. You must make fun of the belief of all monotheists.
    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
    Write that word in the blood

  4. #4
    Premium Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    9,971
    Local Date
    12-13-2019
    Local Time
    02:41 AM

    Re: Shooting Gallery

    I went back today to see if I would enjoy the experience more. I did, though not all that much more. I haven't experienced any sense of power as Saint described. I tried a different model. I shot a Glock 43x my first visit and a Smith & Wesson 380 today. I like the 380 more.
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”
    Voltaire

    I have only one thing to do and that's
    Be the wave that I am and then
    Sink back into the ocean

    Fiona Apple

  5. #5
    Proudly humble LarsMac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    usually on the road to somewhere.
    Posts
    10,834
    Local Date
    12-13-2019
    Local Time
    12:41 AM

    Re: Shooting Gallery

    I grew up with guns. My uncle was an NRA Gun Safety Instructor.
    I've long enjoyed target shooting.
    I still have several guns, but they have been in storage for a long time.
    The problem these days with going to a range to shoot is that you have to hang out with a lot of Gun Nuts.
    The ranges tend to be overrun with them, lately. They tend to be undisciplined, and erratic.
    "The trouble with people isn't that they don't know, but that they know so much that ain't so." - Will Rogers
    "Truth isn't Truth" - Rudy Giuliani

  6. #6
    Premium Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    9,971
    Local Date
    12-13-2019
    Local Time
    02:41 AM

    Re: Shooting Gallery

    I've been impressed so far with everyone I've interacted with. In fact, I've been surprised by that. No MAGA hat-wearing people. Staff at the gallery have been friendly and professional.
    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”
    Voltaire

    I have only one thing to do and that's
    Be the wave that I am and then
    Sink back into the ocean

    Fiona Apple

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bryn Mawr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    London
    Posts
    15,532
    Local Date
    12-13-2019
    Local Time
    07:41 AM

    Re: Shooting Gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    You need to load your magazine with tracer rounds.
    One in twenty used to be the preferred ratio as I recall:-)

  8. #8
    Proudly humble LarsMac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    usually on the road to somewhere.
    Posts
    10,834
    Local Date
    12-13-2019
    Local Time
    12:41 AM

    Re: Shooting Gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    You need to load your magazine with tracer rounds.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bryn Mawr View Post
    One in twenty used to be the preferred ratio as I recall:-)
    Bad idea. In Colorado, Several rather severe forest fires have been started by people doing that.
    "The trouble with people isn't that they don't know, but that they know so much that ain't so." - Will Rogers
    "Truth isn't Truth" - Rudy Giuliani

  9. #9
    Proudly humble LarsMac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    usually on the road to somewhere.
    Posts
    10,834
    Local Date
    12-13-2019
    Local Time
    12:41 AM

    Re: Shooting Gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahso! View Post
    I've been impressed so far with everyone I've interacted with. In fact, I've been surprised by that. No MAGA hat-wearing people. Staff at the gallery have been friendly and professional.
    That is good news. We have not been so lucky in the West.
    "The trouble with people isn't that they don't know, but that they know so much that ain't so." - Will Rogers
    "Truth isn't Truth" - Rudy Giuliani

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bryn Mawr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    London
    Posts
    15,532
    Local Date
    12-13-2019
    Local Time
    07:41 AM

    Re: Shooting Gallery

    Register to remove this ad.
    Quote Originally Posted by LarsMac View Post
    Bad idea. In Colorado, Several rather severe forest fires have been started by people doing that.
    With apologies, I was being facetious - I am no shooter and should not be passing comment.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts