In some respects, going to a shooting range was exactly what I thought it would be. Dodge Ram trucks and Ford pick-ups in masculine colors lining the parking lot in which there were few open spots. Demonstrably male, palpably macho, undeniably white. Louis C.K. does a hilarious stand-up bit about there not being a varied group of people who, for instance, stand in line at the airport to get a Cinnabon. “There are not all kinds of folks… Just dudes like me or fatter.”A few things did mystify me, however. Spent shells all over the floor like discarded peanut shells in a karaoke bar. Folks from all age groups. Young, college-aged boys and girls home for the holidays with serious demeanors and tight “Juicy” pants. Old, amiable coots. Disturbingly young children watching who weren’t tall enough to see over the counter to watch Uncle Jimmy shoot the targets. And it was as packed as Wal-mart on payday. You have to join the Firing Range & Training Center before you can shoot lethal weapons, so now I have an Associate Membership to Ultimate Defense to slip next to my PADI license in my wallet I will also likely never use again. I debated whether to put on lipstick and smile like I would for my driver’s license photo. You might as well smile, right? And lipstick can never be a bad thing.
I aimed for the head, pretending I was killing Zombies. Only you had to buy the special Zombie Target if you wanted to really pretend you were killing Zombies. Otherwise, you were pretty much aiming at a person. It begs the question of why firing ranges don’t have targets of animals, if what many people claim they want a firearm for is to hunt?
Really? The female zombie has to be hot? And show her zombie nipple? I shot a few rounds from a .22 revolver and several rounds from a .38 revolver. The Range Monitor dude scolded me for shooting the .38 too fast and shooting up the ceiling. Whoopsies. “Dude, it’s my first ray gun!” I swear I can’t go anywhere without being scolded. Getting a complex. Then I shot with a semi-automatic Glock 40. Twice. It scared the crap out of me. It also made me a little sick at my stomach.
Eddie Eagle? Really? For Ages 6 and up. I wonder if they have birthday party facilities?
Some of the Questions I answered (truthfully) before I was allowed to shoot. Do you think anyone answers the question, “Are you a fugitive from justice?” with a “yes” response? The first question was “Do you have any firearms experience?” to which I responded, “No.” I was with someone who knew how to shoot, but that didn’t seem to matter. A more important question would have been, “Can you rock the shit out of these blinged-out headphones for the ultimate ear protection?”
Let’s not forget the ladies, gentlemen. Who wouldn’t be caught toting this precious pink gun bag?
When I traveled through Spain, I insisted on seeing a bullfight. Hearing stories of how brutal they were, how unsporting and blood-thirsty, I wanted to see for myself. We stayed as long as it took me to finish my cerveza on a swelteringly hot afternoon in Serville. I can now say with authority that I do not understand or enjoy blood sports. Or shooting guns.