I Feel the Power

I found out last weekend that I can shoot a Glock with deadly aim.

Each month, my local Sisters in Crime group gets together and focuses on some aspect of writing, publishing, researching, etc.  This month’s education was a trip to a local firing range.  About fifteen of us showed up, donned safety goggles and headphones, put some serious steel between our hands, and shot at paper targets.  It was an incredibly exhilarating event!

We spent about an hour in a classroom with the guy who would be our instructor on the range as he answered our numerous questions about guns, suppressors, and whether or not a gun could be altered after it was used to kill someone, to throw police off the suspect.  The instructor was quite good-natured about it, but I’m certain we blew his mind a little . . . and probably freaked him out even more.

After our Q&A session – which, honestly could’ve lasted for at least another hour, so numerous were our questions – we headed to the range.  The moment we walked in the door, the scent of fired gunpowder washed over me.  I’ve always loved the smell of a lit match, or those little pop gun strips of paper, so being on that shooting range was like being in olfactory heaven.

The instructor laid out a variety of hand guns and ammo on three separate lanes.  He told us we’d get to shoot a couple rounds from one gun, then we could to try the different ones on the other lanes.  I had shot an AK-47 once (on a Michigan Police Department’s firing range when I was in my twenties), but never a hand gun, and I hoped I wouldn’t end up as bruised as I was after firing the AK-47.

The three guns I tried were a Glock, a .45, and a revolver.  Of the three, the Glock was my favorite.  I’m not sure what calibre of ammo was used in it, but the gun itself was light enough, and didn’t have as big a recoil as the other two.  With the Glock, I actually shot my target in the head 3 times, the heart twice, and several of the other shots wound up in the bullseye of the target.  With the .45 and the revolver, I may have hit the body of my target once or twice, but only after I’d lowered my aim by several inches, to compensate for the weapons’ recoil.  They were also much heavier and didn’t feel as “right” in my hands as the Glock.

Now, I’m not a big fan of guns.  I don’t own one, and I don’t want to own one.  I don’t like that hunters go out and kill innocent animals for the sport of it.  It’s less offensive to me if they at least eat what they’ve shot, but not by much.  However, I’ve always enjoyed arcade games where you have the gun for a controller and you have to shoot things on the screen.  I prefer the carnival shooting range as opposed to a war scene, but a war game will do in a pinch.

Even with my aversion to guns, when I held each one in my hand, and filled the clips (or the cylinder in the revolver’s case), then lifted my hands up, aimed and shot, there was a part of me that came alive.  That thrilled at the feel of such power in my hands. Feeling each bullet fire off, smelling the gun powder, watching the empty casing shoot out of the chamber, even right down to removing the clip from the gun and reloading – all of it tapped into a part of me that doesn’t get out much; that aggressiveness that enjoys punching a punching bag to release stress.

I think that’s something that many of us don’t tap into, but that we need to every once in a while.  Aggression is a part of all of our psyches, and for me to keep it locked down deep inside just seems wrong somehow.  I doubt I could ever shoot at a living thing (unless my life depended on it . . . maybe), but to shoot at a paper target, or even an inanimate object?  Where do I sign up!

Oh yeah, and it’ll be great research for my mystery writing.  Yeah, that’s why I did it.  😉

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dana
    May 13, 2011 @ 09:38:37

    and as someone who was watching you while you were firing, I’m here to tell you that it was apparent how you were feeling and GREAT fun to watch! You looked tough as nails and competent.

    Reply

  2. Craig
    May 13, 2011 @ 10:40:54

    Well, I know I could shoot someone in a pinch to defend myself or my family. I even have scenarios in my mind about night-time burglars where I get at my sword. That’s something a burglar probably wouldn’t expect, getting caught and having their forearm hacked off.

    Yeah… I have a dark side.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      May 13, 2011 @ 10:45:03

      The instructor at the range said he’d rather face someone with a gun over a blade . . . too easy to get cut. So, I’m guessing you’re right about a burglar not expecting the sword.

      Reply

  3. E. B. Davis
    May 13, 2011 @ 12:28:53

    I’ve been to a shooting range in Warrenton, VA and felt afraid. It wasn’t the guns, the smell, the sound or the power. It was the sight of the other shooters. I swear there were FBI, CIA, foreign nationals, professional hitmen, SS, ex-military types or mercenaries, just whackos and who knows what, and they were all very courteous. I had the feeling though, that once outside the range, there were some there from opposing sides. Getting caught in the parking lot crossfire was good reason not to return.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      May 13, 2011 @ 12:35:52

      Yikes! Yeah, I could see how that would be jarring, & I might not have been so keen on it had I been in your shoes either. I’d suggest driving into WV next time, but you might meet people there who are right out of Deliverance. *shudder*

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

  4. Kaye George
    May 13, 2011 @ 15:55:06

    Awesome post, Alyx! What fun!

    Reply

  5. Linda Leszczuk
    May 14, 2011 @ 08:42:03

    Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m green with envy. The closest I’ve come to a real shooting range was at Boy Scout camp (I was a Cubmaster) and a couple trips to an outdoor range with targets on bales of hay. I’m a fair shot with a .22 rifle and a .38 revolver but would love to try a Glock (the weapon of choice for the main character in my current WIP).

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      May 14, 2011 @ 12:50:37

      Oh, then you DEFINITELY need to head to your local firing range & try one out. Your WIP would come alive a little bit more each time your protagonist fires the weapon.

      Thanks for visiting, Linda!

      Reply

  6. Ellis Vidler
    May 18, 2011 @ 02:28:55

    I used to do target shooting with a .22 hand gun and had fun with it. But that’s as far as I want to go. No hunting for me, thanks. Tin cans make nice, satisfying targets with the proper zing. Fun post, Alyx.

    Reply

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