Ok you guys, can you tell me what is the appeal about, say shooting at a gun range? I know I would not like it because loud noises scare me. But I think all the clicking noises associated with guns in the movies, I'd enjoy those. What else is the draw? The skill or thrill of hitting the target? The power? The control over a powerful, deadly machine (like driving a fast car?) The phallic nature of guns? The pre-shooting routines of preparation? The relief you didn't get hurt when you're done, that youGood questions, Viv and I'll do my best to answer them. I appreciate the opportunity.
dealt with a deadly weapon and survived? The recoil and possibly resulting soreness or injury? What makes it fun? I'm honestly curious, and I couldn't answer my kid when she asked me.
Things I like about shooting guns:
- The enjoyment of mastering a challenging skill that not everyone can master
- Knowing that I can protect myself and my family in many circumstances
- The gun culture - the people - the history
- Shooting is FUN
The enjoyment of mastering a challenging skill that not everyone can master
I like to take on challenges that not everyone can do. I love finding a challenge like riding motorcycles, rock climbing, math/computers, reading Shakespeare, driving a car with a manual transmission.
Some of these skills have a macho reputation but they are all skills that *anyone* can apply themselves to and excel at. And there's a huge satisfaction to it. Rock climbing isn't about pulling yourself up by your arms, you mostly use your legs (which puts women on a pretty even footing, especially since they weigh less). There's a huge mental aspect to it, too.
Similarly, shooting isn't about yelling "Yeeha" and jerking the trigger as fast as you can. It's about applying a set of known fundamentals (safety awareness,consistent grip, correct trigger press, breath control (so it's like yoga, just more exciting)). I've seen guys go to the range for the first time, sure that their manliness will make them instant experts and end up looking like a goof. Then a woman goes, works with a coach and is quickly a very good shot.
Shooting is challenging but it's a challenge that gives no advantages to men or young/strong people. People of either sex can enjoy shooting and get better, well into old age. And I know it's significantly less dangerous than the commute to work.
Knowing that I can protect myself and my family in many circumstances
I won't go into this too much. There was a night when I was in Reno at 2 AM with my family and there were a few young creeps outside talking about breaking into a room. They didn't know that I was wide awake behind our door with a .45 loaded with state of the art hollow points.
Fortunately, they left to get more intoxicants and we quickly loaded up the car and bugged out. A Hispanic family across the parking lot had the same idea and we watched out for each other. But since that night, self defense with guns has gone from something theoretical to something I will never, ever give up.
The gun culture - the people - the history
Gun culture in the US is nothing like the stereotype. Many women who are friends of mine are avid shooters. I've gone shooting with Black Folks, Asian folks and gay folks. Fritz and I are in the "straight but not narrow" community and were safety helpers for a local Pink Pistols group around 1999, along with a few other friends (Wendell, Boyd).
You know all the faux controversy about women (shudder) competing with men in sports? In 2017? I wrote another blog post about the fact that the first woman to compete in the NRA National Matches did so in 1906. Women have competed in shooting and been welcomed there ever since. I collect old NRA magazines going back to the 1930s and there are many, many photos of women on shooting teams or being taught to shoot by their families, from the 1930s until now. The NRA celebrates women's success in shooting. Enthusiastically. Name another sport both sexes participate in that does.
The first woman elected to the NRA board of directors was elected around 1950. FDR was an NRA supporter. JFK was an NRA life member.
Getting started as a shooter in New York would have been hard. Everyplace else that I've lived, there has been a friendly, active gun community.
Shooting is FUN
In the end, casually shooting at paper or a tin can is a very enjoyable, relaxing activity.