Welcome to the South, here’s your gun
So, I was bored this weekend, and I resolved to do something fun no matter what. I’ll admit, for the last six months of living on my own, far away from anything familiar, I’ve had a very hard time. Weekends are awful because I find it very difficult to go out and do things alone, so I usually stay in. But this time, I was fed up, and I needed to do SOMETHING. Preferably nothing I’d ever done before. I needed an adventure.
To the Internet!
I started to think about what I could do here that I couldn’t do back up north, in an attempt to make my time here seem a little more worthwhile. Then I realized… I’m in the South. What would YOU have thought of?
Now, I’ve never fired a gun before in my life, excluding those that shoot paint and foam. But it’s no secret that they’re a huge part of the culture down here. Especially for defense employees. Just as an example, this is what I pass every day on the way to work:
That’s right. Gold AND guns! Can it get any better? Additionally, there are no fewer than ten – count ’em – TEN gun-related organizations within 20 minutes of my apartment. Not to mention that the headquarters of the NRA and the national firearms museum are a quick hour’s drive north in DC.
So, after a full 6 months living in “the South” I felt obligated to finally spray something full of lead. This something would, of course, be made of paper, but I still think I did my duty. I looked up the closest indoor range and (after a quick bite at Friendly’s) headed over.
My first conversation with the guy behind the desk went something like this:
Hi, what do you need?
Yup, need that.
What do you think?
He then gave me that “Ya ain’t from ’round here are yoouuuu?” look and got all the stuff out. I confidently asked for a SIG 9mm, because I wanted to sound like I knew what I was talking about, but in reality, I only knew it from NCIS.
He then sent me back to the firing line with zero guidance whatsoever. While it wasn’t difficult to figure out, I was nervous as I tried to determine how to load and ready the thing without shooting myself in the foot. (Don’t worry, this was never a possibility). I did however lose my first round because I though I had to pull the action back to cock it. Apparently doing that just causes the first round to fly out and roll under the bench.
I did eventually get the hang of the mechanics of the thing, but – as I expected – accuracy doesn’t come easily. For us video-game snipers, the first feeling of real recoil is an eye-opener. We would die in two seconds if we ever had to defend our delicious brains from the zombie horde. About halfway through I realized I have a tendency to pull to the right. I tried to compensate, but ended up somehow aiming high. See the pictures of my targets below to see how I did as a first-timer.