I had a date this morning with a Magnum.
No, not a bottle of champagne.
No, not Tom Selleck.
Our friend Derek (of the lobster fame) called and invited us (me specifically) to come out and shoot some pistols. Never a girl to say no to something completely ridiculous, off we went.
Now, I'm not a lover of guns. I don't own a gun and I have no desire to own a gun. I think guns are movie props and have no place in the real world. I'm fortunate to have never felt the breeze of a gun being waved in my face. But it so happens I know people who own guns. Canadian people. Male people. And I happen to like and think highly of these Canadian male people, who own and shoot guns. Derek is one of these people.
So when he offered me the opportunity to shoot a pistol, I thought that if I'm going to be against guns I really should see one in action. Donning earmuffs and goggles I entered the highly secure range and found myself in a world that was strangely familiar (haven't we all seen these ranges on cop shows?). Derek showed me the proper procedures for loading, cocking and firing, then handed me a 22 calibre pistol. He sent the target down range. I picked up the pistol, took aim and fired.
Flames and smoke came out of the barrel. It was the old friggin' West. And honestly, it was kind of cool. The casing from the second shot flew back at me and seared itself to my neck, then fell down my shirt. I, being no pansy, kept firing. Once I finished the cartridge, I put the gun down, reached down my top and pulled the casing out of my bra. My new Change bra (see previous post). I don't think this is what my bra was intended for. The 22 calibre is small stuff though, compared to what else Derek had for me to shoot (there is virtually no kick-back -- it's kind of like a water pistol on steroids).
Next was a 9mm pistol, which is what the Vancouver Police force uses. It was actually lighter than the 22 calibre, but packed way more of a wallop. When I cocked it (you all have such dirty minds), it felt substantial (still -- dirty minds) and when I fired it, there was a definite kick-back. And it was insanely satisfying (This is all sounding so carnal, isn't it? Maybe this is part of pistols appeal?). Don't I look insanely satisfied?
Next -- Magnum. It was a Colt 45 and was really quite a beautiful gun. Derek loaded one bullet into the cartridge for me and suggested I just try it, as the kick-back is huge and it might hurt my wrist. If I didn't like it he would give me the 9mm back.
Well this thing was crazy. Shell casings were flying everywhere (I had done up my jacket though so none found the refuge of my cleavage), and the smell of creosote was in the air. It didn't hurt my wrist, it didn't hurt my shoulder. It only hurt my target.
The Boyfriend and I shared this target, as we took turns shooting. But the one bullseye? That's mine. Derek gave me the target and suggested I tape it to our front door and write on it "I Don't Call 911". I think I will let The Boyfriend take it to work. He's trying to get a pay increase and this might have some impact. Besides our neighbour is Vegan, and I like her.
All I can say is that firing a gun is a strange experience. I felt a huge rush of adrenaline and a real thrill. Derek says that he's noticed that women seem to get more of a thrill than men. I think it may be that we've always been seen as the "weaker sex" and that a gun acts as an equalizer. A huge man and a small woman have the same amount of power when they point a gun -- whether at a target or a person. It's the gun that does the talking. And this is what makes them truly dangerous.