What my friend and I thought was just an intense, all-day educational class in preparation for later classes turned out to be THE class for receiving your concealed carry permit. A fact that didn't really register until about 20 minutes before class began.
There were tests. Written by hand and by bullets. Shit got real, y'all.
So for the first half of the day, my friend and I sat in a trailer with some grandpas and watched slow motion gun porn.
|This is exactly how I thought it would look.|
I know this because he showed me the bullet hole and a large part of his hairy, white groin in the parking lot during our snack break.
Already getting my money's worth!
Unfortunately there was no polite way to decline Tea Party Tom's offer to dine with him at Burger King when it came time for lunch. Over our fries he loudly regaled us and Burger Kingdom about the gruesome details of his accident, how he wants to get a carry permit because he's terrified of the world around him and other general cantankerous yelling. I'm not sure, but eating a fast food hamburger together might mean we're common law married according to the Tea Party.
I really couldn't stuff down that hamburger fast enough so I could go shoot. And not think about Tea Party Tom's thigh anymore...
|Well, at least I'm consistently inaccurate.|
The class was great not only so I could get my learn on but also for the gun porn and entire day of being immersed in all the suggestive firearm vocabulary used. I think it does something to your brain (and your yes yes parts) to repeatedly hear about unloading, cocking, hammer, single action, double action, 'a hot casing jammed in the magazine lips' (I swear to gawd there was a slide that said that) and my favorite - 'tap, rack, bang.' It's like this hobby was made just for me!
In the end I was right about myself. Once I got past the physical terror and mind fuckery, I really really enjoyed shooting. I've been on Youtube a lot watching other people shoot guns because I can't wait to do it again. Maybe it's the Texan in me. I'm like a creepy gun voyeur now.
WARNING: serious discussion about feelings ahead!
What I wasn't expecting was all all the crazy "emotion" things that I started to "feel" in my "emotion area" after my classes. It was like therapy with gunpowder. It's not about just shootin shit cuz shootin shit is cool - that's the fun part, the sport part. Instead it was about - and I hate myself for saying this - the... *cringe* ...power.
|My new (rented) friend, a .40 Sig Sauer that I took my test with.|
Even though it seems cliche that a lady person picks up a gun and immediately feels the power of Thor's mighty hammer, there was a twinge of truth to that. It certainly didn't feel cliched when I had the gun in my hand and was destroying Mountain Dew bottles on the practice range. (DO THE DEW! Or at least the dirt all around it...) But that's just the fun part.
There's something affirming about the amount of control you must exhibit to create an explosion in your hands and manage it in a way that is safe and graceful. The amount of body awareness necessary to shoot well feels powerful. Kinda like being good at playing the flute or tap dancing if those were skills you could use when the zombie apocalypse comes.
After my lessons I realized that my fear of handguns had become normal for me. And not just the fear of guns themselves, but the fear of being powerless and vulnerable felt normal. So normal that I didn't even recognize it as existing in a state of 'less than' anymore, but as a permanent character flaw that must be overcome with grit, verve, meditative vagina pilates and gobs of Diorshow mascara. That's usually how I usually psyche myself up - makeup and a stern talking to.
|Shiny things makes me feel nice.|
Maybe it isn't feeling powerful at all; maybe it's just about feeling a little more capable now. Knowing I conquered a fear gives me more confidence for other endeavors without needing a king's ransom of designer mascara. I'm not sure where my fear actually came from - possibly just being put in a new situation is enough to send me head first into a therapeutic bag of Sour Patch Kids.
I did have a (somewhat distant) family member killed by a gun when I was younger so maybe that affected me more than I realized. Oddly enough Mr. Instructor Man's name was the same as that family member. Whhaaaat...??!!! The circle is complete!
But all this talk of power and confidence hasn't cured me of all my irrational fears and anxieties. It took me two days to work up the nerve to call a range after class to ask them about their hours. TWO DAYS. Just because I'm the #1 download on ManicuresAndMagnums.com hasn't solved all my problems like talking to strangers on the phone and working the cruise control on my car.
When you type that out it seems a lot more insane than when it's just hanging out in your head... I should probably start tackling those before my next birthday.
So even if no one reading this super long gif-tastic memoir gives a shit about guns, I hope your fortune cookie takeaway is how important it is to challenge your sense of normalcy. There's only so far meditative vagina pilates can get you, y'all!
|A friendly reminder to my dinner guests that they BETTER FUCKING LIKE MY FOOD.|
Don't call. I'm not at that level yet.
Maybe we'll just develop a batcall that is a big sriracha bottle in the sky.