7. Take a Gun Safety Class

Preface: This post is about my traumatic (at best) foray into the world of weaponry.  I really don’t “get” the handgun thing.  I don’t think that I ever will.  But if you’re someone who hunts animals, please know that I get that.  It has a purpose.  At the end of the season you end up with a freezer stocked with venison sausage and a jar full of jerky.  This post is not about that kind of thing.

Oh man, kittens.

Gun safety.

Last Christmas, Santa gave Mom, Marcus and I gift certificates for a gun safety class at the local gun shop/shooting range (Dad and Billy are practiced shooters).  Since Christmas 2011 is less than a month away, it was definitely time to use them.

So what better way to use part of a long holiday weekend than to cross another goal off the list?

Mom insisted that we get to the location 15 minutes before it opened to make sure that we would all be on-time.  What that really meant is that we had 15 minutes to survey our fellow range-goers.  That also gave me 15 minutes to think about whether or not I was really comfortable knowing that some of these people were legally able to brandish weapons.

Answer: No.  Not comfortable.

This was also the point in time where I realized that for the price of our class fees, I could have had a very nice Coach purse.

Not okay in my book.

As the store opened, we filed into the entry way and our instructor lead us back to our classroom.  We were greeted by PowerPoint slides, plastic guns, bullet casings and donuts.  There’s probably a bad joke in there somewhere, but I just don’t have time to search for it right now.

At the beginning of the class, we were invited to go around the room and share why we were there.

Most answers were mundane.  But one classmate was a real treasure.

You see, Classmate indicated that he was taking the course so that he could open up a gun shop in Peru.

From there, he asked the instructor about Silencers (super-illegal) which somehow disintegrated into a lecture about the black market (also illegal) and people who smoke bath salts.

I think y’all are quickly coming to realize that this place was just not my scene.

Or as some girlfriends of mine would describe it, these people just were not a part of my tribe.

After that extremely surreal bizarre discussion, our instructor segued into telling us all about how shooting on the range is The Greatest stress reliever and how much fun you can have.

Since I don’t feel that it’s appropriate to pass judgement without offering up alternatives, I made a list of things that I find to be effective stress relievers and things that I find to be fantastically fun.


Kat’s Stress Relievers

  • Running
  • Blogging
  • Dancing
  • Yoga
  • Tanning
  • Head massages
  • Tiffany Blue
  • Being surrounded by sterling silver
  • Laying in bed with my hot pack
  • Dealing with my mitts and paws

Things That Kat Finds to be Fantastically Fun

  • Crossing the finish line of a race
  • Triumphing in the kitchen
  • Drinking champagne
  • Traveling
  • Kissing
  • Finding adorable things in my size on the sale rack
  • Visiting active volcanoes
  • Dealing with my mitts and paws

Handguns?  Not relaxing.  Not fun.  I don’t think that something that is specifically designed to take the life of another should be seen as such.

As we were wrapping up one of our bathroom breaks, I came back into the classroom to find our instructor regaling half the class with an engaging tale about someone who owned 60 (!) guns.

Just wow.

And then That Classmate Who Wants To Open A Peruvian Gun Store made his comeback with some questions about when he could gun people down.  Like…if someone was in his house, would it be okay then?  What if they were taking his TV?  What about if he was driving in a car?  What if someone standing 50 feet away wasn’t far enough away?



After three hours of this insanity intermingled with lessons about bullets and the parts of a gun, we headed out to the range.

So there we are, on the private range, being serenaded by the hellishly rhythmic blast of someone wielding an automatic weapon in the next range over.  Mom is busy trying to put her target on the clips upside-down (just in-case she is being attacked by someone who is coming at her upside-down) and I can’t even unload the damn gun, much less unlock it to shoot it.

We got in, we got out.

The finished product.

When I think of the things in this one life of mine that I have been Called to do, I am absolutely positive that this is not it.

Have you ever taken a gun safety class?

Despite the fact that it was horrible (or as Mom described it, The Dementor to Her Soul and a -47 on a scale of 1-10), I would say unequivocally that everyone should attend one.  It’s not information that I will ever use again, but it is information that everyone should have.

What do you find to be relaxing/fantastically fun?

16 responses to “7. Take a Gun Safety Class

  1. OMFG. I cannot believe you did this. I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU DID THIS. Fun for me? Food. Wait – that doesn’t count, does it? Puppy hugs. And husband hugs. And coffee creamer. Basically – all of those things I was thankful for. Trashy TV and good magazines and puppies. NOT GUNS. Please make your blogs be less intense next time. How about pictures of mitts and paws? Yes please.

    • Anne, your comment made me laugh because the 1st three sentences? *Exactly* what I was going to type. Exactly. Love the lists, Kat. I would add, Spa Days, no-chip nail polish, celebrity gossip mags, watching sappy/predictable rom-coms, hugs, foraging for rhinestones in antique shops, and now, seriously, running.

  2. Hahaha! Ironically, my parents went to visit my uncle this weekend and went to a shooting range. You could not pay me enough money to try it. Not only am I terrified of guns, I would also not find that to be a stress reliever at all! Especially if someone was asking questions about gunning people down… yeah… shooting ranges are on my NO list!

  3. Wow! What an experience to have, eh? I’ve never gone shooting, but I think it would be interesting. I don’t like the idea of shooting animals for food, but just to try a gun? To at least know what it’s like to use one I think would be useful. Then again, when I think “useful” I’m thinking “In case the zombie apocalypse actually occurs, and I need to damn well know how to use a gun.” This is how nerds think. I can’t eat anything that I’ve seen in its living state, or is served in a state similar to how it appeared alive (just because it freaks me out), so hunting isn’t really my thing.

  4. Ha, apparently Hannah (above) and I are kindred spirits (read: nerds), because I have thought that it would be useful to be prepared for a zombie apocalypse. However, shooting ranges are not all that common here in Canada, and when I’m in the US, while I would love to try my hand at a shooting range, I’m always afraid I’ll trigger a major security alert when flying home, since invariably I’m the one who gets pulled aside for additional screening, swabbing of the hands, etc. Also, I would probably fit in about as well as you 🙂
    Relaxing: hot bath, massage, facial, cuddling with my kids, lying on the beach
    Fantastically fun: baking, running fast, tequila (the first few shots, anyway), reading, Sephora

  5. I have never taken a class, but I always thought I should… Because I am all about The Worst Case Scenario, what if I ever needed to un-bullet a gun? I wouldn’t know how!

    But, I agree, I probably would not find the class all that relaxing as say, a good spin class or eating whipped cream from a can. 🙂

  6. Oh my. I went to the shooting range once and my palms wouldn’t STOP sweating! I don’t get the whole shooting thing, I was so nervous by the sheer power and kind of icked out by the fact these things can kill living things. You did good though! I don’t think I actually aimed when I went!

  7. I loved this post! I’m with you from top to bottom. Admit it though, now that the class is over, isn’t Mr. Gun-Shop-in-Peru a stress reliever? (At least, telling everyone about him is.)

    And it may not be fantastically fun, but I think it’s a great idea to do something outside of our comfort zones once in a while. E.g. me zip-lining in Costa Rica last March. Glad I’ve done it, not dying to do it again soon.

  8. Kat – I love that you went to a gun safety class! It’s kind of like going to the state fair…there’s a whole lot of crazy (i.e. Peru guy) and you’re the only normal one in the whole crowd. If anything, it makes for a great story!

    P.S. You should try clay shooting. It’s way less intimidating than shooting a hand gun!

  9. I took a gun safety class in HS at my school. Although I totally bailed on the extra range time – freaked out a little. Definitely a few “uh, you get to handle a gun!?” moments. Growing up we had multiple guns in our house for deer hunting and such so I’m glad I took the course but I’m yet to actually shoot a deer – I’m pretty sure my aim completely sucks and I’m afraid to just maim a deer!

  10. Wow! Lady!
    I hate guns, but you are right. It is important to be informed and for shooting not being your thing, you had a pretty great aim!

  11. Father-In-Law

    For what it’s worth – nice shooting! 🙂

  12. Well, you tried it, right?! I’m totally with you that your list of suggested stress relievers and fantastically fun events are definitely more my speed.

  13. Pingback: A Little Bit Curious | Tenaciously Yours,

  14. Haha! Sounds like an experience! And at least you showed that paper man who was boss! I don’t mind shooting, but you’re right… other things are more fun. Kitty cuddles, bike rides, chocolate eating, wine drinking, fall day walks…

  15. Pingback: Enough Already. | Tenaciously Yours,

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