Monday, December 28, 2009

Did Charles Bronson Ever Wear Heels?

There are certain, fundamental things every woman should know how to do. A woman should know how to change a tire. Or at least have AAA. A woman should have 1 recipe that she can cook in case people come over for dinner. A woman should know how to fake it. She should also know what needs to be done so that she doesn't have to fake it. And a woman should be able to defend herself.

Maybe she learns how to step on a man's insole and kick him in the short and curlies. Maybe she learns how to aim that pepper spray. Perhaps she buys a taser and learns how many volts of electricity it takes to render an assailant unconscious - or at least immobile. Or in my case, she learns how to shoot a gun.

Up until last week, I have had what I consider to be a healthy fear of firearms. I have been around them before. I have held them. I have even on 2 separate occasions actually fired one. But I didn't really understand how they work and I was the type of girl who thought that a revolver in the bedside table might spontaneously go off. For the record, I also think that most appliances and electrically-powered items can spontaneously combust. Clearly I have issues.

Anyways, I decided it was high time to get over my fear and so last week I set up a private lesson at a shooting range to learn how to fire a gun.

Here was the first issue: I arrived at the shooting range from lunch at Capital Grille in the Big City. I was attired in a a Lily Pulitzer shift, Kate Spade Mary Janes with 3-inch heels, and toting a "Merry Christmas to Me" kick ass gold bag from Coach. Most of the folks at the range were in jeans, camouflage or flannel. I stuck out like a sore Princess.

Sartorial misconceptions aside, I explained to my instructor Paul that I was dead serious about learning how guns work and how to fire one and once we got down to brass tacks the fact that I was in a dress in heels was promptly forgotten.

We started out in the classroom. Paul brought in a .22 revolver and a .22 semi-automatic and first he explained the difference in the two to me: you have to pull back on the hammer to chamber each round of ammo in a revolver whereas in a semi-automatic the bullets automatically load after each shot. He felt like we ought to focus on just the revolver for Lesson #1 and so we put the semi aside. I learned what the different parts of the gun were called, how to hold it when loading ammo, how to load ammo, how to pull the trigger, how to hold the gun when shooting, and how to line up my front and rear sights. After about 15 minutes in the classroom, we headed out to range to actually shoot.

I don't want to say that I was a natural...but OMG...I'm kind of a natural. The first 2 shots I missed the target completely but after that, I rarely missed and in fact, I made some pretty damn good shots. Paul was impressed with my accuracy and my groupings.

We went through 2 boxes of ammo - which for the record - is hard. I mean holding your arms out continuously for the better part of 30 minutes is tough and I swear if I didn't do so much upper body strength training with my trainer, I'd have not been able to make it through the second box.

At one point, I was kicking so much ass with the revolver that Paul brought back out the automatic, gave me a crash course in how to load it, and I moved up in the world of firearms.


Seriously. While I went for the sheer purposes of education, I actually enjoyed the experience. So much so, that I am going back today for another lesson (where I hope Paul will kick it up a notch or 7 from the .22 - Lilsaej swears I need to fire a .45) and I am contemplating joining the range and working shooting into my already overcrammed life (although now that I am not training for a half marathon any more I do have some extra time on my hands).

I'll close by saying this: Charles Bronson ain't got nothing on me because he didn't ever have to do this shit in heels.

PS I met The Kaiser and Sumo out for a few pints afterwards. Since there was no one to photograph the epicness of my outfit at the shooting range, The Kaiser made me pose for a photo at the bar to give y'all some idea of just how fucking awesome the whole thing was:

(And I'm grinning so stupidly because I felt like a complete and utter asshat posing like one of Charlie's Angels in the middle of a low key Irish pub not to mention the Kaiser had to adjust the aperture and lens and speed settings on his effing Blackberry took for fucking ever to take the damn picture.)


AndreAnna said...

I love shooting. Not people, not animals, but targets. I have a naturally good aim too, but i prefer rifles over handguns.

I have shot a .22 a few times and though I like the feel of the pistol in my hand, there's something about a rifle that makes me feel all Annie Oakley.

Shelly Overlook said...

I have a good aim, too, though I've been told I use the wrong eye to aim. I use my strong eye rather than my right eye (I'm right handed) but otherwise I can't shoot well. I say whatever works. I haven't shot in years, but it does make you feel powerful, doesn't it? Except that one time I shot a .357 magnum and it knocked me on my ass.

Cat Connor said...

You totally rock.

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