Sometimes I do normal things with my days like make coffee and answer phones at work then come home, hang out, go for runs and surf the web. Other times, I use coffee filters at work so I can tie-dye them into butterflies all day, then clock off and go shoot things with my boss. Regardless of what happens, most of the time, I don’t just question these things.
The whole “shooting stuff” idea started while I was looking into travelling in Vietnam. There’s a shooting range at the Cu Chi Tunnels where you can fire AK47s and M16s. However, it’s basically the only (even moderately) expensive thing you can do in the entire country, so my travel-buddy-turned-fortune-teller predicted that I’d one day meet someone who (a) owned a gun (b) had access to a place I could use it and (c) wouldn’t charge me the cost of eating out for a week to fire it. Buying into her prophecy, I decided to hold off on the gun shooting for the time being.
As fate would have it, I would end up meeting people who fulfilled these requirements right in Fort Smith. I thanked the fortune-gods and got ready to shoot (which meant putting on a plaid shirt – because it seemed appropriate gun-apparel, and not really knowing where to go from there)!
Arriving at the range, my buddy unloaded his weapons and got to work pacing out cans at varying distances for me to shoot at. Once the field was set up, he began explaining that shooting is actually a calm activity like yoga and at that point, I interrupted him with a laugh of disbelief. He continued on, however, to saw that firing a gun wasn’t just about ripping off a round of ammunition as fast you possibly could, it was about hitting a target with consistency. Anyone can make a mark 1/1000 times, but it takes skill to hit one 1000/1000 times. THAT was what you wanted. You wanted to get into the zone, line up your shot and hit your targets without missing, no matter how long it took.
I probably took this advise too far to heart, as it took me almost 10minutes to line up my first shot before firing, the scope was being really finicky to align and I really wanted to make sure I actually hit my target. All of my preparation paid off eventually though, and my first set of shots with the 308 Winston and 22 Large all hit their marks! The yoga-zen attitude I had originally scoffed at actually came into play and the whole vibe was about the polar opposite from what Hollywood had led me to believe.
With that, I was ready to start firing at the shooting range-official targets. This, of course, required significantly MORE planning time, but I was again able to hit all the targets!
To celebrate my success, I was granted the high honour of being able to handle the shotgun. Mind you, the only thing I was able to aim at was “exactly the opposite direction of where everyone else is standing”, but as this was still my first time even TOUCHING a gun, it felt like an accomplishment nonetheless.