Yippee Ki Yay….

by adrianne on July 9th, 2011


There is one thing that Batman and middle class white girls from the suburbs have in common, an aversion to guns. That’s probably why I never shot one until this year. My experience with guns has been previously limited to shooting army men in the yard with a BB gun, laser tag, and feeling really badass playing Time Crisis at the arcade. Love it or hate it we live in a gun obsessed culture and I wanted to experience it first hand by pumping some hot lead into some rich American soil. So on my thirtieth birthday I headed out to the Family Shooting Center in Colorado’s Cherry Creek State Park with a head full of John Mclane based dreams to fire a deadly weapon for the very first time.

My husband and I set up a one hour lesson with 30 minutes dedicated to handguns and 30 minutes to shotguns. I chose a little .22, because I wanted to start with a small caliber weapon and I thought it was kinda wicked looking.

.22 pistol

I know, it’s kinda sexy right?

I must admit when they handed me the black case containing the rented gun I started to worry. They had just placed a box full of dangerous in my hands and it felt like it could turn on me at any moment. My head was spinning as I tried to balance that immense amount of power and responsibility against my general track record of clumsiness and immature behavior. Maybe they should start making those gun cases pink with unicorns on them or something so they don’t feel so menacing.

We put in our ear plugs and followed our instructor out to the range. I really have to give it to the Shooting Center here, they were fantastic. Our instructor was a charming older gentleman who walked us through how to safely load, fire, and aim the weapon. He made what could have been a very intimidating experience comfortable and fun. Although, when a man missing a part of his index finger tells you not to put your fingers in the way of the slide or you’ll lose them you really take that advice to heart.


Mine is the one on the right. The one with fewer holes in it.

He left us to shoot as long as we liked and we did a fair job on our targets. I looked around at the kids with their parents and the couples coming to shoot their assault rifles. It wasn’t what I had expected. I guess I had pictured something more intense and focused. I thought it would be full of serious older sportsmen and the kind of people who might see a Martial Arts and Fireworks Supply store and think to themselves that would be real time saver. But it was much friendlier and relaxed than I anticipated. It was more like playing a round of some kind of really loud awesome golf.

martial arts and fireworks

Surprisingly, martial arts and firework supplies stores are a real thing.
I am guessing the mullet count in that store is high.

We finished our day with our shotgun lesson and some target practice with the clay pigeons. We fired both break and pump action shotguns. For the non-shotgun savvy, a break action shotgun is the kind that hinges in the middle to load the shells like Elmer Fudds gun and pump action shotgun has that really classic action movie pump along the barrel that ejects the used shell in an amazingly satisfying way. We were both pretty hot and tired by this point in the day and I admittedly did not do very well hitting the flying targets. I hit a few in the beginning and then it was a constant feeling of that Nintendo dog laughing at me as the unbroken discs floated toward the ground and that’s when it was time to head home.


Weapon of choice for the zombie apocalypse.

We are surrounded with images of guns in films, video games, and the news. Lots of us form opinions about them, conciously or unconciously, without ever touching them. We fear them because we don’t understand them and we celebrate them because we make up stories about them. The only way you can separate the reality from the myth is to try it yourself with an open mind. Understand the thing itself before you approach it as an issue. A lot of what the Cat-Burglars mission is about is finding that place where myth and reality intermingle and that’s how I felt about this experience. If you’ve never shot before and have the interest I would really recommend doing it. If you do let me know because I really would like to try that 9mm out.


Recommended Links:

I wanted this article to be about my own personal experience, but I feel like there are some other articles that really touch on some similar themes that you might enjoy.

A pretty funny article on gun myths in film.
5 Ridiculous Gun Myths Everyone Believes (Thanks to Movies) | Cracked.com

An interesting look at the American’s relationship with guns and why the U.S. produces more First Person Shooters than Japan.
Extra Credits: The Myth of the Gun | Escapistmagazine.com

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