Sunday, May 18, 2014

5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Shooting, A Humorous Look.

The shooting sports are awesome. I have years of experience that has allowed me to build a strong skill set and learn from my mistakes.  The newbies who are joining up in droves today though don't have the luxury of experience .  Here are some of the things I wish I had known when I first started shooting.
Me in my younger days trying to look cool, or something.

1.The shooting world is full of self described experts and crappy advice

     This is a big one. Every time I walk into the gun store there is some fat old guy (no offense to fat old guys) spraying advice all over the room like blood in a Quentin Tarantino movie.  It hits you in the face and drips down the walls, you try to towel it off but the damn blood (I mean advice) just doesn't stop.  And this advice isn't a
polite suggestion, it is more of a sledgehammer of righteousness to the pelvic area.  If someone you barely know (or know well I suppose) demands that you buy a specific caliber, brand, and model of gun, plug your ears with anything handy.  Don't use your fingers though because you'll need your hands to shield yourself from the bs.   There is no one-size-fits-all to buying a gun or gun accessories and the helpful mentors know it.  Every person's hands, physical capabilities,  and specific needs, differ.  A gun is like a hiking boot, you have to try them on first.

2. Everything is expensive. You are never truly done buying stuff.

   I am just shy of 30. When I was a teenager buying ammo was cheap and easy but times have changed.  With the current panic (thanks Obama) even the little 22LR has increased in price like Apple stock.  What was once less than ten dollars for 500 bullets is now twenty on a good day, much much much (one more) much more pricey if purchased on a website like Backpage.  There are other things to buy as well.  Magazines, the thing that holds the bullets, don't you dare call it a clip on the internet or it will send Satan to your house to eat your fingers off and your tongue out. Satan will also use your bathroom and "forget" to flush.  You'll be buying holsters, belts, sights, cleaning kits, and tactical lights.  Notice how all of those are plural?  That is because you will never be truly happy with your gear and will be forever on a quest to find perfection.  Hint:  it won't happen.  Oh and I almost forgot, you will buy a gun only to get addicted and want more. Plan on buying a safe, only to buy a bigger safe soon thereafter. 

3. It will consume a ton of your time
     So, you have a lot of new gear, a shiny new gun, and that super lethal silver-bullet Unicorn Slayer ammo that some fat guy (see above) forced you to buy.  Now what?  Well, now you need to practice.  It starts off easy enough with some plinking sessions on your uncles back 40 or out in the desert.  Then, you start going to the range because that's where your buddies go.  You are getting better but only while standing still and shooting at a bright orange target at twenty feet.  Being the budding bad ass you are you sign up for a defensive shooting class, then another, then another.  You will learn tons and love it but keep in mind those skills will be lost almost as quickly as you learned them unless you go out and do it all the time.  Think of it this way: You'll be a Casanova if you keep the training level up but will become a nerdy virgin if you don't.  It is like a super cruel Groundhog Day featuring you.  Oh, and don't get me started on how much time you will spend at the gun store looking for needed ammo and avoiding that fat guy.

4. People will totally love you, and hate you.
     The fraternity of gun lovers is a pretty tight-knit  group of folks and we will open our doors, ranges, and arms to you.  I mean it, you buy your first gun and we will hug the crap out of you.  I personally carry confetti in my pockets just in case I run into you at that magical moment.  On the other hand, any anti gun person who finds out will take your choice as a personal failure on their part and try everything (including crying) to convert you back.  It doesn't matter if it's your wife, aunt, neighbor, co-worker or mailman.  They will find you and they will attempt to make you feel guilty for wanting to have fun and god forbid protect yourself.  You will become Hitler and Stalin's love child in their eyes so be prepared.  Shoot down (see what I did there?) the lies and insults with kindness and facts (like buying a gun didn't make you horny for death and mayhem) and smile.  There is not much else you can do.

5. It is totally worth it!
     Don't let anything I've written above scare you away.  Shooting is friggin' awesome and it will fill you with a sense of accomplishment and self-reliance.  With time you'll know that you are no longer at the mercy of a police department's long response time, and you'll have a hobby that really does give back in spades to your life.  Millions of people wouldn't participate in this sport if it was not rad.   Reach out to us, ask questions, find a good mentor, and enjoy!

 A buddy I got into shooting years ago.

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