This weekend, I shot my first gun ever. That’s right, this woman right here with a coon-hunting grandfather and a great-great uncle who starred in 1930s Western films, shot her very first gun at the ripe old age of 25. And it happened in a foreign country, no less. Where did this off-the-wall idea come from, you ask? Well, it was J’s company’s annual winter event for employees and their families. No, there were no children involved in the shooting activities, but there were balloon animals galore and Santa even made an appearance with gifts!
Joe E. Brown and I share a name and some genes, but I clearly didn’t get the ones for gun-handling talent.
First, we had lunch with the whole group and enjoyed some mealtime entertainment in the form of a Korean magic show, which was interesting given that one of the Koreans translated, but couldn’t quite match the magician’s passion. Afterward, everyone split up in to groups for their assigned activity. A couple weeks ago, we were given a few choices for what activity we would like to participate in. There were several options, including ATV riding, go-karting, a museum visit, kids activities and, of course, the shooting range. When J emailed me to ask my preference, he was surprised to find that I jumped on the chance to go shooting. We had recently been high-speed go-karting with some friends back home (like the kind that go 40mph), which was close to giving me whiplash. ATVing didn’t sound too appealing in the cold. However, I’d never handled a weapon before, so it sounded exciting – until we got there and I was slightly terrified. Note to self: weapons make me terribly nervous.
The shooting range was a very safe place to be, though, and we had a good safety orientation from our host, who ended up being the staff member that stood in my bay to help me adjust my aim. When it was my turn to give it a crack, I panicked inside a little bit just not knowing how it would feel. I’ve got to say, having a gun in my hand definitely didn’t feel natural and did not change my opinion that there should be fewer weapons on this Earth.
You can see the assistance that they were trying to provide, and my reaction to my skill level.
The range manager/owner must have thought I was quite hilarious shooting a gun, because he gave me a toy gun and started telling me to pose with it in different ways so he could take my picture on his phone and send it to me. He was cracking up the whole time. I imagine he was saying “you silly American!” to himself. He was also laughing the entire time he gave me instructions on how to adjust after I fired the first three shots and barely made the edges of the target score sheet. I didn’t mind, because I knew that I looked ridiculous and that I was bound to be horrible at this activity. All in fun though, it’s always a good experience to try something new.
My first round with a 9mm wasn’t too bad for a first-timer. I scored 48 out of 100 and actually got all my shots on the paper. The second round we used a 357 revolver, which was terrible for me. Only half of my shots even made it on the paper and only three got me my total of 26 points. I learned that a revolver has much more kick.
This cutie improved on his second round. Can’t say so much for myself.
As much as I learned about weapons themselves, the primary thing I learned here is that I have no aim, which may explain why I am also terrible at video games. Take it or leave it, I don’t seem too dangerous with a gun, so good thing I’m doing a lot of physical training. What I lack in weapons handling, I make up for in solid biceps and thigh muscles (thank you, Pure Barre!). When it comes to guns, I’ll let my dashing husband take the glory – he’s a pretty great shot.
J was a power shooter, my best of 2 rounds got me… 48.
The activity was organized into a competition with 4 teams including “The Terminators” and “The Dream Snipers”. Our team, “The Cereal Killers,” was comprised of five people including the two of us, and I’d say we did pretty well. I was definitely the weakest link (no shame here), but we came out on top got a fantastic prize – a Wild West bobblehead and a first place medal. Some folks took the competition much more seriously than others. Since I knew I’d probably fail miserably, I was in the latter group.
The Cereal Killers, winners of the coveted Wild West bobbleheads.
Perhaps the best part of the experience was all the Wild West decor hung around the viewing area of the range. It seemed like something straight out of a John Wayne movie, and the props were intentionally there for ridiculous picture taking. We ended up with some awesome Bonnie and Clyde shots. Something tells me J would make a pretty handsome cowboy.
Halloween costume idea? I think we could pull it off.
Well, it looks like I won’t be training M & M as coon dogs any time soon (sorry, Grandpa!). And lucky for me, Korea’s violent crime rate is very low.