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Adventures in Portland: Shoot April 30, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

At long last, Wendy and I finally found the time and space to set me up in her backyard to shoot my first gun.

Tim and I headed over one day after work. At first, we thought it would be more of a party, but the others bailed. Just the three of us. And still with a lot of daylight left.

Wendy set up a target in her backyard—an NRA Official 100-Yard Small Bore Rifle Target, a 14-inch-square paper with concentric circles leading to the X in the center. She thumbtacked this to a board. (Two notes: First, I was not using a small-bore rifle. I was using a pellet gun. Second, I was not 100 yards away. More like a dozen or so.)

Wendy explained the safety and showed me how to load the gun. She taught me how to hold the gun and how to line up the sight.

The gun didn’t fit me well. I have a very long neck, and I was never able to position myself perfectly without uncomfortable contortion. So I positioned myself somewhat imperfectly, remaining aware of the fact that were I using a gun with a kick, I wouldn’t get away with it.

On my first shot, I nearly hit the X.

Tim’s jaw dropped.

It was downhill from there, but not too far down. On both the first sheet, which we all used, and the second, which was just me, the farthest shot from the center is still an 8. (Inner circle X, next 10, next 9, next 8, down to 5.)

I also shot up my first beer can: a Coors.

With a bright red marker, Wendy circled my nearly perfect shot and wrote [INDIGO]’s FIRST SHOT. I brought the target sheets and beer can home as souvenirs.

Maybe someday I’ll shoot a real gun. Tim’s always thinking I should try sporting clays, but those are moving targets. Are those handgun ranges BYOG?


1. Craig (Maito Sewa Yoleme) - April 30, 2008

Oh god. Now I won’t be able to insult you with impunity. We’ll be standing in your kitchen, and you’ll turn with a sneer on your face and say, “What did you call me?” with your brand-new 9mm pointed at my head.

Actually, you’d say, “What did you call me, bitch?” but that plus the gun is just too terrifying to contemplate.

2. susan365 - April 30, 2008

And you wanted to shoot a gun because . . . ?

Actually, I used to love to target-shoot. I can remember flying down to Florida with my .22 rifle (in the days when you could–gasp!–bring a gun on the plane) so I could shoot with my dad. But I think having children changed my feelings about guns.

On another subject, I wonder why your blog comes up so huge for me. I always have to change the text size in order to read it. And when I go down one size, the text becomes teensy. Weird.

3. laurie - April 30, 2008

wow. i will be very, very respectful here…

my dad taught us all how to shoot when we were kids. we’d drive out in the country, usually on a bleak and rainy and cold november afternoon, and shoot the .22.

now that i’m grown up,i know how small and insignificant a .22 is. but in those days it was damn heavy, and had a fearsome kick to it.

he was not a gun nut, but he thought it was important for us to be familiar with guns, and their power, and what they can do. i think he was right.

4. indigobunting - April 30, 2008

Susan: I think I got interested in the target thing having been around a lot of responsible sportsmen. And sometimes it’s fun to try something that you’ve never done and may never do again simply because it’s interesting and so out of your everyday sphere.

Fear not—I’m a firm believer in gun control.

Don’t know about the type-size thing. That’s happened to me before on some folks’ blogs, and it’s managed to correct itself…

5. Craig (Maito Sewa Yoleme) - April 30, 2008

I notice you didn’t bother to contradict my scenario….

6. indigobunting - April 30, 2008

I’m still basking in the daydream…

7. indigobunting - April 30, 2008

Laurie: Just found your comment to approve—sorry for the delay!

I can see your dad’s point. I haven’t been around guns in any real sense at all–at least not loaded ones. Maybe that’s part of the curiosity of it. It was good to start me on a pellet gun. I’m guessing that to have tried anything else out first (even a .22) would have made me nervous. Not really into the hurting of living things and would not want to make any mistakes.

8. susan365 - April 30, 2008

Just to clarify, when I said “changed my feelings” I didn’t mean that I ripped up my NRA membership (although I eventually did). I meant that I began to fear guns. I don’t know if it was having children that did it, but it’s the first thing I thought of because having children tends to change everything.

9. indigo bunting - May 1, 2008

Susan: Don’t blame you. Guns are dangerous things, and I know that if I’d become a parent my protective instincts would have gone into overdrive.

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