I don’t usually post pictures of myself where I look like a happy gray one-eyed zombie. But I figured this one was only fair warning. Turns out, I can hit things with bullets.
I did not grow up with guns. My dad had a 22 from childhood, but it wasn’t allowed in the house so it stayed at my grandma’s with his high school literary journals and the photo of him with his hair curling in a kind of gutter around his head. If I ever saw a gun in a house, I should leave, my mom said. Also, I couldn’t be a ranger like I wanted to be because they carried guns. Once, my mom brought my sister and me animal-shaped squirt guns from the co-op. Mine, I think, was a panda. “I just gave my kids guns!” I overheard her worrying on the telephone. This, of course, was before my brother and his maleness and his endless begging and his eventual arsenal of cap guns and air soft rifles and his bookshelf full of knives. Times in the family have changed.
When I was a kid, I had a dagger and a pocketknife and a homemade bow, but I had never seen a gun that wasn’t on a policeman. I held my first gun in Montana — a beautiful hunting rifle that had just shot a deer I helped carry out. Even then, I wasn’t near the shooting part. But as of yesterday, I’ve shot three guns. It all happened at the Factoria shooting range with Nate and his buddy. It was loud and full of guys and the light was weird like we were in some bunker. When someone shot a big one, it was loud right into my heart because sound is vibration like a punch or a heartbeat.
But shooting itself was pretty fun. Using a 22, especially, because it didn’t slam me around at all. And I would like to point out that the target I am holding here has thirty or forty rounds fired into it, which I fired, and if the target were a pop can, I would only have missed the can once. But there aren’t that many holes, you say? That’s because the rest of the rounds went through that big hole just southwest of the bullseye. Yep. That’s why I say all you evil pop cans that are five yards away, watch out. And Mom, don’t worry. I won’t join the NRA.