The hard metal slipped between my cold, clammy hands. Shivers took over my body as I hesitantly aimed the .45 at the target. Am I really doing this?
I finally had the opportunity to head out to Monday night Ladies night at Red’s Indoor Shooting Range in Austin, Texas – Ladies’ gun rentals are free and it only sets you back $7.50/hour. I had jealously watched my Facebook feed fill up with reports of my girlfriend’s endeavors in previous years and I was determined to finally try it.
I mean, why the hell not? I might as well live up to the Texas stereotype. We already own a rifle at home.
Did I mention that I have the most amazing, strong, and rockin’ girlfriends in the world? These boot wearin’, tattooed, loud laughing, drinking ladies have been some of the best things that have happened to me in previous years.
So I found myself at Red’s with them on a Monday night. I hadn’t touched a gun of any kind since I was about 12. I used to be damn good shot with a rifle and even won a turkey once in a church carnival game.
My eyes wandered along the cases cases of guns, knives, and endless racks of ammunition. I giggled and shifted uncomfortably as we awaited our turn into the shooting range.
We were in before we knew it. The counterperson quickly went over gun safety, range etiquette, and how to load the damn thing. My hands started to shake as I grabbed the earmuffs and goggles and I refused to be the one to carry the gun into the range. I know it can’t shoot without any ammo, but I still don’t want to be the one to accidentally have a toe go missing.
My heart was racing.
We opened the door to a loud *CRACK!*. I jumped back and my eyes opened wide. You would not believe how much noise the noise cancelling earmuff thingies still let in.
So there I was, in my own lane, loading up the pistol with 6 bullets. My first handgun experience and I was frightened. I held up the gun, collected my thoughts, let out my breath, and pulled the trigger.
The first bullet misses the target completely.
I graze the side of the paper target.
I slowly get closer to the middle.
And just like that I had emptied it.
Well, crap. I pull in my target and sheepishly move to the side. I think maybe 3 shots hit the damn thing. But that is okay. I’m in the mindset that I don’t like to shoot things meant to shoot people.
I move over a few lanes to my friend’s rifle. It feels familiar in my hands and I immediately relax with the wooden stock in my arms.
…and this is when I went into zen mode.
Steady… Steady… Breathe in… Breathe out… And pull the trigger.
Let’s just say you want me on your team when the zombie apocalypse happens and you happen to have a rifle lying around.
I strolled out of Red’s glowing, sweating, and my adrenaline pumping. I peeled out of the parking lot, giggling, and screaming like a 15 year old girl in my Subaru WRX.
Fast cars and guns? Hell to the yes.
I felt like a badass.