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11:56 am | 26 July 2004 | shoot 'em up, bang bang

Blah, blah, this weekend, sushi with Derrick, then Jon & Marc & Pants had eggs while we ate liquor-store icecream on the other side of the table and stared 'em down, "Genius of GZA," etc. etc. I know you. What you really want to hear about is...THE SHOOTING! Well here you go.


In a futile attempt to distract me from my sharp-shootin'
this message was run out on the target line
to my left and jerked back and forth tauntingly.
And dudes? I didn't even notice.
I WAS TOO BUSY KILLING THE HELL OUT OF STUFF!

Well, kids, this weekend I learned that if you are 21 yards from me and I have a .357, you have an 8% chance that I will not shoot your ass.* I also learned that if you are 31 yards from me but I have a Smith & Wesson 9mm, you...well, your ass is grass. Ain't no way I'm not going to totally destroy you.

Our picnic in South Central was great. Kidding! We (Pants, Jon, Marc, I, and Derrick) went to an indoor range in Huntington Beach called the Firing Line for Pants' birthday (at the bottom of this entry is a link to photos that pops up in a separate page, so if you want you can open it and follow along with the story. Uh, your choice). The people that worked there were totally freaky/cool and there was an abundance of woodgrain panelling, a décor choice I totally approved, it being both foresty-masculine and bespeaking a certain furtiveness. It seemed to say "Shooting guns is a totally wholesome, Amurricun activity...and if you don't like it I will cap your ass with this Ruger!" Derrick, who was an expert marksman in the Navy, gave us a rundown (which was good because while I've shot pellet guns and shotguns, Michigan-style, I sure hadn't ever taken out a real handgun). He selected the .357 Magnum we were to shoot first, which was the 6-inch barrel model with an adorable, nutty, old-timey feel. We all got human-shaped targets and, warned by the NO POLITICAL TARGETS sign above the counter, were sure to draw faces that in no-wise resembled anyone political. Derrick drew Groucho Marx (different political), Pants drew a pair of pants on her face. Jon made himself in a Unabomber costume, Marc made a cat-head that was creepy, and I drew a generic girl-face because I am mad at some ladies lately. We put on our earmuffs (I know this is not the high-tech badass term, and yet I don't care) and our crazy yellow eye-shields, and went in to the range one-by-one via the solitary chamber (it had a sign on it advising us that NO GANGSTA SHOOTING was allowed, either--look for that picture in the album).

The light inside the gallery itself was eerie, fluorescent and sickly. The noise from the guns was incredible. Caps were flying--literally flying, like we were tossing them at a wedding party--through the air. The other patrons were, of course, weird. The gun was very heavy and cold and shiny. I don't want this to be a very "And then this, and then this, and then this" story, so I will say: The gun was very heavy, and somehow not as heavy as you would've thought. It had a soft trigger that was more immediate than you might guess--not a lot of draw before it went--and what was really interesting was that, unlike, say, a cap gun, it wasn't that the trigger went click so much as YOUR WHOLE HAND goes BKKKKKGT (that is as close to the noise as I can get) and suddenly this incredible force comes out of it. We each shot a round of 6 and then for the second round, put only four bullets in the chamber--leaving two empty gaps--and then spun the chamber, straight-up Louis L'Amour style, and then slapped it into position. This meant that two of your six shots, you'd be all nerved up, ready to go, you'd squeeze the trigger, and--click, the sad flaccid cap-gun click (you can see, in one of the pictures of Derrick, that he is laughing--he'd just drawn the blank). And don't even be all "Well I would count the intervals and be able to guess when the blanks would be," Professor Hawking. You're waaaay too distracted by the, I don't know, MASSIVE GUN IN YOUR HAND to even think about that kind of stuff. PLUS we decided to shoot one-handed, which is just massively hard. By that round the clip on our target-hanger was malfunctioning, which meant that my target fell off somewhere out on the floor, but it wasn't a big deal since I was sucking at the one-hand thing. I used the back of an old target and pretty much only shot the neck out.

We took a break. Pants had gotten a little over-adrenalined and wanted to sit Round 2 out, so she was named the official photographer of the group. We decided that we would use a Smith & Wesson 9mm for this round (like the one pictured left) and circular, traditional bulls-eyes. The 9 has a clip with spring-loaded bullets that you push up into the handle with the butt of your hand, and doesn't require cocking between rounds. The 9 is cool. It had a much longer draw on the trigger, but even with a 12-inch target, I felt much more comfortable with it and was able to shoot the bejesus out of that target. We each did two rounds of five at 21yds. and then a final round of two at 31yds, and I'm happy to say that (especially after we labelled the targets with things we hated--Derrick's got called "The Doors: Greatest Hits" and mine had a list of reprehensible character traits) my final two shots were totally so close to the center! The only problem with the 9 is that the shells tend to fly DIRECTLY into your face, which doesn't hurt, but they are hot and it's kind of creepy. Anyhow, the whole experience was totally rad and Dad-Approved© (I called my dad and was all "Daddy I shot better than the BOYS!" and he was all "I knew you could do it, baby!" It was very smoking-jacket, keep-your-chin-up-kitten in tone. Have I mentioned how my dad thinks it is 1956?). I got lots of shells to make funny crafts with and the best part about it was that it's so cheap (dude: renting a gun is only $5!), that I can totally go every weekend if i want! And I do! I DO want! BLAM BLAM! clm.

To check out the album, click (duh) the bulls-eye.

*I don't mean your literal ass. I MEAN YOUR NECK.


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