September 13, 2016
After spending a week with our families, we flew over to Las Vegas to hang out with some good friends. We then drove over to Arizona to rent a houseboat on Lake Powell. But before we drove out, they asked us what we wanted to experience in Las Vegas. We could do anything: helicopter, bungee jump, race cars. Name it, and we can do it. Our first suggestion: we want to shoot some guns.
I remember reading a comment asking why we would want to shoot a gun, and I’m sure some of you might be asking that as well, so let me do my best to answer: see, we don’t really like guns. And whenever I read online about America’s fascination with them, I get confused. It’s intriguing. But rather than just dismiss guns entirely, we wanted to experience shooting guns with open minds and try to understand what might be appealing about them.
And so we gave it an honest go. We shot four guns. We approached each with a lot of caution and respect, because any slip up could be fatal. We listened to the instructor, and took our time with each gun. And though we are by no means experts in guns now, we have a lot better of an understanding of what guns are like than we did before.
First thing we thought: tv doesn’t really depict how powerful these things are. They’re not easy to shoot. Gun fights in TV seem so easy, almost like a dance, but we were really overwhelmed with how much effort goes into shooting a gun effectively. Lining up the sights and shooting at a target is just…whoa. It’s challenging. TV shows make it seem like you can shoot at people the way you change a channel on your TV. It’s a lot more difficult than that.
And holy shit did we not like shooting guns. Even though the guy paid me a high compliment and said I was really good at it, I didn’t feel good while doing it. It was a huge shock to the body. It was definitely adrenaline pumping, and I can see how that might appeal to some people, but we’re not adrenaline junkies. We felt jittery and uncomfortable. You didn’t see this on video, but Martina got really emotional after shooting the Desert Eagle. Not happy emotional. Sad. That thing is terrifying.
If you’re in Las Vegas and you’d like to experience this yourself, we went to The Range 702. No, they did not pay us to say that or to go there. I just think the instructor there was great, and he was tremendously helpful in guiding us through an experience we weren’t wholly comfortable with. I felt safe. I can’t recommend him highly enough.
So that’s it for our experiences of shooting guns. I know there are many other points to discuss in the gun debate, and we don’t really have a foot in it, as Canadians living in Japan. We’re not arguing for or against guns based on our experiences here, because the sensation of shooting a gun is a small part of the wider discussion. I just don’t think we’ll be shooting any more guns anytime soon, and I don’t want to own any guns, either.