May 19th, 2012

Ice King, Adventure Time

Want Tickets to the Gun Show? Well, I Don't Have Them

I live in a rural part of Missouri that is mostly comprised of farms and octogenarians, so the main methods of education are Jesus, MFA, and Gun learning.  While the first two don't bother me, the last one does.  You see, I'm now 26, and I just shot a gun for the first time at a shooting range over a month ago.  I am clearly a disgrace to my native state who would be the last area on Earth to ever revoke the right to bear arms.  In fact, if it were up to the voters, I'm sure there would be a unanimous landslide to change the state motto to "The Sho-Me Your Gun State".  Tru fax.

My history with guns is quite sad, considering the above fact of my recent shooting spree.  When I was in Jr. High, we were required to take a mandatory hunter's safety course over a couple months.  I was in a class filled with "veterans" of the hunting business, some bragging that they have been hunting since they were "one years old", however that works.  Then again, I guess that is no different from me saying "I've played video games since I've had the motor controls to handle an NES controller, so about 3 years old.  I have pics.  Anyways, the mighty hunters were bragging because they were all licensed (We had to take the exam as part of our grade) and for once they were the experts on the subject while eggheads like me were completely and utterly hosed.

We took the exam weeks later, and I studied only a tiny part of my brain out, which was barely at all.  After all was said and done, I ended up with the highest score of 100% while the guys who have been doing this all their lives almost failed.  Actually, I take that back, I got over 100% because I found a discrepancy with one of the questions compared to the official manual.  Since I was known as "the guy who never went hunting", and I breezed the exam, I was one of the more loathed people in our Jr. High.  I got my hunting license, but never used it, and never shot a gun.  In fact, the only reason I took the exam was just for my grade and nothing more.

Fast forward a decade and a half, give or take, and I'm comfortable with not knowing how to disassemble a death machine.  I work at an IT company that is filled with individuals with the same tastes as mine.

Except that is a lie.

Again, I'm on the outside looking in.  Everyone there is a major gun enthusiast.  I am known as the "anime guy" because I'm the only one there who watches anime.  I don't talk about anime like they talk about guns though.  Seriously, all I have to say is "I saw a mag in a display case the other day" and the entire office erupts with several straight hours of determining if the barrel of a gun needs to be realigned, or what type of bullets work best in an AK-47.  I just sit there, alone, listening to Pandora on my computer because I have nothing to add to the conversation.

The guys like to go out for gun field trips to the shooting range once in a while.  Every time they went, I was coincidentally busy.  That was not a sarcastic or sly remark, I really was busy.  One time the Chuck finale was on.  Another time I had a date with some stir fry.  I knew eventually they would reel me in because "I would look funny shooting a gun".  Finally, I agreed to meet them at a shooting range so they would shut up about me missing the target and screaming like a girl when a gun went off.

It was a dark and stormy night.  I made it to the shooting range which is located on a cliff above a busy interstate.  The wind was blowing my car back and forth, and those who know me know I'm not a light guy, so that was a shocker in and of itself.  I heard thunder, and looked at the weather radar on my phone.  While it looked stormy, nothing serious was on the way.  That is when I realized I was hearing gun fire.  I ducked my head, said a prayer to not kill myself or others, and made my way in to Sound of Freedom.  At first sight, it doesn't sound like a name for a shooting range.  It sounds more like a music or patriotic store.  Nope.  It was full of ammunition, guns, mounted animals, testosterone, camouflage, and guys with bad goatees.

Eventually, the guys from work showed up, and we paid to go and shoot at targets that were conspicuously shaped like human heads.  One guy gave me earmuffs that allowed for human speech to come through, but kept gunfire to a dull roar.  We walked to the range and my life changed forever for a few minutes.

The shooting range looked like something out of a drug-induced nightmare.  It was like the 60's mated with a warehouse and a horse track.  You know the gates the horses start from?  Well, it was like that, but with the lanes colored in what can only be described as psychedelic colors.  The only thing missing from this place was The Monkees singing "FREAKY RAINBOW ROOM!!!".

I watched on as the others emptied clip after clip of ammunition.  Suddenly, a realization came to me.  Based on the price of ammunition in the lobby, anime is by far a cheaper hobby.  With one victory secured for my hobby, I was offered to shoot something called a twenty-two.  I took the pistol in my hand and evidently pointed it the wrong direction judging form everyone's reaction.  With my barrel pointed the correct way, I shot at Fauntleroy, the name I gave our silent, bullet-holed profile man-dude.  Then I learned something.  Evidently, you need bullets in the gun to shoot at the target.  Fine, I knew that much, but I had no idea that was what they referred to as a magazine.  I thought that was a grip or something.  After putting bullets in the piece, I shot at Fauntleroy with a passion that could only be called psychotic.  I yelped like a trooper, apologized to Fauntleroy for clipping his ear, and laid the twenty-two down.

After emptying a few magazines, I sat down and watched the others shoot themselves silly.  One guy had a sub machine gun and was missing his target, Patricia, a lot.  So more attention was on fixing his sight.  Eventually, he broke Patricia's heart more times than I could count.  Then the big guns were brought out.  I was offered to shoot something called a nine millimeter.  I said no, I needed to level up my gun slinging skills.  They looked at me as if I was speaking in latin or something, and, with more volume, started destroying the targets.

Yes people, these are programmers.  Those nerdy guys you think work behind a desk and computer?  They are actually gun-wielding enthusiasts.  Remember that next time you call tech support.

Eventually, I was coerced into shooting one of these bad beats, and I am proud to say I didn't scream as loud when it went off in my hand, though the recoil was a pain.  Nearly tore the hide off of my hand.  I noticed sparks coming out of the barrel, so I figured I would be engulfed in flames any second.  So I put the gun down, and cowered next to the wall, hoping they would leave soon.  A little while later, we left and I got a brand new appreciation for guns.

Now I can see why some people would want to choose shooting guns as a hobby.  I mean it's is's...expensive?  Fine, I still don't see it, and I doubt I ever will.  I would much rather use throwing stars or the force to stop a crook than open my bag, load my magazine, put the magazine in the gun, prep the barrel, point at the perp, take off the safety, and pull the trigger.  See?  By step two I would already be mugged or killed.  This is why I employ the "cover face and genitals, run like mad, and scream like a girl" tactic.  Gets them every time.

This post brought to you by someone who scored perfectly on a hunter's safety exam.

The Allengator