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every industry has a few assholes. there are evil kindergarten teachers and perfidious red cross workers. but some jobs draw more than their fair share. from time to time you may find a humble doctor or a generous stockbroker. freaks occur. just don't bank on them.

turns out, not surprisingly, that another career to put on your total dick shortlist is gun instructor. owning, carrying, and using a gun are not activities which require you to be a huge jerk. unfortunately nobody told the guy at my pistol class that. he appears to be under the impression that the best way to teach small women who've never handled guns before to use them calmly and accurately is by standing an inch from their left ear and yelling. worked so well on the lady next to me that she literally could not pull the trigger. she was so scared and anxious that her hand locked up. that's right. he petrified her. brilliant.

before Saturday, i never fired a pistol.
when i was a girl, we had some shotguns, but no one ever used them for anything but author pictures. Stanley had handguns; he never used them for anything besides shooting up the garage door opener. guns were taboo in the pure sense -- not to be touched or talked about. but i'm small, and this is not the safest of cities. when liz decided to take this handgun course, i thought i probably should too.

in preparation, Michael took me out to the range on Saturday, where we discovered that i like shooting. i'm not any good at it, but i didn't expect to be right away. mostly i'm proud not to be a twitchy, flinching beast. it seemed likely, since i'm ordinarily terrified of stuff flying at my head. cartridge casings are an exception to the rule. one smacked me straight in the forehead early on and i laughed aloud. who'd a thunk?

anyway, i'm happy as hell he did take me out, not only because we had fun and he taught me good habits rather than letting me grow bad ones, but also because, if tonight's class had been my first time picking up a gun, i'd never have picked up another one.

i was sick as a dog on sunday. turns out i'm allergic to gunpowder and lead something fierce. but i was happy with the thought of going back out there, even so. tonight, i am
instead fair dreading tomorrow. only four more hours and our crazy gov't may give me a concealed carry permit, so i'm going. but if i shoot that hollering man, i expect you all to be character witnesses at the trial.

Date: 2008-07-15 06:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
good thing i didn't that class. i'd've pistol-whipped that bastard and y'all would have to bail me out of jail.

Date: 2008-07-15 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
In a room with that many people already discharging firearms, the odds of "bail" being the endgame are kind of low.

I can kind of see there being call for shouting to happen at some point during the course - the person you may eventually need to shoot in direct self-defense might not be speaking in a calm and soothing voice, and it's a good idea to be prepared for that. But one definitely wants a shooter to be competent before one makes the shooter twitchy.

Date: 2008-07-15 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i would not at all be bothered if hollered at for doing something actively dangerous -- finger on the trigger at the wrong time, gun pointed somewhere other than the floor or the target, about to clip my finger in the slide, whatever. there are plenty of reasons to yell at someone holding a pistol. your aim is a few inches low and to the left (but still inside the target circle) ain't one of them.

Date: 2008-07-16 04:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
no, it's not. he was a tool, and a broken one at that.


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