So, I went shooting for the first time. Well, to clarify, it wasn't my first time EVER shooting a gun, but I'd never shot a 'real' gun. All my prior shooting experience amounted to firing hand-pump pellet guns at tin cans. And paintball guns, I guess. Like I said, not real shooting.

But last Thursday, I went to Valencia with Alex, Caity, Carlos, and his friend Andrew for some trap shooting (at least, I'm pretty sure that's what kind it was):

Carlos bought a bunch of ammo, so we all had plenty of shots to take with his shotgun. There was only the one gun, however, so we rotated on a 5-shot basis. Carlos and Andrew were pretty dang good; it was really impressive. Alex and Caity did well too, especially considering that they, like me, were relatively new to this.

I had some early struggles in the whole shooting thing. Alex can attest to the fact that I was very nervous about shooting at first. But it wasn't a fear of guns, or the recoil, or anything like that. Oddly enough, I had major stage fright about shooting. I know WHY I had it (that's part of a future post, so I won't go into it now), but it just caught me off guard, because I didn't expect it.

After my first round (which Carlos very helpfully walked me through), I felt much better. From there, it became much more interesting to me. I still wasn't shooting very well, mainly because I was having a hard time aiming properly. That, and my stance/body positioning wasn't very good.

Then, on one of my later rounds, I realized that the gun wasn't going to recoil and knock me out, so I placed my face much closer to the grip, and was actually able to aim the way Carlos had told me to. Lo and behold, I hit one. That was a pretty satisfying experience. Ultimately, I think I hit four of the 25 total shots I took. That's a pretty bad percentage, but I feel better knowing that they all came in my last couple of rounds. I feel like next time, I'll do much better.

I remember one of the shots really well, and it's probably my favorite of them. The clay target flew out, and I was about to pull the trigger, when I hesitated. For some reason, I didn't like the shot (I don't think I was aiming properly). So I tracked the target for another second, then pulled the trigger, and nailed it. I felt like I actually knew what I was doing (even though I totally didn't), which was really cool.

That whole experience was really cool, and I'm glad that I can say I've actually shot a gun before. People can debate the good/bad about various levels of gun control, and that's not a topic I really care to weigh in on right now, but I still think that taking an hour to actually use one is a good experience.

I really enjoyed this, so I'd also like to try shooting a rifle of some sort, as well as a pistol, at some point in the future.


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