One of the things that I’ve been keen to explore is the question of Gun Control and the Gun Culture in the States.
So it was with a mixture of trepidation and anticipation that on Saturday Jacqui and I joined our host Bill McKeever and some of his family at a gun shop and range. Some photos for you, followed by some observations.
- The first thing that strikes you about the scene is that there is immense respect for the weapons and a real concern for safety. This has got to impact the common perception of many people that guns are inherently unsafe. They may or may not be, but what is clear is that those who handle guns in shooting ranges are very concerned to minimise any risk.
- Continuing from this first point, I found my nervousness about the weapons themselves largely evaporated after I took my first shot. Again, I was concerned about safety and a small part of me was terrified about this “killing machine” in my hands, as though it was going to spontaneously fire off indiscriminately. The truth is, of course, very different – you are in complete control of the gun and it does exactly what you choose for it to do. And if you choose to handle it with respect and with concern for safety (see 1. above) then it is, in a sense, very safe.
- Nevertheless, you can do an immense amount of damage with it. Those were real bullets we were shooting and just as they went through paper they can go through flesh and splinter bone (although we were assured that the .22 we shot first would take several rounds to stop someone determined.
- Jacqui is a superb shot! The above is her first 2 ever attempts at shooting – first with a .22 and then a 9mm. By the time she was finished people in neighbouring booths were applauding. Here are her first three targets:
More to come on this subject.