A couple of weeks ago, my good friend Adam was kind enough to take me to the gun range and show me how to shoot. I’d never fired a real gun before and thought that I’d give it a try. The experience was quite fun. I plan to do it again. We started with the safety instructions and with the practice pistol, pictured as yellow, but it was in fact, orange – strange lighting and white balance challenges.

After safety instructions, he showed me how to fire it, and allowed me to try. He had one pistol, a Glock 17, that was convertible between .22 and 9 mm. He started me with the .22 and a target at 15 feet. This was pretty easy shooting, very little kick. After several rounds, we moved up to the 9 mm. This had much more recoil, but not anything that I couldn’t handle. As you can see, my grouping was pretty good, even though not a lot of them landed within the orange target, most of the shots were pretty close together. After 90 minutes or so, my middle finger on my right hand was fairly sore, which is where the gun rests in a proper shooting grip, which he also showed me.

He even let me shoot with his wife’s gun. I shot even better with it as it was a bit lighter and more ergonomic. He said most everyone shoots better with that one. Afterwards, we went to lunch. He asked me if I thought that I’d like to buy a gun and keep shooting. Initially, I said, yes; Then, I asked the question: What happens when you have your guns in your car and you get stopped by the police, for whatever reason? He said: You pull out our driver’s license and your concealed carry permit, if you have one, then wait for instructions from the officer.

I’ve thought about that over the past couple of weeks and have decided that, although I would like to believe it would go down that way, that’s not the America that I live in, unfortunately. As a black man, the last thing that I want to do is be pulled over by a police officer and be in possession of a gun, even legally. It’s too risky. Certainly, I don’t need a gun, but it would be fun to practice, I think, but not at the risk of losing my life if I encounter the “wrong” officer.

Anyway, it was a fun day out and I’ll probably meet him again for another round of shooting his guns.

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