A year and change ago, LivingSocial had a deal at the Silver Eagle gun range in Virginia. Texan friend Monica and I went, neither of us having shot before, and had a terrific time. Reactions were mixed. One friend was near horrified. Most were greatly amused. Those who hadn’t shot before wanted to know how it was. Those who had shot asked what I had thought of it and shared experiences. When I had dinner with my parents, my dad talked about his time in the Army, and my mom about her father — career Army JAG — posting top scores on a marksmanship test and shutting up those in training who said lawyers couldn’t shoot.
The experience was altogether different for me but all-around fine. Yet I hesitated some when it came to posting the photos and video on this blog. The time period was the two weeks in between my departure at USA Today and arrival at NPR. What would my new colleagues think of someone going shooting? They didn’t know me or my deal-seeking. Did the soft-spoken, granola stereotypes have truth? NPR people famously toted bags, not guns. Would pictures somehow get my offer revoked?
The answers turned out to be: No one cared. Some people were soft-spoken. Others most decidedly weren’t. The people who made granola turned out to be the ones likeliest to have grown up going shooting. I got a kick out of how they mulled a subsequent rifles-then-hooch deal.
All in all, this explains how a couple colleagues and an associate (Marc, Dave and Andrew) and myself ended up back at the Silver Eagle range last week. LivingSocial again provided the reason. We followed up with pizza and beers. We shot a pair of handguns, being careful not to take photos of the tweens shooting massive automatics with their parents.
Did we each have some confusion about how to load the guns? Yes.
Did we each figure them out quickly enough? Yes.
Was my aim, even with glasses, the worst of the bunch? Oh yes.
Was it fun? You bet.
Was name why we chose to fire a Glock and a Smith & Wesson?
Did we have a conversation about the best people in online media with whom to go shooting, with reasons for various luminaries and friends?
Should we have tried the target where the bad guy shoots back?
Yes, yes and yes. Until the next deal, wherever it might be!
(Note: My next deal was a piano lesson.)