Friday, July 13, 2012

It's Friday...I'm at the gun range.

So, I didn't grow up around guns. Occasionally my uncle would shoot an air or BB gun at my grandparents' house. That's it. Now that I work at the museum, there is an entire room stuffed to the brim with guns of all shapes and sizes, and the curator of said room thought it would be appropriate to take those of us working around them shooting at the gun range. I suppose it only makes sense that if you work with military history you should have a passing knowledge of weaponry.

So this morning, I dressed for a field trip. Should I have felt apprehensive about playing with weapons on Friday the 13th? Possibly, but I'm not superstitious, so I didn't.

These are my ass-kicking boots.
On our way out of the city we saw the helicopter of someone of importance (one presumes) out on the White House Lawn. And some guys carrying a life-size wooden cross on wheels. Not sure what that one was for.

Blurry photo of helicopter on the White House lawn.
Notice: the following is neither an endorsement nor a derision of the NRA and/or its political affiliations. The NRA happens to be the closest open range. So that's that.

I took my safety test (it was open book so...I passed) and put on my ear and eye protection and headed through the double doors out to the range. At this point I was excited.

My range card.
When I got out onto the range I was no longer excited. I mean, there were guns out there! Just firing willy nilly and making loud noises, even with my ear muff things, and shaking the floor and I realized maybe I had showed too much bravado about coming. But I couldn't wuss out now, so I stepped up and shot the two guns the curator had brought: a model 1917 revolver from 1937 and a model 915 semi-automatic. To be blunt, they scared me. They were so powerful (and they're not even considered powerful guns), and the reality that I had something in my hands that could kill someone if I made a stupid mistake (which I've been known to do), made me nervous and took away some of the excitement of target shooting. It did occur to me, however, that at least knowing my way around guns, and how to handle them safely, is knowledge worth having.

Also the hot shell casings burned when they ejected and hit my arm, and one went down my shirt and burned my cleavage.

So while I am not sure I would go again any time soon, I am glad I went.

Afterwards we stopped by the National Firearms Museum, which is more my speed, and the curator bought himself these babies:

Pistol earring.
And I "booped" the nose on a statue of Charlton Heston.

And whenever the curator takes someone shooting, he also takes them to lunch at Hooters. I'd never been to a Hooters before, so they introduced me to fried pickles and "Lotsa Tots".

These things are not your friend.
Interestingly, after a while of trying to eat more natural foods, these kinds of fried restaurant foods no longer appeal to me as much as they used to. After we ate I felt overly full and am now looking forward to getting home and having a big glass of fresh juice with lots of fruit and vegetables.

Happy weekend! I'm looking forward to an outdoor concert and fireworks Saturday night.

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