First time at the Gun Range

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Theresa Kim shooting a .22 semi automatic for the first time at the Gun Range. PHOTO BY CHRISTINA KIM

Theresa Kim shooting a .22 semi automatic for the first time at the Gun Range. PHOTO BY CHRISTINA KIM

I looked at the gun with such admiration. It was absolutely beautiful with its cool smooth surface and slight grooves on the small cylinder. My fingers ran over the item and touched every detail the rough notch the smooth wood and the cold gunmetal. It was beautiful to look at but once it was in my hands, I was nervous, with a slight mistake I could end one’s life on the spot.

On Aug. 12, my family and I visited the Gun Range, thegunrange.biz, an indoor shooting range in Sacramento, for the first time. No one in my family, except for my dad, ever saw a gun or visited a shooting range before. My dad suggested the idea saying that women also need to learn how to shoot a gun, because we live in such a harsh society. So after 30 minutes on Yelp and Google we all got in the car and drove over to the shooting range.

My mom and my sister was really nervous and scared, I on the other hand was nervous and scared but I was also a bit excited. I loved trying new things and it sounded kind of fun. But once I stepped in all of the excitement went away and fear took over me. The first thing I saw was walls filled with all sorts of guns, from small .22 calibers to an AK-47 hanging proudly on the wall.

My sister and I were in awe; we had never seen a gun before and now we were face to face with hundreds of guns on the walls and on the display.

There were so many varieties there were black handguns that look like it should belong to an FBI spy and big brown guns that should belong to a deer hunter. While I was looking at all the different guns on display my dad called me over and asked me which gun I wanted to shoot for the first time. Honestly the only gun I know is a .22 caliber, so I told him a .22. The worker came back with a small black gun and a dark gray gun with a wooden handle. My dad had asked for the .38 revolver and I asked for the .22 semi-auto. He then gave us eye protection and over-the-ear protection, and we proceeded into the range.

I never knew guns were so loud. I could hear the shots like I didn’t have any ear protection on. My mom, sister and I jumped every time we heard a shot. I was terrified these people all looked and shot like professionals and I had to shoot next to them?! My dad, who had experience from shooting ranges, taught me how to hold and load a gun.

We loaded the .22 first, it was so small and fancy with its sleek black color and raised grooves on the handle. Once we loaded it my dad told me to hold the gun steady just aim at the target and shoot. I stood with my legs shoulder width apart and held the gun with both hands I then slowly closed one eye and aimed at the target. Once I felt ready I slowly put my right index finger over the trigger and pulled. Not even a second later I heard a loud bang and a kickback, I just shot a gun for the first time in my life. It felt so surreal. I felt like I had so much power and I was scared. I was holding a weapon that I saw on TV that could seriously hurt and kill people one mistake and I could seriously hurt someone.

After 10 rounds I then loaded the .38 revolver. The .38 was much more beautiful than the .22 with its smooth gunmetal and wood, it is also a lot more dangerous than the .22 and it was also heavier than the .22. Once it was loaded and I was ready I aimed and pulled the trigger the kickback was a lot stronger and it left a larger bullet hole in the target. I then handed the gun to my sister and she got her turn. It was really scary at first, but  the more I shot the guns the more I felt more comfortable with them. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, though. We shot for about an hour and then unloaded the guns so that we could return them and go home.

As I left the Gun Range I felt proud and a lot safer. I now know how to work a gun and I know how to protect myself if I ever need to use a gun. I was really scared and nervous at first, but now I really like shooting. The immense adrenaline rush that I felt while shooting can not be expressed through words. The feeling was greater than the rush that I feel when I ride roller coasters at amusement parks. I just hope I can go again sometime soon, hopefully improving each time I go.

 

by THERESA KIM