Sunday, April 23, 2006

Somewhere a roscoe barked.

For a second year, I was invited to shoot with a gaggle of military academy graduates, despite my never having advanced beyond the rank of E-4. Twenty-one shooters took up positions at a Camp Butner range and terrorized cardboard for a few hours.

It started to rain as we finished up, so we looked for a place to eat our packed lunches out of the weather. For a half hour I followed officers around in the rain, men who obviously didn't have a fucking clue where we were going. It was a lot like active duty.

Once we found a covered spot for lunch, the grads of West Point, Annapolis and the Air Force Academy added up their scores and a plaque was awarded to the winning team.

Navy won, I think.

I don't know for sure because, as a guest, my score doesn't count. But between you and me, I was 4th out of 21, with a final score of 303.

I don't shoot often. In fact, the last time I was at the range was last year with this bunch. But I did OK. That's one of my targets up there. You'll see all ten rounds hit the paper, and this was at 25 yards. At my advanced age, I can barely see 25 yards, let alone hit anything at that distance. I was just happy I didn't shoot anyone's eye out.

For you gear heads, I was shooting a Colt 1911, my favorite pistol. Seriously old school.

I love these cordite-soaked outtings. When my nephew is in town, we hit the range, him with his Special Ops H&K, me with my slab-side GI .45. A few years ago, my brother-in-law, Chris, took me to the range at Quantico and we threw lead down range. We were the only ones there, and we got to talking with the range master who said, "You boys interested in shooting anything automatic?"

Does the average American shun the all-you-can-eat buffet?

So we fired off a few clips from a Mach 10, an ugly little thing I'd only seen in movies, an Uzi, a weapon I'd fired once in the service, and my personal favorite, an H&K MP5, the choice of SWAT teams the world over. Damn, I want one. I want one real bad.

My sister calls these get-togethers TBEs, or testosterone-based events. Jenny once said, "I don't get it. They're loud, smelly and dangerous," to which Chris and I replied, "And what don't you get?"

So yes, I'm every conservative's nightmare. A liberal with a gun.

I'll close this self-indulgent ode to the firearm with one of my favorite movie quotes. This is from Tombstone, when a blowhard mistakenly reaches for his revolver and an unarmed Wyatt Earp says, "Go ahead. Skin that smoke wagon and see what happens."

Damn, that's some fine writing.


Sandra Ruttan said...

"So yes, I'm every conservative's nightmare. A liberal with a gun."


My husband taught me to shoot. I'm still pretty pathetic BUT I have to say it's a lot of fun to go shooting. Of course, not with Kevin, because he's so good and I'm so competitive.

I'd love to try something with more juice once I master a 9 mm.

Steve Ordog said...

As a non practicing Buddhist who was up too late drinking red wine and blasting the blues in downtown Raleigh last night, I take offence to everything discussed here and all views expressed! I have had enough of you Christians - and non Christians - forcing your views on all of us! :-)
It was such fun to write that I had to repeat it. Sorry, I feel better now.