“There are people in there already, so put on your ear protectors before you go in.”
And then Jack opened an ordinary looking door, we walked in and there we were. It was a small and dingy room opening onto a long concrete and metal-lined range. Someone shot a pistol and I jumped. Jack’s mouth smiled just a little bit, but his eyes were shining with glee. Looking at it from Jack’s side, being kind of middle America and ex-military, taking Miss 90210 out to shoot must have been pretty amusing.
Jack opened his briefcase and took out his Glock 17, two boxes of bullets, 3 clips, his holster and a pen. The theory part of my lesson lasted about 30 seconds.
“These are the sights. You line them up like this.” Jack drew a little diagram on the corner of our target paper. “You concentrate on keeping those sights lined up and pull the trigger. Focus on the sights and don’t anticipate the shot.”
I was a bit dismayed that it was that simple.
Then Jack went over a few safety points, the actual operation of the gun, and how I needed to hold the gun. He hung up the target and sent it about 5 metres away. “You’re ready to go.”
“What? I’m supposed to shoot already?”
I tried to stay focused on the sights. My hands were shaking just a little bit. And my first few shots were all within about 10 cm of the centre of the target. I was surprised that it was so easy.
During the course of the lesson, I also learned how to load bullets into the clips, how to put in and remove the clips, and something about clearing the chamber. I wore Jack’s belt and holster so as to practice drawing first. Jack hung a target that had silhouettes of two people on it and sent it maybe 12 metres away. I killed those two motherfuckers over and over again.
The hour went by pretty fast. By the end of it, I was reasonably comfortable with shooting the gun. However when I did something like not pull the slide back far enough and the gun then didn’t do what I had expected, I had to hand it back to Jack. I was still afraid of it.
Jack and I agreed that we would return to the shooting range together in a couple of weeks.
Interesting fact: getting a gun permit in the Czech Republic is a longer and more complicated process than in The Amerika. However, once you have the permit, you are automatically entitled to carry a concealed weapon.
Oh, and why did I come to the decision to learn how to shoot? I realised yesterday that I had decided to treat my Second Amendment right as a responsibility. That does not necessarily mean that I am going to carry a concealed weapon or amass an arsenal, but I should at the very least know how to use a gun.