Friday, March 20, 2009

"Not Until You're Twelve, Son"

We went shooting last night, for the first time in a while. We have a membership but sort of ironically, we haven't been since they printed our card. It was still sitting there in the box.

Just got busy, I guess. Plus, the last couple of times I had felt really tired and I was having trouble focusing on the target. That's something that's definitely changed. And it's okay, since you only have to visit about 69 times in toto to make the membership cheaper than doing a pay-as-you-go. We'll probably get in a few more than that.

As we were leaving, I asked one of the guys working at the front if business had picked up lately, and he gave me an earful. You know, you hear about the uptick in gun sales and the like, but you don't really know if it's true.

He was having trouble buying certain types of guns, and all kinds of ammo. Since he shoots thousands of rounds a month, he makes his own and was having trouble getting the supplies for that. A lot of his biggest suppliers simply closed their websites, no backordering--nothing.

We also were there late at night in the middle of the week, and there were plenty of people.

They had a shotgun there, and they do actually allow you to shoot one but you have to buy their ammo ($20/25 shells, so pretty expensive). It also turned out that it was a customer's shotgun and you had to bring your own. I checked on Google for prices and the first three places that turned up were sold out.

He said it had started with the economy and then gone ever crazier after the election and inauguration.

So, there's your man-on-the-street reporting for the day.

Oh, and I sucked. I mean, I hit the target 95% of the time, but with my aim, I have to hope any attacker is a wimp, deterred by a series of flesh wounds.


  1. That last sentence made me laugh!

    This sounds like fun, though. I would like to try this. I have very good aim and another thing I always wanted to try was archery.

  2. My husband's father put in a 100 yard range several years ago. If you're ever in these parts, come on and shoot with my man!

    [Son is not allowed to shoot until he's at least 7 and has made his First Holy Communion. Ridiculous as they are, they are the Mama rules that everyone complies with.]

  3. blake- I'm awed by what you’re doing with your son. I grew up around guns, and actually own a .22 rifle, but it's back in WI with my brother. He is the family gun keeper and holds a small arsenal in a locked basement room. My grandfather was a big collector and gunsmith. My brother definitely got that gene. My father had a few guns, and taught us to shoot, but he really didn't have the obsession, so I'm like him in that respect. My son, however appears to have the gene. The last time we were back to WI (when he was 7) he got to see the collection and became smitten. He got to fire my .22 ands was a natural. I got him a BB-gun last year (perhaps too early-he's 10 now) and I was just getting into teaching him to target shoot in an open field near us. One day a kindly neighbor came out and told me that discharging a BB-gun was a full-on firearms violation in our town. Because I trust this particular person, I didn’t question it, and just explained to my son that we couldn’t do it anymore. This was very disappointing for both of us. Reading in your approach was very inspiring (or am I reading into it). Can you rent the weapon without having to own it? What about age restrictions, i.e., when did you start going with him?

  4. Darcy--I recommend it! It's an experience one should have, and it is fun. There's such a mystique around guns, if you're not coming from a western/southern tradition, that only laying hands on one is going to give you a clear idea.

    Ruth Anne--outdoor shooting strikes me as being potentially a lot more fun than indoors. If I'm in your neighborhood, I'll drop by. And I'll understand that, if I move to your area, you'll have the right to retract that invitation. Heh.

    CL--I wrote up all the details over here. I'm not sure, but if memory serves, our firing range had no lower limit on age. Under 18 had to be accompanied by adult, maybe parent. That was the only restriction I recall. They said they had nine-year-olds occasionally.


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