This student is from England.
By Elisha Evans
My experience at the range was great. I knew I would enjoy shooting, but not this much. I believe it is a really unique experience when it is your first time holding a handgun and learning how to shoot. When I picked it up, I felt like I had a lot of pressure to not accidentally do something that can do serious harm, but I really enjoyed the feeling it gave me. Although I have recently gone clay pigeon shooting, this experience still felt extremely new and unique to me. I think, especially after the trip, that it is important to know how to safely use a weapon that so many people around you own.
The feeling for me was very similar to how I would feel before taking a shoutout in a field hockey game (basically a penalty). My hands were sweaty, and my heart rate was for sure elevated. I found the competitive nature of the shooting very appealing. As soon as I got back into the car with Bella after the shoot, we both agreed that we have to go to a range nearby again soon. However, next time, I would like to hit the bullseye a couple of times!
The experience taught me a lot of things. For starters, I learned how to hold the pistol. I learned not to lift up after I shoot and to keep your hands sturdy prior, during, and after you pull down on the trigger. I found it surprising how easy it was (for me) to miss the target when shooting the pistol, even though we were so close to it. I also found it surprising how much easier I found shooting the AR even though we were starting from a further distance.
It also showed me that guns are not just for violence or killing animals. I am learning that more and more every day and appreciating the other side of gun use.
Personally, I am a little against how permissive it is to buy and own a gun here in America. My first thought goes to how you can buy a gun in Walmart and you do not need a reason as to why you are buying it! I did a little research and saw that gun ownership per capita in the US is more than three times that of Europe’s highest country. I believe that a lot of people who buy guns here in America are just buying it because they can, but also because it is the norm. “If everyone else has it to protect themselves, then why shouldn’t I?”
However, I am very self-aware that I have a lot to learn about this topic. I have seen first-hand the importance of guns in sport and leisure which is not something that came to my mind when I would think of American gun culture prior to coming to the states.
Guns are an integral part in American culture and society, and I am excited to learn more about the multifaceted role they play here in America and what the best way to reduce the illegal possession.