This is the eighth and final student gun range field trip reflection essay I will be posting from my fall 2021 Sociology of Guns seminar (see reflection #1, reflection #2, reflection #3, reflection #4, reflection #5, reflection #6, and reflection #7). The assignment to which students are responding can be found here. I am grateful to these students for their willingness to have their thoughts shared publicly.
As I have done for previous seminars, I will be posting some of the students’ final reflections at the end of the semester.
By Grace Taylor
Guns have never played a big role in my life. There were certainly no guns in my house when I was growing up. If I ever talked to my parents about guns, it was usually after a terrible tragedy, like a school shooting, or as we headed out to a protest, like a rally we attended on the Boston Common that was organized by Parkland High students.
That does not mean I had no personal connection to guns, or that I never thought about their popularity. My mother grew up in Vermont, and her father (my grandfather) and her older brother (my Uncle) were big hunters, so her childhood was filled with talk about guns and hunting, and she used to tell me about that, even though she hates guns.
Many years ago, when we went to visit my Uncle in Boise, Idaho, where he lives now, he showed us some of his rifles and the safes he kept them in. I also remember him talking a lot about gun safety, and how worried he was that someone might break into his house and steal his guns, which is why he always disassembled them and kept them in different safes.
When we went on our field trip, I wondered what the experience would be like and how it would affect me. Would I feel the sense of excitement that I know lots of people feel when they shoot guns? Would I surprise myself and actually enjoy firing a gun? Physically, would the guns be heavy or hard to hold? Would I understand better why people might want to own not just one gun, but five or ten different guns?Continue reading