October 11, 2007


My husband organized a surprise for my birthday. He'd been cooking it up since July, and although I was really curious about what he was planning, I didn't really try to guess it. And he managed to make it a real surprise in the end.

He took me to exercise my rights.


We have been talking about purchasing a firearm since we got back from Germany. So when we drove up to the place, I figured we were going shopping. That's when he told me that this place had its own firing range. I'm sure my face looked like most women would look if they were offered a shoe shopping spree. Better, in fact.

I had never fired a weapon before. I'd never even been around firearms before; the first time I ever saw one up close was the day my husband deployed. (Seriously, I was so retarded that when my husband gave me tips, a few times I thought "Hey, I know that from CSI:Miami.") I must admit it was a bit intimidating. I had to keep reminding myself that bullets can't just explode on their own, and a revolver with the cylinder open can't really hurt you. That may sound silly to experienced marksmen, but it's an unsettling feeling for a novice. Someone who's accomplished with firearms handles them with confidence and ease, while an idiot like me wanted to hold it like it was an egg and hide behind the partition while my husband was loading it.

We rented a Smith & Wesson revolver and an XD 9mm. My husband gave me some pointers and showed me how to handle the revolver first. As I aimed for the target's chest, I savored the moment of taking my first shot. And didn't really hit the chest. I am not very good at aiming yet, and I wasn't expecting the spark of flame that accompanies the shot. And the noise. But I improved a little as we made our way through the box of ammo and became a bit more confident.

The 9mm was a different story though. My husband originally said that we might want to consider buying a revolver. In my stupid mind, I thought that a revolver wasn't sexy enough. Who wants a revolver when they could have a 9mm? Um, I do. Holy crap, the kick on that thing was absurd. Apparently knitting muscles are not the same ones as firearm muscles! I had the hardest time keeping the danged thing from jumping four inches every time I fired it. I could barely even aim the thing, just hope for the best that I was at least hitting the silhouette somewhere.

We didin't buy anything tonight, but I think I'm leaning towards a revolver. Maybe I'll graduate to that 9mm once I have more practice.

So my husband, who barely remembers to get me a birthday card most years, came through with flying colors. It was a genuine surprise, and one that made me feel giddy inside to be an American. Especially since I just read Bill Whittle's Freedom again the other day:

Once the Second Amendment goes, the First will soon follow, because if some unelected elite determines that the people can't be trusted with dangerous guns, then it's just a matter of time until they decide they can't be trusted with dangerous ideas, either. Dangerous ideas have killed many millions more people than dangerous handguns -- listen to the voices from the Gulag, the death camps, and all the blood-soaked killing fields through history.

The Framers, in their wisdom, put the 2nd Amendment there to give teeth to the revolutionary, unheard-of idea that the power rests with We The People. They did not depend on good will or promises. They made sure that when push came to shove, we'd be the ones doing the pushing and shoving, not the folks in Washington.

However, as we arrived and walked towards the range, I got a funny smile on my face. I told a lot of people that my husband had a surprise for me today. My friend from Sweden. My aunt. The little old ladies from my knitting circle. Are they going to all freak out if I tell them the truth about what my husband organized for my birthday? It's even more intense than that year he introduced me to his tank.

So I made the leap to Grown Up today. And I also made the leap to 2nd Amendment practitioner. Big day.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:45 PM | Comments (19) | Add Comment
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1 OH what a wonderful birthday! Yay for your husband. And yes, it's very very hard to hold a pistol out there. We live about an hour away from Smith and Wesson headquarters. We took young son out there to shoot while he was home on leave. I had fired a .22 rifle before, but never a pistol. Pistols are much harder. I stuck with the .22 revolver for that time. I want to try out some others too, but haven't gotten to it yet. If you can find a range that let's you rent different types of guns, check out as many as you can. Stay small until you get your aim and build some muscle then move up. I will admit I like rifles better than pistols, they are much easier to aim. *grin* Anyhow, I'm so glad you had fun!

Posted by: Teresa at October 11, 2007 04:58 PM (rVIv9)

2 My wife owns a S&W Model 66 .357 Magnum because my Model 629 was too heavy for her. Okay, she prefers to shoot .38's only and that's fine with me. Nothing wrong with revolvers. Funny thing, when we first met, my wife was ambivilent towards firearms. As often happens, an incident occurred and she came to me asking if she could have her own. I have taught my daughters about basic firearms safety. They didn't see a reason for it but I know that someday they will be somewhere that some knucklehead will leave a firearm laying about. I want them to know how to unload it and make it safe instead of fretting about it. Stay safe!

Posted by: R1 at October 11, 2007 05:00 PM (b8byF)

3 Sarah - sounds good - revolver is the type of gun; 9mm is the caliber - you could theoretically have a 9mm revolver although I can't think of one off the top of my head. MB6 has a Browning Buckmark in .22 so you can get autos with little boom - but 9mm is a pretty mild shoot - which is why I like it - Glock 19 baby - and don't look back.

Posted by: Badger 6 at October 11, 2007 07:55 PM (PJY33)

4 Congratulations Sarah. I had the same experience my 1st time with a revolver. Nobody told me there'd be fire coming out the sides of a .357!

Posted by: annika at October 11, 2007 08:34 PM (z/p/l)

5 Happy Birthday! What a sweetie you have! Go 2nd Amendment!

Posted by: wendy at October 11, 2007 09:14 PM (56tHP)

6 Smith and Wesson revolver...Now that's my kind of gun (you can't go wrong with one of those)! I want to give Russ a huge hug and a high five! Man, he totally exceeded my expectations! I'm glad you had a good time...

Posted by: Erin at October 12, 2007 03:15 AM (XRza7)

7 Crap. I just said his name. I just realized that. Hell, shoot me.

Posted by: Erin at October 12, 2007 03:17 AM (XRza7)

8 I am glad that you had a good birthday! A trip to the shooting range would be high on my list of good days. I don't currently have a handgun, but I do enjoy shooting my rifle. It was a gift from my husband when we were dating. And our dates would be to the range, lol. I do hope to get my concealed carry license sometimes within the next year as well. I think it is always a good thing to know how to shoot a gun.

Posted by: Kasey at October 12, 2007 05:19 AM (tttDj)

9 A happy birthday. A few years back my wife expressed interest in exercising her Second Amendment right and we bought a Ruger .22 single action revolver. It is about perfect for learning with - low cost ammo, no recoil, simple to operate, and pretty accurate. Eldest daughter expressed interest upon her 21st birthday. Wife took her to the range and instructed her with that same little revolver. Although she liked shooting her circumstances have not encouraged her to continue. None-the-less, I feel better that she has had the experience, and learned proper practice. Younger daughter came home from a camping trip with tales of shooting nutria and drinking beer at night (not her, but some with her). Even though she had no interest, she was hauled to the range for proper instruction/indoctrination. Can't have her learning from a bunch of idiots.

Posted by: Glenmore at October 12, 2007 06:25 AM (4uNp+)

10 Sounds like you had a great time. I too had never been around guns until I meet my husband. The first time I shot one I was so stunned by the noise and flashes and the shells flying and everything. I almost started crying. But I knew this was important to Jack Bauer so it was going to be important to me too. Years later, I am still a novice. Maybe we can go shooting when he comes home on leave.

Posted by: Butterfly Wife at October 12, 2007 08:16 AM (+2qii)

11 Happy birthday and congrats on your trip to the range! I have to agree with Badger 6 on the Glocks. My sweetie surprised me with a 27 (.40 caliber) for my birthday last year and I love it. He gets quite a kick out of seeing his little moonbat shoot. My biggest problem is that I have so much fun that I laugh, which tends to scare people. Welcome to the Shootin' Sisterhood! :-)

Posted by: Bette at October 12, 2007 08:42 AM (ICdbF)

12 From one Gun Nut to another, welcome to the gun smoke club. If you love revolvers, and wand a great one, get one that fits your hands, has some heft but not too heavy (more mass = less recoil), might want to look at one with vents/compensator near the front sight (again a recoil reduction thing (but more noise/flames (flames fun in a dark range (insert evil laugh here))), I would also recommend that you get a Magnum caliber but start of on the sub caliber with target loads. For example a .357mag but shooting 38spl wad cutters, or a .44mag shooting 44spl wad cutters. I would get you the same thing I got my wife for her 24th birthday, in our case a Ruger SP101 and she loved it. With out a doubt the best thing I ever got here. Nothing says I love you like a way to empower others to defend them selfÂ’s.

Posted by: dagamore at October 12, 2007 08:52 AM (pMuuE)

13 I'd only fired BB guns and shotguns before I fired my first pistol. I have to admit to being as nervous as you were, because the range was LOUD, even with the ear protection, and the list of rules was so long, I was afraid I was going to forget one of them and end up hurting myself. I'm still not a huge fan of pistols or rifles, mainly because I haven't handled them that much and they're not as fun to shoot as my pump-action Winchester Defender, which I take to the skeet range. It's a little too short to shoot skeet, but it's so darn fun to shoot! And I feel very secure having it at home, because I can shoot from the shoulder or the hip, and it can double as a club if I need it to. Also, the sound of the pump (which is pretty intimidating) is considered a warning shot in Washington state. If an intruder hears the pump and keeps coming, I am within my right to follow through. I thought about these things a lot while Sweetie was deployed ... just in case. It made me feel more secure in my house.

Posted by: deltasierra at October 12, 2007 09:12 AM (woXks)

14 What a terrific hubby, and a great present! I know exactly what you mean about holding a pistol/revolver out there - my hubby's .357 has 4 interchangeable barrels. When the 8" barrel is in place, the thing weighs a ton! We generally keep the 6" on it instead, and it is still heavier than my .357 - they're just built differently. For ease of use, I prefer pistols - but a revolver will never jam on you. And for sheer fun, I have a sweet little .22 pistol that is great for plinking at precision targets. Not that I am great at it, but it's just fun to shoot! Our range has a ladies night where all 'rentals' are free to the women. So I can go and try out any handgun I want to, and just have to buy the ammo. Check at your range for something like that. The other option we have all the time is one-price rentals for all the same caliber. So I can try out all of the 9mm handguns in stock at the range all night long, for instance. One piece of advice. It's tempting to try for a lighter gun, because it's easier to hold your arm out there. BUT - typically a lighter one will buck more, so a heavier one stays more solid as you fire. It's a trade off that you'll have to figure out. Have fun :-)

Posted by: Barb at October 12, 2007 09:37 AM (QOeYI)

15 I have always found the HK USP compact in 9mm work well for me in protecting America. Happy Birthday. I'd say more but dammit, there's no time.

Posted by: Jack Bauer at October 12, 2007 10:05 AM (Kyuwr)

16 hell........the .357 revolver is the only gun in the safe i know how to load!! And I can "hit" with it, if I HAVE to!! It's probably, because I've had some bad expierences with guns, in a ''closed chapter of my life'',that I really do not care for guns, nor do I want to be around them....that doesn't matter/bother my husband, nor my children/daughter......Di Jo tells one hellva story, about the scratches, in her brother's(Gunnar) shotgun, which involved a 4 wheeler, a gravel road,(spotlighting @ midnight,) a bump(at about 50 mph, i'd imagine),gun falling to gravel, and accidental discharge, and one of several ''close calls'', where life, death, and ''fun'' with her brother were all descriptive words, used in the same sentence. And you must imagine this....as a wedding gift, my husband gave his baby girl a deer rifle!!! When I sent you birthday wishes, yesterday, I'dda never THUNK it!!!I'm glad you got to go, and shoot, hopefully to your hearts content......

Posted by: debey at October 12, 2007 01:22 PM (phnCO)

17 When you make your gun decision, get something that you are comfortable with. 3.80, 9mm, .45, even a .22 magnum (its what I have, actually), the caliber almost doesn't matter. Just as long as it doesn't break your wrist when you pull the trigger, and it feels good in your hand. And practice!

Posted by: Deskmerc at October 12, 2007 02:17 PM (Ho1gG)

18 Isn't it FUN?? Just wait till you graduate to a .45!! And RIFLES! MAN I love rifles!

Posted by: Green at October 12, 2007 02:22 PM (VqW06)

19 My now hubby bought me a Ruger GPS 100 .357 revolver as a welcome to the USA gift, shortly before our wedding. We went to a gun shop - alas, no local range - and tried out every pistol they had until we found one that sat just right in my hand. And after the first trip out to the "farm" for a bit of shooting at trees, we went t a gun show and picked up one box of every type of ammo the revolver could shoot. .357 has a kick. 38 special wadcutters, on the other hand, have barely any kick at all, and my aim is best with those. Now if only we could find a local range that was less than 90 minutes drive away.

Posted by: Eowyn at October 13, 2007 09:24 AM (0Ozff)

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