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  • Writer's pictureJoy Allen

Get Ready for the BOOM!

Just getting started...

There I was. I'd finally made the decision. I wanted to learn to shoot a handgun. My husband stood beside me in the local range as the instructor discussed range safety rules and described sight picture and alignment. After fifteen minutes of hearing about these sites, I finally realized he was describing the little white circles on the gun. I never even knew handguns had an aiming mechanism. I thought, until that point, that those who were actually able to hit the target had a special kind of gift - one that I could only hope to one day acquire.

There I was. It was a November evening in 2015. My husband encouraged me to sign up for a basic pistol class at our local range. I didn't want him to know it, but I was afraid! Part of me was fascinated with the idea of learning to shoot while another part of me was intimidated. My husband is a former Marine. Of course, he can shoot. Undoubtedly, I knew he had that "something" that ensure the bullet would hit where intended. As for me - well, I wasn't so sure.

After about an hour of lecture, reality set in. The instructor lined the students up across six bays, all with loaded handguns lying on the benches. He slowly described how each of us would take our first shot at the target. He reminded us about aim and trigger pull. I watched as he pointed the handgun down range. His voice began to fade as I watched his finger slowly pull the trigger until... BOOM! I thought my heart would jump out of my chest. I must have jumped four feet off the ground. How was I going to do this?

I stepped to the bench. I picked up a handgun. I have no idea what model or caliber it was, but I was amazed... amazed that I was actually holding a gun. I looked at the sights and made sure they were aligned at the center of my target. I slowly pulled the trigger until... BOOM! Then something strange happened. I was at ease. In fact, I was overjoyed. I'd done it! And to make matters even better, the shot hit my target - dead center.

I felt empowered. Could I really be doing this? It was a lot of fun, but I wasn't sure if I'd really ever touch a gun again. Little did I know, it was only the beginning!

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