Amy Kalson hates bugs, sunburns and cooked bell peppers. She loves dogs, tea and books. And now she can add one more thing to her love list: guns. Real ones. Amy’s a video game designer who until recently had never picked up anything that shoots without the aid of an Xbox controller. And she seems to feel pretty sheepish about it, pleading to her fellow game developers not to “throw rocks at my head” when they find out…
There are a million stories in the naked city. And each gun convert seems to have his or her own unique one. The Armed Intelligentsia, of course, welcomes them all with open arms.
Kalson actually credits video games for her firearms (the real ones) introduction. As well has her accuracy. And she’s had a revelation.
Fifteen years ago I was giving money to anti-gun groups, and now I am a gun owner with a membership to the local firing range.
The video games made me do it.
Let me be crystal clear about this: SHOOTING GUNS IN REAL LIFE IS NOT THE SAME AS SHOOTING VIRTUAL GUNS.
OK, so maybe that last part won’t surprise many readers here, but you can see how a game-designing gun newb might be struck by that fact.
I loved it almost instantly. It wasn’t the feeling of power or the knowledge that I was using a deadly weapon that I liked. It was the concentration and precision – the stillness it took to line up the sights, relax, and squeeze the trigger. It was much more zen and stress-relieving than I ever expected it to be. Guns demand your attention. You cannot think about anything else when you hold one in your hand. I loved the way my mind would go completely quiet while shooting. Also, the gun went boom and blew a hole in something, and that was satisfying, in the same way popping bubble wrap is.
Kalson credits her off-the-bat accuracy to hand-eye coordination she believes she developed through gaming. To test her hypothesis, she took up archery – another new pursuit for her – and hit the bulls eye there, too. So to speak.
And despite her former anti-gun stance, Kalson’s new appreciation for firearm fun has given her some insight into the relationship between video games and the real world. To wit: games don’t make you a killer. They might foster an interest in real guns. And they may develop skills with real world application. But as Kalson concluded, playing games like Call of Duty no more result in violent behavior than watching Star Trek results in increased space travel.
This is also a great example for you kids out there. It’s pretty darned easy to convert a hoplophobe. All it can take is a range visit with an accommodating friend who shoots. Namely you. So let’s give Ms. Kalson a rousing Armed Intelligentsia welcome to gun ownership and the fun of shooting. Thanks, Amy, for spreading the word. We can’t wait to read about the person whose mind you change with a trip to the range.