Before going on this [range] trip, I mentioned it to a few of my friends and family. Most of them either didn’t believe me or thought I was joking. When I told them it was true and I was really going to a shooting range, I got a nearly identical response across the board; “You might be the last person I would ever expect to do that.”
This sentiment was one that even I shared myself. I never pictured myself ever holding a gun, let alone setting foot on a shooting range. I would consider myself a strong advocate of gun control, and in general, a person who dislikes guns. However, I am also committed to becoming a more informed sociologist and human being. To better understand the crisis of gun violence and mass shootings, I know that a holistic and multifaceted perspective on gun usage and ownership is essential. Which led me to this course, and subsequently, to the Veteran’s Gun Range of Mocksville, NC.
I entered the range feeling nervous but determined to maintain an open mind. I appreciated that the environment felt supportive and calm. There were multiple things that surprised me throughout our experience; initially, I was surprised by how loud the sound of the guns firing was. I felt my heart rate increase each time a shot was fired. I was also surprised at how heavy the guns were. I had imagined them being able to be carried around and whipped out with ease.
I was surprised by how much effort and precision it took to hit the targets. I have only ever seen guns used in movies, and my perception prior to the visit was that it was relatively easy for anybody to pick up a gun and shoot something in an instant. It took me a few tries to be able to properly line it up. Another surprise came with how quickly I got the hang of using the guns. After firing a few rounds, I started to feel less anxious, and more focused. I felt satisfied when I hit the target multiple times in a row, which I hadn’t expected.
— Amelia Baker in “You Might Be The Last Person I Would Ever Expect to Do That”