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December 10, 2016
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A trip to the gun range

It’s strangely quiet under the ear protection I’m wearing as we enter the actual gun range. The gunshots echoing all around me are muffled and I can hear myself breathing. The entire situation is very surreal. I make my way to lane two.

BLAM! I flinch as someone fires a gun in lane one, literally three feet away from me.

My hands shake with nervousness as I awkwardly load the 9mm bullets into the magazine. They click in one at a time, and I can feel the spring inside getting tighter and tighter.

I slide the magazine into place and pull back on the barrel of the gun. It’s live. Extremely carefully, I pick it up and feel the weight in my hand.

The target is attached to a pulley system with beat-up clothes pins. A silhouette of a person with a bullseye in the center of its chest. I slide the target away from me with a small silver button and raise the gun with both hands. I close one eye and shift my focus from the sight on top of the gun to the center of the bullseye.

I begin to squeeze the trigger as my body tenses, not quite sure when it’s going to go off. I squeeze it more. Still nothing. A little more.

BLAM! The gun in my hands explodes at the target. The slight kickback ripples through my body. A tiny grin on the edge of my lip, I squeeze it again. BLAM!

There is a strange dichotomy between the quietness of the moment inside your head and the sheer power of firing a bullet out of a gun.

I found the entire experience equal parts fun, nerve-wracking, Zen and upsetting.