The author of the Stuff Jewish Girls Like blog describes herself as “a DC-dwelling, gentile-dating, over-achieving, bargain-hunting, weight-watching, poker-playing, hyphen-ating first-year law firm associate with opinions to spare.” One of her posts is a fun account of a Jewish girl’s first time shooting:
Before arriving at the range, I was kind of excited to go; I am big on attaining survival skills, and I think it’s important that I know how to fire a gun. Not because I plan to own or even hold a gun at any point, but because I never know if I’ll ever be in an emergency situation where it will fall to me to shoot a firearm.Despite my initial excitement, once I arrived I started freaking out. I can’t really explain my fear, since I am rarely afraid of such activities, but the sound of guns going off right next to me put me on high alert. I realized that I am absolutely terrified of guns; one wrong move and these things will KILL you. There are not enough safety instructions in the world to make me feel comfortable with live ammunition.Want to feel EXTRA uncomfortable? Wear the same color scheme as the targets you’re firing at.Regardless, I soldiered through. I fired a huge rifle, which was actually kind of fun…there was no kickback and the gun had a laser sight, so it was easy to hit the target. BF and I competed to hit precise points on our targets.I also fired a 9mm handgun, which was much LESS fun. The gun had a lot more kickback, which is an extremely weird sensation when you first feel it. It doesn’t help that the casing ejects from the gun and bounces off the sides of your firing stall, hitting you in the arm (at absolutely no speed and with no pain at all, but it’s FREAKY to feel any part of a bullet touch you after you fire a gun). An added scary twist: the top of the gun retracts backwards at 100mph to reload the gun after you fire; if your thumbs or hand happens to be too high up in the back of the gun when this happens, you could get your hand sliced or your thumbs broken! (your thumbs should both be in front of or on the same side of the gun.)After my first shot with the handgun (which didn’t even hit the target ten feet in front of me), I immediately put down the gun and nearly ran out of the range. After a few minutes I calmed down and took a few more shots until I was able to hit the target (in dead center, no less).Despite my fear, I’m glad I learned a bit about gun operation and safety, and I am glad to know that I could fire a weapon if my life depended on it. Hopefully it never will!
Mazal tov! I think the story is a really great example of how many Jews could overcome their irrational fear of firearms by simply going to the range under proper guidance, and learn to safely handle and operate a gun.