Monday, January 14, 2019

Facing My Fear of Guns



With the ownership of firearms comes responsibility, so I had asked HoneyBunch several times to teach me how to shoot and to help me get my License to Carry.  
I got my wish two weeks ago. HB and I signed up to take a LTC class. He bought me a gun, one similar to his, that would be the type we needed to show shooting proficiency, and for one whole week he tried to get me to become familiar with it, but I was hesitant.
I read the booklet that came with the gun. I practiced loading and shooting it in what is called dry shooting (no bullets), and since the flyer said I would have to shoot thirty shots at different distances, I finally tried with it loaded.
I was a nervous wreck.
The class of twelve turned out to be close to forty people. We were of all ages, colors, and genders, and I was glad I wasn’t the only woman my age. The shooting test came first, and we were separated into two groups. Those who were proficient (or thought they were) would shoot first, and those who were novices would watch and go second. HB was in the first group, and when it was my turn, I would have to load and shoot without him standing by my side. I was glad HB had made me load my magazine and my gun several times. I was grateful he had encouraged me to shoot it before going to the range.  
HB knew how nervous I was but this great calm came over me when it was my turn to load and shoot.  
I owe my calm to several things.  One, I asked my friends to pray from me and they never asked why, they just did. I needed prayer to stay calm, face my fears, and find my courage. Two, I knew if I failed this test, I had two more tries, and considering I had never handled a gun until this past week, I shouldn’t expect myself to ace this test. Three, I didn’t want to be like the woman who stood next to me.   
She talked incessantly while our husbands tested first. Here I was trying to watch HoneyBunch do his shooting proficiency test, and she talked incessantly.  She chattered, flapped her hands, and blocked my sight the whole time. I tried to ignore her and have never been more grateful for ear plugs in my life.
When it came time for the second group to line up, no one wanted to stand next to her, so I did. She was one of those chicks whose husband does everything for her, so she demanded he load her magazine, load her gun, and stand near her while she shot this huge revolver.  
I shut her out.  The instructor had us at attention, lined up, following his every command, but I heard him scold her on several occasions. He ordered the husband to stand behind the line with the others and let her do the test on her own or he would fail her. The instructor made her switch guns from the huge revolver she held to one of his loaners, a smaller 22. Every time, she waved her gun around, HB said he feared for my life.  
I flubbed up once loading my magazine but the instructor caught it before I did any damage. All in all, I did better than some of the others, even some of those who shot first, but we all passed, even the chatty broad. I kept my target sheet to remind myself that I was a better shot than the man in his mid-forties who complained to my face that the class should have been divided into men and “girls.”  This old girl shot all forty of her shots inside the middle circle, and he didn’t.
The rest of the day was spent in a classroom where we listened to the instructor go over the LTC laws and the penal codes about firearms. We took a test, our picture, and our fingerprints, and now, it is up to HB and me to finish the paperwork and file for our licenses.  
I may never need my LTC, but I did this to face my fear of guns, or rather, my healthy respect for firearms. With the ownership of firearms, comes legal responsibility.


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