Chris and I make a concentrated effort to stay busy, and I dare say that yesterday was no exception. After feeling justified in sleeping in a bit (what are Saturday's for?), we met up with brother-in-law Johnny who took us to the Scottsdale Shooting Club. What an experience.
The store is essentially a shooting range/weapons store that is stocked full of small guns, big guns, beautifully crafted guns, and scarily intense guns. Members even get a free machine gun rental on their birthday! Smiling people enjoying their weekend were filing in and out carrying (sometimes very large) bags filled with their personal weapons. Initially, it almost seemed like a contradictory sight.
After gearing up with ear and eye protection, the three of us walked through multiple sets of automatic glass doors and entered the shooting range. There were rows men and women simultaneously firing at their own paper targets, similar to what you see cops doing in their spare time on CSI. Even with ear protection, the room was loud in an unnerving way, and the reverberation and impact of the firing weapons inside my chest didn't help my nerves much.
After a short safety lesson from Johnny, Chris and I went at it! I picked up the gun thinking it almost looked like a black squirt gun or a plastic toy, but after shooting it, I changed my mind in a hurry.
Initially, I wasn't a bad shot--Johnny was impressed, but as I continued to fire, I became progressively worse. He explained that in the same moment I would pull the trigger my body would tense up in anticipation of my weapon firing. This alone would cause my well-aligned aim to veer almost 5' from the target! With practice, I learned that shooting is primarily about controlling your breathing and mental focus in an uncomfortable environment. It was a challenge to move more slowly, breathe more deeply, and maintain a peaceful mind set when I knew the weapon in my hand would emit a very loud BANG followed by a powerful kick, but once I began to practice that control, I did very well!
After flying through enough ammo to sufficiently shred a handful of paper targets, Chris and I left for Chase field to watch the Diamond backs play the Giants. (Hats off to Johnny for the tickets). Games are always a blast. The fans are full of energy and the size of the stadium alone is staggering.
After eating too many hotdogs, and loosing miserably (again), Chris and I headed home. The drive downtown was spectacular. Reflections of the low-hanging sun were gleaming off of glass-faced skyscrapers. The sight was breathtaking. All in all, it was a beautiful end to an enjoyable Saturday.