Thursday, December 14, 2006

I don't need your stinking memes

I am a certified marksman with the NRA.

This happened while I was in college. At Penn State, we were required to take 3 gym classes for an undergraduate degree. No doubt this requirement helped justify their huge athletic department budget. At the time, I was a militant anti-team-sport-person, and lord knows I hated mindless exercising (is there any other kind?), so I had to get creative with my selections. I ended up taking archery, fencing, and riflery.

Yes, I became deadly three different ways, my friends. As you can imagine, this was a bit off-putting to most guys when they found out. It didn't help that I was also very tall and skinny, and fond of leather jackets and sneering. On the other hand, that whole package was VERY ATTRACTIVE to certain guys, but those ended up not being the kind of guys I really wanted to date. I mean, who wants to be a top ALL THE TIME? Not me. Too exhausting.

But back to riflery.

In riflery class, we had to learn the parts of our .22 rifles and be able to take them apart and put them back together. That was not a problem. We also had to shoot at a bulls-eye in the standing, kneeling, and lying on our stomachs positions. I would get nervous when we were being tested, what with all the “blam! blam!” and my hands would shake, making it hard to aim accurately. I did best in the lying-down position (shaddup) because I could brace my arms against the floor.

For the final exam, I shot a nice grouping in the center of my target from 50 yards. I was excited. I pressed the button to recall my target paper. It was blank. I stared at it for a minute, confused. Then in the range next to me, the guy who was just starting his test yelled out “Hey, someone shot my target!”

I had sighted the target in the lane next to me, instead of my own.

“Ssssh!” I said to him. “I shot it by mistake. Give it to me, and I’ll give you my blank one.”

The guy cooperated, and I turned in an impressive final.

The next week, when we got our results, I was handed a piece of paper from the NRA that said I was a “marksman.” It was the lowest level you could obtain, as I recall, sort of the yellow belt of the gun world, but still. I asked the instructor why the certificate came from the NRA, since this was a class offered by the university, and he smiled and said “The NRA buys our bullets.”

I got junk mail and newsletters from the NRA for a couple of years after that. At some point, I threw the certificate away or lost it. I wish I hadn’t, as I would now frame it and put it on my front porch. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the NRA, but I live in a kind of marginally shitty neighborhood and I am a big fat hypocrite, I guess.


Johnny Yen said...

My father was in the NRA when I was a kid. We got the magazine. They had a section called "The Armed Citizen" or something like that. They'd have little stories of people fending off intruders, burglars, robbers, etc. with their weapons. Of course they neglected to mention all the kids who shot themselves with guns they found in closets and drawers, drunken suicides, etc. I heard a statistic that you are over 40 times more likely to be hurt with your own gun than to fend off an attacker with it.

My middle brother, the now-ex-Marine foaming at the mouth right-wing gun nut, had his trailer broken into years ago. They left the televisions, vcr's etc-- all they took was his guns, which are very easy to fence. The guns really helped him out there.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Yeah, I'm sure your brother's stolen guns will only be a force for good in the world.

Spooney said...

Don't let her fool you folks. She's always running off to that damn firing range, as soon as she gets a chance. While I'm left at home to do the dishes and water the plants. I really hate it when she gets drunk and announces that it's time for our William Tell routine.

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

Michael Moore is a proud NRA member too. It's not your fault a once-responsible organization got hijacked by a buncha morons.

Bro said...

I was a member of the NRA as the only rifle range around big enough for my .223 (Civilian M16) was an NRA range that required proof of membership. Yes I bought it after 911.

One night they (the all knowing NRA) called to tell me that Hillary had arranged to get elected and that the United Nations would come to personally take my rifle.. since you know, they can do that...

I shit not. The guy was shocked when I didn't get inflamed (I was actually but not for the reason he thought). I actually canceled for two years and told them that was the reason why. They called to verify that that was the reason why.

9 Months after I quit they called to tell me that Hillary had arranged to get elected and that the United Nations would come to personally take my rifle.. since you know, they can do that...

Shooting is a discipline, I will make the case to my wife when the time comes to have my son learn to shoot. Sure helped when I hit the service, though I did have to brush up on shooting with a gas mask on.

I have to admit that a woman than can shoot a bow is pretty attractive also...


Skylers Dad said...

Geena Davis almost qualified for the Olympic team as an archer, and there aren't many more attractive than her.