Ms. Adventure

Ms. Adventure: Ms. Gun-shy Gives It Her Best Shot

What happened when the author took up target shooting

  I still can’t believe that I shot a gun. Up until my recent adventure at a local shooting range, the most dangerous weapon I’d ever touched was a squirt gun, and even then I wasn’t a terribly good shot. As a kid, a squirt gun battle typically left me soaking wet, in tears and running to my mom with an empty weapon while my opponent was dry, laughing and enjoying the thrill of victory.  Growing up, I had very little knowledge of guns. I come from a pacifist Methodist family that rejected violence. My parents locked their doors and took precautions to keep us safe, but there were no guns in the house—ever. My Grandma Mabel was a different story. After her second divorce, when she was in her mid-50s, living in a great, big, old house in South Carolina, she bought a gun for protection that she kept in her nightstand drawer right next to her bed. There had been some robberies near her neighborhood and no way was Mabel going to let anyone pilfer her jewelry box. The drawer didn’t have a lock on it, but my cousins and I knew the gun was there because she told us. “Don’t you kids EVER open that drawer or you’ll get a whooping so hard it’ll knock you into next Sunday!” We were terrified of Grandma Mabel. No one touched that drawer. But one summer night in the late ’70s, a prowler used a switchblade to slice his way through a screen in my grandma’s living room and crept down the hallway to my grand
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