08 June 2010
While working in the TV biz for 25 years, I went on a lot of shoots, but nothing like the shoot I went on today.
After an 18-month hiatus, last week I started working at a local production company which has had a lot of success producing outdoor shows of the hunting and fishing flavor.
Did I mention I was Jewish?
Well today I was asked to go with a cameraman to a local shooting range to do a feature on a gun class.
Did I mention I was… oh, never mind.
Have an open mind, right?
When I arrived, I walked into the center of the lodge surrounded by a group of people carrying handguns.
Normally that would be scary, but fortunately they didn’t know I was Jewish.
Ok, that was the last one, sorry.
In the room there were 14 students, four instructors and one Master Instructor.
I drove over from the lodge to the range with the Master of this domain, picking his brain along the way.
Q: How much is the class?
A: $750 per person
Q: How much is a gun?
A: You can get a Chevy for $700 or a Ferrari for $2500.
Then he decided to ask me some questions.
Q: Do you own a gun?
Q: Hey, why are you wearing a seat belt?
A: In case we…. Oh, I get it.
With a 45-caliber smile on his face, he said that he hoped that I get a gun before I am a victim.
“Because you will be a victim.”
Considering he has probably used that exact phrase thousands of times to hundreds of people, I didn’t take it too personally.
When we got to the range, I met ten very nice men and four very nice women who I had absolutely nothing in common with.
Among those students was a father and son, husband and wife, another husband and wife and a former NBA basketball player.
How weird is that? An NBA player who waited until AFTER his career to get a gun.
The entire time I was at the range I was like a little kid at a gun store, eyes wide open getting quite the education.
I learned that when the instructor says, “make ready,” you’d better put your headphones on quickly because the shots are coming.
I learned that you’d better be able to go from holster to shot in under 1.5 seconds or "the bad guy will get you.”
I learned that a “double tap” is when you put two shots into the center mass to create two separate wound channels.
And I also learned that anyone carrying a “nine” better get ready to be the butt of all jokes.
For example: anything over SPF 30 will stop a nine.
And a fly got hit the other day by a nine and flew away.
I know nothing about guns, but with 19 people packing within 20 feet of me, I laughed at EVERY joke.
All of the guns were nice and shiny, but there was one man who was using a gun that looked exactly like the one Jack Ruby made famous nearly fifty years ago.
That must’ve been the nine.
This was the third and final day of their class and after a morning lecture at the lodge, this was their final chance to improve their time.
For about 45 minutes, it was shot after shot after shot… after shot.
It sounded like the fourth of July on steroids.
When they were done shooting, there were more empty shells on the ground than a western bar after a night of all-you-can-eat peanuts
Most of the folks finished around the one second mark, but the son, who came to class with his father, led the way with a point eight something.
That got a round of applause from the crowd, including his VERY proud father.
Maybe I do have something in common with this group.