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It's a trap!

June 18, 2009 - Deb Gau
(Yeah, that title was a lame Star Wars reference. Sorry, everyone!) You never know quite what you’re getting into when you go out looking for a story. Sometimes, you end up shooting a gun for the first time.

I was in Canby earlier this week to sit in on a women’s trap shooting class. After snapping some photos and talking with the ladies there, who ranged from lifelong shooters and hunters to newbies like me, they said I should give it a try. It’s the only way to know what it really feels like, they said.

So after getting a quick lesson in safety and the proper way to stand and hold a shotgun, I tried a few shots. I managed to get two direct hits out of four targets, although the instructors went easy on me - I was standing right behind the trap house, with the throwing machine’s oscillator turned off.

I’d have to agree with the women I met - it’s fun and kind of addicting, pointing a shotgun and watching the flying clay discs explode when you hit them. But at the same time, I think I came away with a greater respect for what a gun is and what it can do. First, there’s the heaviness of the gun itself, and the technique: legs apart, elbow out but not too high, both eyes open, brace the stock tight against your shoulder and cheek or you *will* hurt yourself, the instructors said. Just the act of picking up the shotgun is complex and deliberate, even before you pull the trigger.

Then, once you do pull the trigger, it’s all over with very quickly. I was surprised how little time went by between the report of the gun and the shot hitting the target. From where I was looking over the end of the barrel, it was almost simultaneous. There’s really no turning back once you commit to making the shot. In the end, I’m left with an interesting mix of feelings. One part of my brain is loudly saying, “Cool! Do it again!” but I’m still not sure I would ever want a gun of my own.


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