Saturday, February 4, 2012

Our story begins in Kuwait (Arizona)

I had planned on starting this blog months and months ago, but a deployment to Kuwait put that on hold for a few months. Now, out of action for another week due to a sprained ankle (I injured it stepping out of a port-o-potty if you can believe that) I've got some spare time to get my gun blog jump started.

The above photo was taken at the Scottsdale Gun Club. It's just me with my very first gun, a Bushmaster ORC carbine. It was a Christmas gift from a former employer. Nice gift eh? To this day, I've yet to be as excited to receive a gift, all others pale in comparison.

A video review of the Bushmaster ORC...

Here's a short video tour of the Scottsdale Gun Club...

I had been anti-gun most of my life, that is, before I moved to Arizona. When I say anti-gun, I mean to say that I was anti-violence. I still feel the world and it's societies should renounce violence in all its forms, except when absolutely necessary to defend against the occasional tyrant. 

I had only shot a gun (not including BB guns) twice in my life. The first time was when I was around 9 years old, during a family trip to Mexico. My dad brought me along when he and some relatives went out to shoot. Someone thought it was a good idea to put a 357 magnum or similar revolver in my hands. I fired off just one round. It scared the crap out of me. I'm sure I had a look of shock and fear in my eyes, all the adults had a good laugh, but that experience chiseled a fear in me. 

The second time I shot a gun was around the age of 13. I was going through my dads armoire, looking for spare change so I could play some games at the local video arcade. As I was rummaging around I found his .25 pistol. Being the curious 13 year old male that I was, I couldn't help myself, I wanted to see what it felt like to pull the trigger. I removed the magazine and pointed the pistol at the carpet. Dumb ass that I was, and completely ignorant of how to clear a pistol, I neglected to clear the chamber. I pulled the trigger thinking I was just dry firing the weapon, BANG! I almost shit my pants. I swore I'd never touch another gun again.

Fast forward 34 years, to Arizona.

My employer, and best friend at the time, was a member of the Scottsdale Gun Club. He owned a Glock and a Taurus revolver. I don't remember if the Glock was a 9mm or a .40. The Taurus was a .17HMR. We spent our days lounging by the pool, drinking beer, BBQ fine cuts of steak and working, of course. One day, he invited me to come along with him to the gun club.

I was in awe of the site I was treated to as I walked in the double doors of the SGC for the first time. Wall to wall guns, and lots of them. The first display that caught my eye was right at the front door. It was a Browning .50 cal (the same ma deuce we use in the army) surrounded by cases and cases of ammo, In front of that, a circular display case filled with revolvers, to my right, a wall of AKs and AR15s, to my left, a wall of shotguns, and to my front semi-automatic hand guns. It was an orgasmic sight (that's really the only way I can describe it). Because it was my first time at SGC, I had to watch the mandatory range safety video and got a tour of the facility. it's an impressive layout to say the least. 

We eventually ended up at our lane at the indoor range (to this day, I have yet to shoot at an indoor facility that compares to SGC) and I watched as my friend unloaded a few magazines into his target. It wasn't long before he beckoned me to the firing line. My palms were clammy, my heart was racing as I approached. At first I told him that I didn't want to shoot, but he gave me a little push and soon I raised the Glock and fired my first round.

Shooting is exciting and fun. There's a rush of adrenaline and an element of danger every time you pull the trigger. It's like taming a wild beast. It's safe to say, after my experience at the SGC, I was hooked.

Arizona is a great place to shoot guns. I joined the SGC but after I moved further West, away from Scottsdale, it just became too inconvenient to make the drive. I loved living in the desert. I used to walk about a mile behind my house and set up targets in a dry creek.  I could shoot all day without bothering or being bothered by anyone. I would sometimes take girlfriends and models (I was working as a photographer at the time) out there with me and they'd shoot topless! I've got the pictures to prove it! (I'll post some when I get back to the states this summer) God bless America.

It's hard to believe it took me so long to get into shooting, given the fact that I've always been a military history buff. But the great thing about a hobby like shooting guns is, it's never too late to start. I appreciate guns for their place in history and for the mechanical works of art that many of them truly are.

I began to do some research into the second amendment, and the more I read, the more I came to believe that the right to bear arms is as important as any other right. I formed my opinion that next to raising children, gun ownership is the greatest responsibility a person can undertake.

I'm not paranoid by any stretch of the imagination, but I firmly believe that gun ownership is a integral part of being able to defend yourself, your family and your property. There are criminals who won't hesitate to cause you bodily harm in order to take what they want from you. Responsible adults have every right to carry a firearm. 

Christmas of 2006 came around and with it came my first fire arm. The Bushmaster ORC I mentioned earlier. SGC allows rapid fire at their range (I have yet to find a range in Washington that allows rapid fire) and boy let me tell you, there's nothing quite like firing that AR15 until the magazine is empty.

I continued to educate myself about fire arms safety, laws and history and fire arms quickly became my main hobby. I have a modest collection of rifles and pistols, my favorite to collect and shoot are World War 2 era rifles such as Mosin Nagant and Mauser variants. 

That brings us around to present day, here I am serving my country, active duty army. I'm 3 months into a 10 month deployment with plenty of time to blog...

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