Stock of the gun pressed firmly into my shoulder, below clavicle, seated in the soft flesh of my shoulder. I held my hand above the trigger and my eye down the sights as a brief image of where the clay pigeon would fly sprung into my minds eye the way a startled spruce hen might flutter into flight.
Leaning forward I made a stance with body weighting resting on the support of my front leg. Arms upraised with shotgun neatly situated in hands and braced against my body, I was ready to allow it to take it’s role. The safety was pushed with a thumb to allow the hammer to strike and shells to come to life on my mark.
I feel the wind. I take a deep breath, release it and breath normally.“Pull”
The clay pigeon flew towards the target I had imagined, I took swift aim and beat it before it could take refuge out of my range.
I am not afraid to use this machine. Not any more afraid than I am of my sewing machine. Fear is instilled by ignorance, and like all new experiences and equipment it can be conquered till confidence is mastered.
I have been taught, trained to use it properly and effectively. Guns become unsafe when they are misused, when the danger they present is not respected and feared to the extent of being responsible. Not only must the shooter be trained, but the people around them as well. Which means, that everyone must learn how to use a gun and to listen, watch for signals, to know the lingo that pertains to the safety of all who are involved.
Banning guns and allowing people to become ignorant is not the answer, it is our duty to educate. Guns are machines, tools, weapons, they are sometimes all in one at the same time, and at times they are only one. The weight of responsibilities of knowing the essentials of how to handle guns falls on everyone rest on everyone’s shoulders, not just the person using the machine.