Disarming My Fear of Guns

I grew up learning to be afraid of guns and I was, until I learned how to use one and in that process, separated the cultural mythology from the reality of the gun itself.

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Guns used to scare me – in an irrational way. I was told, as a child to never, ever touch a gun. Guns do terrible things. They kill people. Guns are bad and should be avoided at all costs.

My dad had one. It was a handgun that he kept up on a high shelf in the laundry room. I found it when I was about 5 years old. I knew, even then, it was a “bad thing,” so of course I wanted to touch it. I remember reaching out with my little hand to feel the cold, dark metal — much like one might reach out to feel the skin of a snake. I asked my mom if she knew we had a gun in the house and told her I touched it. Later that day, I heard harsh, hushed words between her and my dad.  The next time I climbed on a kitchen chair to see it, the gun was gone.

I continued to be afraid of guns well into my 30s. I’d see them on police belts, all black, heavy and chunky, and it caught my breath to think what those guns could do, how they had the power to kill people without getting close enough to smell them. Like everyone else in America, I frequently saw guns in TV shows, video games and in movies, and they were almost always in the hands of men, with only a few female exceptions. Guns were a guy thing and that made them seem even scarier — something that didn’t belong in the hands of a woman.

I had a boyfriend once, a cowboy type, who lived out in the country. One day I went to his house and saw a handgun lying on the coffee table. He didn’t scare me, but that gun – about a half-pound of steel – did. I asked him about it, feeling like it was a third entity in the room, like it could decide on its own to do something bad. If it made up its mind, it could rise up off that table and shoot us.

Now of course, that doesn’t make any sense. But that’s the point. I was irrationally afraid of that gun. I didn’t like seeing it and for sure, I didn’t want to touch it and I told him so – baffled that I was afraid of an inanimate object.

He suggested, and we decided together, that it might be a good idea to get a handle on this fear. So off to the gun range we went so I could learn about guns, how they work, how to load and unload one, how to fire one, how to safely handle one. And mostly, to learn that a gun doesn’t have a mind of its own.

Learning to shoot was both interesting and liberating because it took away the mystery that made me afraid of them. I haven’t touched a gun since, unless you count the shooting gallery at the amusement park, but I no longer see them as something that’s inherently evil. And even though I’m not likely to take up shooting as a hobby (much too noisy for my liking), I’m glad I learned that a gun is only as bad — or good — as the intent of the person who fires it.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Calvert/Singular Communications, LLC

Kim Calvert
Kim Calvert is the editor of 
Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.

 

Handgun Safety Class at the Oak Tree Gun Club

Knowledge is power and brings freedom from fear. Join us on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 9 a.m. for a beginner’s handgun safety class at the Oak Tree Gun Club, a beautiful outdoor facility in the Santa Clarita Valley just north of Los Angeles.

The class is designed to take an individual with little or no experience to a point where they can begin to feel comfortable with a handgun. The class is limited to a maximum of 15 students to ensure that ALL safety rules are obeyed and each student is able to obtain the help they need.

The course is approximately 3 ½ – 4 hrs long, and is comprised of approximately 1 ½ hours of classroom time where the fundamentals of gun handling and safety are discussed. Topics covered in class include but are not limited to; types of pistols (revolvers and semi-auto), safe handling, storage and transport of weapons. The remainder of the class is on the outdoor shooting range where you will apply the tools learned in class and have the opportunity to learn proper range safety and safe handling techniques of the weapon — including proper sight alignment, how to safely load and unload the weapon and how to safely clear a malfunction. Throughout the course, the instructor will give each student individual attention.

There is a restaurant on site with lunch, breakfast and snack offerings — so plan to spend the entire day.

This handgun safety class is exclusively for SingularCity members.  The cost is $99 and tickets must be purchased in advance.

To reserve your space email events@singularcity.com with OAK TREE in the subject line.

If you would like to join SingularCity so you can participate in the class (and partake of our other member benefits), click here.

 

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One thought on “Disarming My Fear of Guns

  1. Excellent article … you put into words my own lifelong “irrational” fear of guns – also feeling like an inanimate object could have a mind of its own and just rise up and shoot itself. And overcoming the fear by learning to use them. Thank you.

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