Gun handling in the U.S.
How can I go to America and not shoot a gun? Of course I can’t, which is why we went to the shooting range today and I fired a gun for the first time. Yet another thing I can now cross off my imaginary list. I used two different types of guns, one .357 caliber shotgun and the other, a semi-automatic handgun used primarily for self defense.
The laws of gun handling and ownership are quite strict in California in comparison to other parts of America, particularly in the Eastern and Southern parts of the U.S. I’m not too clear on the specific laws and regulations, but in general you have the right to own a gun if you intend to use it for self defense. There are also strict rules about locking your weapon and leaving it unloaded when not in use.
However, the thing that surprised me the most about this whole experience was how easy it was to just walk into the shooting range, snag a couple of bullets and start shooting away like a maniac (at the target). There were no questions asked about my obvious (lack of) experience with gun handling. All I had to do was supply ID, sign my name, and briefly take note of the 7 or so house rules. After that, I was handed a gun and told to take aim and fire. Crazy stuff.
I can’t tell you how nervous I was initially, my mother would be so proud. My advice would be if you happen to be in the United States of America, I recommend you start shooting something.
I definitely see this experience as a significant example of cultural difference, because people’s reaction to guns here is quite relaxed. Many Australians are aware of the American way of thinking when it comes to guns in use for “self defense” and it’s almost comical to us at times. But I believe that U.S citizens take the right to bear arms very seriously. Didn’t stop me from having a laugh though.