But, about a year ago my sister in law, Anita tweaked my curiosity when she spent an open evening at the gun range shooting at targets. Now that the possibility and idea had been presented to me, in a round about way, I was intrigued. So, I looked quite seriously into doing it with Eric and my boys, but there were two strikes against me; no one under 14 was permitted to shoot a gun and Eric got switched to afternoons and then midnights. I was in the process of trying to sort out how to take Gage and not Roan when Eric's shifts went all wonky so the problem was somewhat solved. We wouldn't be going.
Fast forward to the end of November this past year and me opening my email to find a Groupon sitting there that finally caught my eye. A $100 lesson/gun shooting package for 40 bucks at Silverdale Gun Club! I immediately sought out more information and found out that Roan would be allowed to shoot the guns provided an adult was with him. So I bought 4 packages for Christmas gifts and immediately booked it so we wouldn't be waiting too long to get out to the range.
The day arrived following a blustery, cold week and both Eric and Gage woke up with flu-like symptoms. Grrrr-ate! So bitchy Holly kicked into high gear and forced those two Donald-downers into winter clothes, then the van and drugged them each enough to put a goddamn smile on their faces for a few hours. I was hoping the guns in hand would help them forget their woe's.
I've never held a real gun in my hand let alone a loaded gun that I was going to actually fire. I'm going to admit, it was pretty empowering. Included in the package was 200 rounds of ammunition each and the opportunity to shoot a couple 22 caliber Smith &Wessons, a 9mm Glock and a rifle. Thankfully with the sun out, the day didn't seem so cold. I had a blast (pun kind of intended, and so did all three of the boys!).
I know there's a lot of controversy around guns and exposing them to kids and what not, but that's not what this post is about. The idea behind this day was about doing something we've never done before as a family unit and most importantly, something the boys would WANT to do. The instructor was awesome. He was personable, extremely knowledged and strict when it came to gun safety and both boys followed his instructions to a tee. We all had a really good time together and we created memories with each other, so please save the lectures about guns and kids. We really enjoyed ourselves and took lots of video and pictures. All of the staff we encountered that day were really friendly and helpful and they let the boys keeps some shells and our targets at the end of the day.
Roan was intimidated by the Glock 9 mm because of it's strong 'recoil' but I think it was a fan favourite for the rest of us. Roan loved shooting the rifle with the scope. I think if we had allowed him he would have only shot that particular gun over and over. At the end of the day, Roan had completely decimated the bulls eye of his target from the sniper rifle. There wasn't a piece of paper left in it. The rest of us laid a beating on the centre circle of our own targets as well.
This was definitely something all four of us would like to do again and it was well worth braving the cold day and looking past stomach and head aches for a couple of hours. Despite the bitter temperatures the memories leave a warm spot in my heart. I know it's silly as they were guns, but the smiles on all our faces were priceless and my kids will always remember doing something they think is cool, like shooting guns, with us (innocently).