Tomorrow, Bobby and I are taking a concealed weapons class. I know, what’s that about? I think only those who know me IRL can fully appreciate how just plain weird this is. I hate guns. I didn’t grow up around guns. Daddy never hunted, I had no brothers, and although my cousins and uncles did/do shoot things, they were too far away to really influence me. I’ve always found guns and all related activities extremely distasteful… I actually had never even touched one until a few weeks ago.
Something’s changed though — when someone broke into Jen & Tom’s house a few months ago, it really scared me. For the first time, I felt vulnerable inside my own house and in my own neighborhood. Throw in a few (ok, more than a few) men coming up on our porch during the day while I’m home alone asking for a handout, and you have one scared little country girl on your hands. It’s not like I’m living in the big city now or anything.. I hardly think the metropolis of Anderson can be called a “city” compared to New York or even Charlotte. But in the Townville countryside where I grew up, we literally didn’t lock our doors. And now, I’m keeping that sucker locked all the time…
A month or so ago, Bobby and I began discussing the possibility of having a gun in the house. The old Sarah, the one who would have immediately said “NO WAY, what are you thinking?!?” actually began considering it. So a few Friday evenings ago, Bobby suggested that we go to the local sporting goods store (yeah, romantic date, huh?) and just look. We headed back to the gun counter, where we were greeted by an insane number of people who apparently feel that gun-shopping is a perfectly normal Friday night activity. I felt so uncomfortable… like there was a blinking sign on my & Bobby’s foreheads that said “Yuppies Who Got Lost On Their Way To The Tailgating Supplies.” It would be an understatement to say that we were NOT the typical customer at that very crowded gun counter.
So we politely waited our turn, and Bobby asked the main guy for a recommendation. He pulled out a Smith & Wesson 38 Special and laid it on the counter. Bobby held it and handed it to me… I felt the same revulsion that I felt once at the zoo when I held a snake. It was cold, smooth, and deadly. To me, handguns are way scarier than rifles or shotguns or the bigger types… the bigger guns shoot animals for food, while the little ones are intended to shoot people. I can’t get past that. But the odd (and frightening) thing? It also felt good in a creepy, powerful sort of way. It was exhilarating, that feeling that as long as I had that little gun, no one could hurt me. For the first time, I understood why people like guns. I’m not sure that I LIKE that I understood it, but I did.
Tomorrow, Bobby, my MIL, and I are taking an 8-hr concealed weapons course. I’m apparently going to learn how to handle a gun. I’m going to learn how shoot things. Good lord, PLEASE don’t let me ever need to use the knowledge I’m acquiring tomorrow.
So yep, just call me Annie Oakley. Pure craziness, I tell you.