Monday, March 4, 2013

Vegas: Guns & golf, the ranges of fun

The acrid odor of gunsmoke still in our nostrils, one of our hosts asked me if I’d ever done anything like that before. We’d just spent 30 minutes in gun range at the Guns And Ammo Garage firing maybe 100 round each from Glocks, AK-47s and other lethal weapons.

As a matter of fact, I had. Thousands of times.

What golfer hasn’t?

I was surprised to discover how much time at the golf range and time at the gun range have in common.

Both activities require basic instruction, concentration, stationary targets, triggers and violent recoils.

With me the only difference is I’ve never come close to killing anyone with an automatic weapon.

Not so with golf, where my body count could land me on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

Just last summer I nearly drilled the local weatherman -- and that was one storm front his Doppler Radar failed to warn him was coming his way.

I understand the statement is bound to get gun enthusiasts, well, up in arms, but golf is far more exciting. So is ping pong.

A well-struck golf shot requires dozens of orchestrated movements covering the full head-to-toe range of the human body. Executing a good sweet spot golf shot is a very satisfying physical release, one many often compare to an orgasm.

I don’t recall feeling any orgiastic release when firing the AK-47, but if I did it was confined to my finger.

I wonder if part of it was I felt no hostility toward my paper targets. One was a standard dummy silhouette with bullseye rings, the other a turban-clad zombie posed in a way meant to menace.

I have nothing against either of them. The target silhouette can’t help the way it looks. I’d no sooner shoot it than I would an innocent man born with an unfortunate torso birth mark that resembled a bullseye.

As a sci-fi fan of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” I understand I’m supposed to reflexively hate zombies, but I’m too much of a pacifist. If I’m ever confronted with a zombie I know I’ll try and get it to change its mindless bloodthirsty ways and join me for thoughtful conversation over a lunch salads at the Olive Garden.

Kind of like what I do with conservatives.

I think I would have enjoyed the experience more if my target had been a pyramid stack of beer bottles or maybe a ripe watermelon or something that moved.

Note I didn’t say something that moo-ed.

One of the most disturbing things I heard during our post-range conversations -- one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever heard -- is that in some Third World countries people pay to test high-powered weapons on cows.

It’s horrific, but apparently true.

The natural escalation of the sport is to shoot bigger and more powerful weapons at more and more interesting targets.

It’s an unhealthy trajectory that leads to a lot of trouble.

I guess that’s another reason why I was uneasy about my time at the gun range and can’t say I found it so enjoyable I’d ever want to do it again.

I felt no emotional surge at pulling the trigger. It left me feeling flat.

I did observe one woman who seemed to revel in the experience. She was euphoric and declared the high-calibre weapons “sexy.”

I think she was exaggerating to conform to a stereotype she’d constructed for herself.

Firing a gun didn’t feel at all sexy to me, and I’m a man so over-sexed I can get aroused gazing at a box of Fruit Loops.

She may have had real orgasms, but she looked to me like she’d faked more than a few.

If we’d have had a chance to talk, I’d have invited her to consider giving golf a try. It’s a perfectly soulful way to spend an afternoon and addictive enough that many former alcoholics and drug abusers give up their destructive habits to become rabid golfers.

I’d tell her it’s truly sexy in that a golfer uses his or her whole body instead of just one finger.

And that once a golfer shoots his or her first birdie, he or she will forever be cured of ever wanting to shoot a cow.

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