Monday, April 7, 2014


It's April !!!
My shooting season started this past weekend! I was so excited, because I've mostly been cooped up all winter, and I was so ready to get out and shoot.

This made me think of a few things that maybe I ought to explain to my non-shooting friends that they apparently don't get.

I'll start out by giving you an example of how badly firearms enthusiasts - and the shooting sports in general - are misunderstood by non-firearms people.
A month or two ago, in the throes of yucky winter weather, I made a comment on my personal Facebook page about how I had the winter blahs and was comforting myself by putting the dates for upcoming spring shooting matches in my phone calendar.  Someone I know then took the opportunity to make a snarky comment about how "depression" and firearms don't mix.  I subsequently deleted the comment and messaged this person that the comment wasn't funny. I pointed out that the winter blahs do not equal clinical depression, and that shooting sports were my bright spot to look forward to in the spring, not a means to create my own "end" as he was apparently implying. I don't think he's on my Facebook anymore.

This may have been an innocent misunderstanding, but it illustrates how wide the gulf is between "Gunners" and "Anti-gunners". Non-firearms people apparently don't understand that the shooting sports are a healthy outlet. For those who don't understand, there are only negatives.

But for me, firearms are a tool that I use in a sport. These tools and associated activities provide me with positive social outlets:

I looked forward all winter to going to Spring USPSA and IDPA shooting matches and catching up with old friends - and to making new ones, too.

For me, the spring matches are a good excuse to get out in the fresh air, and get some sunshine and radiant heat after a long winter. Sometimes there is rain and cold, and even a late snow ...

                                                      (From April 2011 or 2012 match)

 ... but when you are sharing it with friends and have camaraderie, it's not so bad. LOL

These matches are also good mental exercise for me. Deciding in what order to shoot the targets, counting rounds, and planning where I'm going to change magazines, deciding in a split second if I need to take an extra shot or not, making sure I'm behind cover in IDPA,  not to mention the ingrained mental safety measures like minding the 180 ... all these things help keep the cobwebs in my brain from accumulating.

As out of shape as I am, these matches are also good incentive to get out there and get back into some semblance of athletic activity. The squatting at low windows makes the middle-age stiff winter knees complain. It is a good sign that I've been too sedentary all winter, and need to do something about it.

All of this is good stuff. Where are the negatives? I can't see any. So I will continue to try to educate the naysayers, and encourage the newcomers by setting a good example. I've got my first IDPA and USPSA matches of "my" season under my belt, and am hoping to get to a 3 hrs away 3-Gun match next weekend. I'm excited!

Happy Spring Everybody!!!!


  1. I too was very excited about getting to my first outdoor match of the year yesterday. Even though the weather was cold to start the day (I couldn't feel my fingers) and I cut my thumb before the first stage. I was fired up. First shotgun run went great, pistol came out and the steel rang and fell. And then my rifle turned itself from a fine tuned precision implement into a single shot device. Not an auspicious start. By the third stage though, things warmed up and seemed to be pretty much back to normal but there was no way to make up for the 155 seconds in penalties when the rifle and shotgun each failed on sequential stages. The good news.... I am getting really good at clearing malfunctions. Lessons (re)learned... run your guns in all kinds of weather before you get to match conditions. Don't forget your gloves.

  2. Good lessons for me to remember, Mike - thanks!

  3. I absolutely get the blahs when I don't get any trigger time. I've missed my last couple of Action Pistol matches due to schedule conflicts, but have one coming up in May and I'll be observing a 3-gun match in a couple of weeks. I can't decide if I want to invest that kind of money into yet another shooting sport :)

    I'm glad you finally got some gun time - it's really good for the soul.