Shoot For The Skies!


So yesterday, I head out to the shooting range to fire off a few rounds. The range I like to go to is about 25 minutes away in a desolate small town that I wouldn’t live in even if you gave me a dump truck full of money and replaced the entire town’s female population with super models….Ok, that’s a wee bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea.

Anyway, I buy some rounds, a few targets, yada, yada, yada and shoot for awhile. It was lots of fun. Then, I head out front to pay and…the guy doesn’t take credit/ATM cards — which is bizarre in this day and age. Why doesn’t he take cards? My best guess is that he’s trying to cheat the government on taxes. You know, “We earned $4,722 dollars this year total. Oh, you think it was more than that? Well, it was all paid in cash, so prove it!”

The problem was that I didn’t have enough cash to pay the bill and didn’t have any checks in the car, so I asked him where the nearest ATM machine was, thinking that even here in the middle of HeeHawland, there had to be a machine pretty close by.

Little did I know.

So, the guy gives me some directions that consisted of going “out yonder,” turning and “going a ways,” and “passing the dead cow,” or something like that and naturally, I got the directions hosed up and promptly headed off in the wrong direction towards well, it turned out, pretty much nothing but houses and trees.

Then I drove back, past the houses and trees, and got going in the right direction, where I saw….more houses and trees. Some of the houses looked nice, some of them were a bit ramshackle, but I was starting to get kind of a weird Children of the Corn vibe about the whole area. I mean, I grew up in a one stoplight town, Stoneville, N.C., population 1000, yee-ha, — and this place made it seem like Chi-Town. There were almost no businesses, churches, beautiful scenery or any other conceivable reason for people to live in this area. Isn’t that how a lot of horror films start? The innocent victims are driving, need to stop, and they find a quaint little town in a place where it has no business being? So, what exactly are these people doing out here? Secret government experiments, sacrificing virgins to Cthulhu, or maybe they were just one giant, inbred family of Cletuses who like to live outside of the city, where people frown on that sort of thing.

Suddenly, I got slightly nervous about leaving my driver’s License with the shooting range guy, to prove that I would come back. Couldn’t you just see it? Some local cop pulls me over, tells me he’ll have to impound my car for the night, but he tells me that I can stay in creepy old Widow Thompson’s boarding house for the night while we get the whole thing straightened out. Next thing you know, they’re basing the next Scooby Doo movie on my “real life story.”

Just then, I finally passed a sign for a church — not that I could see the church, mind you. There was a hand-painted sign for a church that pointed down a dirt road. It just kept getting creepier and creepier. Thank God it wasn’t dark.

But then, happily, I ran across the country store that the gun guy had directed me towards. I walked in, went up to the ATM machine, stuck in my card, and it promptly spat out a message telling me it was out of cash.

!@##$#-@%$$#@ out of cash? How often does that happen?

So, I asked where the nearest ATM machine was and I was once again, off even deeper into the heart of nowhere. At this point, I realize that it’s after 5 PM and that I don’t know what time the shooting range closes. For all I know, the owner had probably already gone home to let one of the virgins out of his cellar to be sacrificed to the “Old Ones” — or maybe he was going to watch Mayberry R.F.D. reruns; who’s to say? But, I figured I might as well play it out.

After going another 10 miles or so, and technically crossing into some other town that might as well have been imagined by a bunch of South hating Yankees in Hollywood, I finally found a cash machine, got some money, and headed back in the right direction.

Happily, once I got there, the shooting range was still open, I paid my bill, grabbed my driver’s license, and headed back towards the homefront, after only wasting an hour or so driving around some of North Carolina’s less charming backroads.

PS: I’ve tried a number of different shooting stances: the Isosceles Stance, the Weaver Stance, the Modified Weaver stance — and I have never liked any of them. So, yesterday, I just turned sideways and did some point shooting. It was faster, felt much more natural, and I was about as accurate as I was in the other stances, although I wasn’t shooting really long range.

Given that I like to shoot, but am not a gun junky who’s going to be hitting the range every week, is there any reason for me not to just stick with point shooting? Granted, it’s supposed to be inaccurate for long range shots, but given that I am probably not going to be practicing enough with the other stances to become a top notch shooter anyway, does it matter?

I know I have a lot of people who love to shoot reading RWN; so I’d love to hear some opinions on stances.

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