I did not grow up around guns, nor did I have any experience with them. In fact, the few times I'd actually seen one up close I became so panicked that I wanted to run out of the room crying. In my eyes, handing me an unloaded gun was just as frightening as handing me a live rattlesnake. Guns that shoot anything besides water or nerf darts absolutely terrified me. Mostly, I think it was because I didn't understand them, or more importantly, how to handle them. I had never been a big fan of guns in the home, especially when you have kids. But in the wake of Hurricane Charlie, after our family spent 4 uneasy nights without electricity, in a downtown Orlando neighborhood (that some people consider the "wrong side of the tracks"), I felt that it was time to rethink my stance on this. So, when my husband came home from an Orlando Gun Show a few months later, toting a new Taurus 24/7 Pro 9 mm, I knew our first order of business was going to be hitting the range. I was told that this particular gun was the 2006 Gun of the Year, and that it was rated the best handgun for home protection. Hearing that, did seem somewhat comforting. Do you suppose they dish out titles like that just gain support from the little ladies?
Less than a week later, with my devoted husband by my side, I picked up the newest "addition" to our family, and fired at least 10 rounds into a cheesy paper target. On my 3rd shot, I actually managed to hit the silhouette dude right on the edge of the red bulls eye (basically the chest area). Not too shabby, considering the fact that I had been shaking like a leaf from the moment we entered the range. On the way in I practically clung to the back wall, furthest away from the stalls. Hehe, I must have looked like a cat slinking around trying to avoid a bath. And when one of the guys in there fired his 45 mm just as we walked by, I jumped about 2 feet in the air. I don't think anything really could have prepared me for that. At that point, I almost turned on my heel and ran out. By the time we had walked the entire length of the room, to the stall furthest away from the rest of the shooters, I was on the verge of tears. Kenny saw how freaked out I was, and he asked me if I wanted to watch from the other side of the glass, but I said no because I felt like I just needed to get it over with before I chickened out completely. So after watching him shoot for a while, I decided to give it a try. I was really nervous about the recoil (and the shells hitting me), but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Actually, what I had the most trouble with, was the sound. It was sooo incredibly LOUD. I was only able to fire off a few rounds each turn, because I needed some in between time to collect myself. I think it may be a while before I become fully comfortable holding a gun in my hand (loaded or not)...but today, I'm a whole lot closer to that, than I ever was...so YAY!!!