Guns are cool

By By Libby Bailey

By Libby Bailey

Guns are cool. I know, I should be more articulate than a 12-year-old boy, but they are cool.

As a former firearm-phobe, aside from my toils with Nintendo’s “Duck Hunt,” I can admit my distrust for a weapon that has the ability to kill or maim someone. Guns-particularly handguns-had always been something that I was warned against, and I had always associated them with criminals and 7-Eleven robberies.

Therefore, it came as quite a surprise that my mother, of all people, suggested I enroll in the U’s pistol marksmanship summer course. After all, she was probably the one who told me guns were bad in the first place.

According to her rationale, knowing how to safely operate a gun would save me from getting shot someday in an after-school-special setting. She believed that one day I would find myself over at a friend’s house, in her garage, and my friend would have secretly stolen her father’s gun to impress me.

My hypothetical friend would then start to fling the revolver around her finger, cowboy-Western style, making me uncomfortable, but I would be too uneducated about guns to confidently tell her that this twirling was not a good idea. Eventually, peer pressure and a lack of firearm knowledge would cause one of us to get shot in the thigh and bleed out, just like on TV.

Although my mother may have been jumping the gun (pun completely intended), I at least recognized some value in her prophecy. Who knows when I might come into contact with a firearm?

If most of the movies I see are correct, at some point in my female adult life a gun will be jolted out of some bad guy’s hand by a male rescuer, slide across the sidewalk, spinning uncontrollably, and ultimately land right in front of my high-heeled shoes. At this point, I will clumsily pick it up, aim at the bad guy incorrectly and say something tough, only to have the bad guy laugh in my face. Following the hilarity that ensues, I’ll get kidnapped or someone will get killed because I had been taught guns weren’t cool, but scary.

In preparation for my inevitable damsel-in-distress, clumsy-gun moment, I took my mother’s suggestion and signed up for the summer course. I had never shot or touched a gun before, but it didn’t matter since the makeup of the class was rather well-rounded. Students ranged from expert assassins to Barney Fife. Every level of expertise seemed welcome.

Despite the course’s accommodating ways, the U’s pistol markspersonship class (I suggest we all lobby for the gender-neutral name change) is one of the most dropped classes at the U, said a likely inaccurate registrar office employee.

This disappoints me.

Aside from the potential to avoid bleeding out from a gunshot wound to the thigh, pistol markspersonship is also the kind of class that will impress someone you are chatting up at a party, kind of like the world of dinosaurs class. People become bored hearing the entire U student body describe a schedule that consists of math, science and English. Pistol markspersonship ignites conversation and interest.

Conversation topics can range from the sheer unconventionality a student demonstrates by enrolling in the course to a discussion about fire-range fashion-which can focus on why a student would choose that particular tint of protective eyeglass wear-to perhaps the serious decision of earplugs versus earmuffs. Regardless, it’s something new and uncharted for your party trivia.

If that does not persuade you, enrolling in the class also gives you that long-awaited excuse to roll into Sportsman’s Warehouse and feel as though you belong.

Regardless of what draws you in, stick with it because it is a surprisingly rewarding class; and frankly, people, you get to shoot guns, and that’s just plain cool.