- Spent an hour or two working to save all sentient life in the galaxy from the Reaper menace
- Spent over fifteen minutes trying to decide whether the acronyms for the Mass Effect sequels are pronounced “em-ee” or “me”
- Settled on “me,” largely because it makes the phrase “I’m playing ME2″ sound like very brief conversation with myself
- Arranged, via the interwebs, to meet a buddy at the range
- Broke in the new .22
- Let my buddy shoot my 9mm
- Surprised the crap out of my buddy by letting him shoot my .357
- Returned home
- Engaged roommate in hour-long discussion about the practicality and mechanics of capturing a passing comet with a gravity tractor and parking it in orbit to provide water to spacecraft and orbital industry
I’m a gun guy. Frankly, I’m sort of a gun nerd, if that’s possible. “Gun nut” is the term used by a number of my friends, but that has connotations of good ol’ boys in compounds and scruffy dudes in surplus camo. I’m not a survivalist, and I’m not a “prepper,” a relatively modern title for a nutcase who is convinced the end of the world is coming and has stockpiled enough food to feed themselves for the rest of their lives. Hell, I’m not even a member of the NRA.
But I do like guns. I collect ‘em, I shoot ‘em, and I know quite a bit about ‘em. Most of my interest is “practical;” that is, I don’t shoot in competitions, and I pretty much never shoot at a traditional “bull’s eye” target. I mostly shoot pistols, but that’s largely due to convenience: the best range in town, and the closest to me, isn’t rated for rifles or shotguns.
I don’t hunt. I have nothing against hunting, mind, but it wasn’t something I grew up doing. I’ve been on a handful of rabbit or game bird trips with friends, but I’ve never stalked a deer or hunkered down in a duck blind. I *do* have a bird gun, a long-barreled traditional pump shotgun with a limited capacity, but I don’t have a scoped deer rifle or anything like that.
Most of the time, I get funny looks from people when I tell them that I’m a “gun guy,” but that I don’t hunt. Usually, they ask something like, “then why do you have all those guns?” To which I reply, “…to shoot?”
Shooting is fun. It’s extra fun if you’re shooting objects (pop cans, especially when full, burst nicely), but even poking holes in paper can be extremely entertaining. It’s a good way to relieve stress, it builds hand-eye coordination, and, frankly, I’m pretty good at it. Not great, mind; I don’t plan to enter Top Shot or anything, but I’m a solid practical shooter who can reliably “address targets” at reasonable ranges. And, unlike a lot of gun owners, I’m equally proficient with a large number of platforms.
And that’s where the “gun nerd” title comes in. I do a lot of firearms research. I try to keep up on the industry and keep track of what various manufacturers are rolling out. And, like any good nerd, I have strong opinions. Like a Star Wars vs Star Trek debate, any argument over which manufacturer is “better” is less a matter of facts than of preferences. And, as in debates over those classic series, little of the information being argued comes from the original material; much more comes from anecdotal accounts and things read on the internet and the general mythos which has grown up around any given company.
And, yes, I have my favorite gun companies. And, yes, I’d be happy to argue about them. But that’s a topic for a different post.