The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects a right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.
The meaning of the Second Amendment depends upon who you talk to. The National Rifle Association, which has the Second Amendment engraved on its headquarters building in Washington, insists that the Amendment guarantees the right of individuals to possess and carry a wide variety of firearms. Advocates of gun control contend that the Amendment was only meant to guarantee to States the right to operate militias.
Growing up, I lived in a household that supported gun control, at least on the child raising front. The only guns I ever shot were squirt guns and an antique rubber band gun that had been passed down from my grandfather. While my sister and I were certainly tom-boys, our affinity for “cops and robbers” or creating “guns” out of legos or sticks, was certainly missing from our genetic makeup.
So it is no surprise to hear, that I was extremely shocked to find a pretty intense looking gun resting in the mud-room of my parent’s house last year when I was home for a weekend visit. I was even more shocked to hear that my dad had borrowed the gun from a friend to deal with his “groundhog problem.” This was a problem that spanned many years, and was between my dad, his flowerbeds, and the numerous groundhogs who reside in our front yard. Apparently, his past attempts to remove the groundhogs from our property had failed and had driven him to use a pellet BB gun to solve the problem once and for all.
Now before you start calling PETA to report him, I must tell you that after taking a few practice shots and missing horribly, my father decided to save his pride and in turn, the groundhogs were saved. However, Matt and I decided it would be fun to take a couple of practice shots ourselves. We stacked some coke cans and fired away. I was shocked to learn that with my extremely limited exposure to guns, I was actually a pretty good shot. Matt and I decided that we should expand my gun shooting experience and visit a gun range at some point. Unfortunately, living in New York City, the opportunity to visit a gun range doesn’t present itself too often. That is, until yesterday.
We were invited to drive out to a gun range in New Jersey with some friends for an afternoon of skeet shooting. While I thought my gun skills were impressive, I was pretty nervous to fire a shotgun. Matt warned me about the “kick back” and I was not particularly looking forward to it. To make matters worse, I was the only girl in our group and I didn’t want to fulfill any stereotypes about girls and guns.
After getting our shells and guns, we made out way over to the practice range where we each got to shoot 5 rounds of 5 shots each. Thankfully, I wasn’t first in the line up so I had some time to watch the others to see how it was done. Unfortunately, the boys were good. As I stepped up for my turn, the pressure was on. I loaded the shell in, nestled the gun up to my shoulder and placed my cheek squarely on top of the gun and inline with the sight. I nervously called “pull” and waited for the orange flying skeet to appear. As it came into view, I lined up my sight, pulled the trigger and waited. I immediately felt the power of the gun as it recoiled into my shoulder. I looked into the sky, only to see the skeet fall to the ground and smash into multiple pieces. I had missed. I shot and missed again three more times. Then, on my last shot, I hit the skeet. While the satisfaction of hitting it was great, the nervous feeling of anticipation I got before I pulled the trigger was not something I particularly enjoyed.
With each round, I got a little better, but I was still the worst of our group. I ended my shooting experience early and sat out the range shooting that the boys did after the practice range. It was funny to watch them, as they flexed their masculinity for each other.
So at the end of the day I decided, while change have taken place in the political climate of our country, I am holding true to my liberal views. I forfeit my right to bear arms, and I do so happily. Unfortunately, my fiancé is now more in touch with his republican side and all of the work I did to pull him left, was undone with power of a cool hard shotgun. Thankfully, there is always Sarah Palin to convince him otherwise.