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So I went shooting last weekend........Here's the report:

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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 12:35 PM
Original message
So I went shooting last weekend........Here's the report:
(Pre-comment justification for posting an anecdotal story.....For those that don't know already, I'm generally regarded as being massively "anti-gun" and do tend to spend most of my time in J/PS slapping down the more ludicrously illogical "pro-gun" posts. Therefore, I thought it might be worth posting my experience with a gun).

I took my girlfriend away to a nice hotel on a lake in Wales last weekend. We spent a lovely few days (Friday - Monday) going for long walks around the lake and through the forest to waterfalls, playing golf (badly), and even horseriding (worse). Our hotel was set in several hundred acres of protected countryside and runs quad-biking expeditions through the grounds. It also owns fishing rights on the lake and shooting rights to the surrounding estate for rough and driven shooting (of grouse, pheasant and rabbit) and also clay pigeon shooting. It would have been rude to ignore such an opportunity, so I booked myself in for an Introduction to Clay Pigeon Shooting with the gamekeeper.

I must say I had a fantastic time. The first trap launched clays slowly directly away from me, giving a nice easy introduction to the sport as the clays more or less hung in the air at the same height until they crashed into the hill in front of me. No bother here, I hit 8 out of 10.

The second trap was a complete bastard - it fired rabbitsNot real ones, but clays designed to roll along their edge. Basically, a clay was fired out along the ground left to right, replicating a rabbit breaking out of the undergrowth and running across 10 clear yards before gaining cover on the other side. I had to swing across very quickly, get just in front of the clay and then fire (without stopping the swing and without going too high). I think I only clipped 4 out of 10 here because they were going so fast that by the time my shot got to them they were 12 inches ahead. It was only on the last few shots that I got the right delay, and even then I was a bit high.

The last trap was my favourite challenging but fun. It fired clays up and away from me, as if Id flushed a rocket-propelled pheasant out of the bracken at my feet. The gun had to come up quickly but smoothly, follow the path of the clay and move through it, firing just as the end of the barrel blocked the clay from view. I got 6 out of 10 here.

The gun was a magnificent o/u Beretta, although Im afraid I didnt bother to note the model number. Lots of nice engraving and retailing at about 650 apparently.

So.I had lots of fun and can totally understand why people love to shoot. But then I always have understood that. The experience hasnt changed any of my other opinions either I still regard being able to own such a uniquely dangerous object as a privilege rather than a right. Moreover, Im even more convinced that the only way that a sane, responsible society can allow its citizens to use firearms is if there are well-enforced draconian regulations governing the ownership and use of those weapons.

Yes, of course a repressive dictatorship can limit the potential for rebellion under the guise of gun control legislation, but equally a libertarian government can open the door to increased violence if little or no control is exercised over who owns guns and what they do with them, and if guns are regarded as casual, everyday items.
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goju Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Sounds like fun
Edited on Tue Aug-31-04 12:39 PM by goju
Never shot rabbit trap. But I can imagine the frustration. Glad you had a good time.

Now go buy a machine gun ;)

Edit, did your wife shoot too?
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Machine gun???
Can't even buy semi-auto or pump shotguns in the UK.....unless they've been converted to hold a maximum of 2 cartridges! Strictly no handguns, shotguns holding over 2 shells or semi-auto rifles. Or machine guns!

My g/f (bit premature on the wife comment) didn't shoot but did enjoy watching me blow clays apart.

Oddly, my mum really wants to try it out too, which is cool.

P.
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goju Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. I was just teasing you a bit
Take mom out and let her shoot some time, she'd probably love it. My mom however, is tragically afraid of guns even though she grew up around them. :shrug:
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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
3. Did you...
hang the remains of your trophys on your library wall? :)

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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Sadly no......
Bright orange shrapnel doesn't really fit in with the beige decor of my g/f's 2 bed appartment!

Plus, by the time my pedigree Springer Spaniel had retrieved my quarry it had invariably gone a bit soggy!

:-)

P.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. Good, Phase 1 of your training is complete
Why don't you play some solitaire to pass the time?

:D
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histohoney Donating Member (584 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
7. Not a hunter
either but I too have had the good fortune to shot clay pigeons.
I went on a cruse ship with my husband and he saw them shotting off the back of the boat (Aft?) JR (Yes he is a JR from Texas but he had the name FIRST before the TV show and has not a mean bone in his body.) dared me to try a set.
In line for my turn a realized I was WAY over my head here. I told JR I was going to make a fool of myself. The lady in front of me said " No you won't, just do what I tell you and I guarantee you'll hit at least 8 out of !0." I laughed and said she had no idea what a klutz I was. "No problem," she stated, "I am the womens national clay pigeon
champ of Canada, trust me."
Long story shorter, I did do as she told me hit 10 out of 10.
FUN FUN FUN.
Glad you had a great time.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
8. me too
Meant to mention. I took the co-vivant to the local fair/exhibition on Saturday. Despite the fact that this was supposed to be my birthday present, he declined to go on any of the rides I had gone there expressly to go on ... Pirate Ship (the big swinging boat, where you have to sit at the very end in order to experience perfect freefall), Paratrooper (or actually, the new high-tech version, where your legs no longer swing free and instead you lie strapped into a contraption on your stomach) -- not even a ferris wheel. He unwittingly agreed to start with the Scrambler and managed not to puke, and then inexplicably decided that the Himalaya (I'm using all the names I know for these rides, although this particular midway had different ones for all of them) -- the one where you go backwards really fast in a circle to the tune of ear-splitting heavy metal music and an even louder honking thing -- which I hate, was the thing for him. He got his legs tangled in the protective webbing and got all scraped up, and sulked most of the rest of the time we were there, perking up only for pizza and the Chinese graphic arts exhibition.

Anyhow. I tried out the paintball shooting booth. With a little more practice, I'm sure I would have hit more than one ping-pong ball, as I'm generally pretty good at aiming things -- but having spent $20 on throwing darts already, I didn't feel like putting out more than $10 on the paintball shooting, despite the enhanced offers made by the booth guy.

So I now have a medium-sized stuffed Sylvester and a small stuffed green frog. (I like them better than the thing I won at a bowling-ball booth a few years back -- a little animal that I realized was made of fur from a real rabbit killed to make stuffed toy prizes for suckers like me, which I found pretty gross.) So I made out better than you!

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skippythwndrdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
9. Now that you've tried clays
come to the states and I'll treat you to the machine gun shoot at Knob Creek, Kentucky. They have shoots twice a year. That's a serious offer.

Contrary to what some posters on this board may think, I've never seen a single brown shirt or Nazi type at the shoot. You will find people of all ages enjoying blowing the bejeezus out of their targets. I think the youngest shooters are around 10 and the oldest at the last shoot I attended was well past 90.

The shoot is very well regulated, ot tightly controlled if you prefer. Safety is the first and foremost rule enforced.

Glad you had a good time!
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-02-04 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Thanks man...Do I get to drink the whiskey too?
Gotta love Knob Creek but it's fiendishly expensive over here.

I really appreciate the shooting offer and will get in touch if I make it to Kentucky.

P.
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skippythwndrdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-02-04 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. You get to drink AfTER you shoot. n/t
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Pert_UK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-02-04 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. No shit! I wouldn't mix the two! n/t
P
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skippythwndrdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-02-04 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. BTW
I buy Knob Creek for about $24.00 per liter - $20.00 or so if it's on sale. Neener neener neener
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Liberal Classic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-31-04 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
10. Didn't really expect that sort of thing to change your mind...
But I do hope this experience serves to humanize the debate a little bit. I'm glad you had fun.
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