Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Attracted To A Deadly Silence

My older brother brought his new Beretta 9M, 9mm handgun today for us all to see and try out. Its small chunky body was jet black with a faint sheen to it; it fit perfectly in the hand with a surprising weight, but a beautiful balance. This was firepower in its element. Everyone tromped out to the field to see what this baby could do, and along came the trusty .22 rifle. The small handgun was fired, and was deemed impressive and nice. My sister-in-law giggled as she shot at the target in the short distance. I missed out on getting to try it, since I was late to the scene. But I watched it being done... Dark clouds rolled in from the coast, and a strong western gale began clawing the trees. Rain pelted our heavy coats, and soon we were more than damp. But I watched that little gun firing one round after another... My fingers in my ears, and my eyes  shifting from the target to the gun. And I sensed a feeling of power. Nature was flaunting its powers that man cannot control, and man was flaunting his powers with cold iron that he can control. And for the first time, I desired to use a gun.

I have never wanted to use a gun. I use my younger brother's air rifle to dispatch my rabbits, but that's as far as I've delved into the mysterious world of bullets and iron muzzles. In truth, guns rather intimidated me. Their power and capabilities of causing damage caused me to shy away. This was a world I could not enter. Could not understand. Could not touch... I feared it. The smooth trigger, the symmetrical form, the beauty of it intertwined with the death it could cause. Guns were fearsome beasts. 

 I am a lover of archery. Where guns do not fit my hands, a bow and arrows is poetry to me. I love the elegance and simplicity that a recurve bow has. My hand creates a claw as I draw the string... My arrow is gently poised and aimed... The shot is loosed, and my target silently finds its mark. Naught but a small twang is heard. It is a silent form of hunting and shooting. A deadly silence. I have my eye on a lovely recurve bow that I saw online, but the price is that of a ton of hay, or a new goat (or a calf!) so for the last 4 years, I have not felt that I could justify such a splurge... To buy a harbinger of death when the animals need feed? But I still sigh as I look at it... It is beautiful, light, and accurate. I am an archer.

 But as I stood beneath the rain today, watching the guns being fired, I had a sudden desire to try it out. I wanted to experience that feeling of power. 

 I decided to try the .22 out since this was my first time... Its sandy, digital camouflage color was a far cry from the traditional bay that most guns are. I held it in my hands and marveled at its lightness... It was smooth, cold, and hard. Such a little gun it was... I lifted it to my eye, and slipped my finger around the trigger. This was it. Hesitantly, I fired the first shot. POW! I hit grass. A second shot was fired, then a third, and then a fourth. My finger instinctively knew the feeling of a trigger, and I wondered if that should cause me some concern... But I liked this little piece of firepower. :) I understood now why people did this. Two more shots were fired, and then I gave it to a younger sister to try out. I stood back and grinned. I liked this gun. 

  I don't think I managed to hit the target (which was a soda can, by the way), but that doesn't surprise me. I had to use my right eye to aim, and hold the gun on my right side. I'm a lefty through and through. That, coupled with the fact that I couldn't really see the target, due to poor vision, I hardly expected to hit the can. The noise rang and echoed through our hills, and as I walked back to the house, I couldn't help but compare the gun with my beloved bow and arrows. Their silence compared to the roar of a gun. Their simplicity compared with the intimidating build of a rifle. But mostly the silence... I may have learned that I like guns, but if I had to choose I would go with a bow any day. I am attracted to their deadly silence...

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