Bonding w/ my brother

Over guns…How crazy is that?  My background check cleared, took another field trip out to the Pro Bass Shop in Manteca to pick it up.  If it weren’t for their free car charger, I never would have made it back (with air conditioning).  My hopes were for my brother & I to bond over sailing, something we both loved as kids.

The firearms stores in my county are closed, or jacking the prices up, and actually a day in a Pro Bass shop is like a twisted version on Disneyland where the point is to hunt the animal characters.  After calling for days to see if my background check cleared with no answer, I just took my chances and headed out.

It wasn’t as crowded as the first time, no one was waiting to take the test.  They said it was the first day since the looting that they didn’t have a line or weren’t swamped.  Fully expecting crappy customer service, it was a pleasant surprise when the guy helping me had a cochlear implant like my son.  He helped me out getting me geared up for the range, then showed me all the features of the new pistol.  The one bummer is that with masks I knew he couldn’t hear me.  My son is struggling with the masks and understanding people, I took my mask off to talk to him so he could read my lips.  They have plastic shields at the counter so I knew he was protected.  It’s hard enough for me to hear with the masks, the hearing impaired have that extra challenge.

He rang me up at that counter so I bypassed the long check out line on a Thursday early afternoon, they are BUSY!!  In Manteca??

From there, got directions to a range about 10 miles away.  What a trip that was, through a bunch of farm land to the middle of nowhere in my little electric car looking like I was heading for a beach.  I’ve never been to a range before, only to my aunt Rose’s ranch in Tombstone where she had one (that I never used, but she did every day) and then my dad set up a BB gun range in our basement when we were kids.

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The guy came up to me, semi-toothless, which is what I would have expected for where I was.  I paid through the little shack window and signed the release forms, told him I was a newbie.  There was only one other guy there with his wife, shooting his rifle.  I went to the other side, put on my headset, then loaded up.

The guy running it turned out to be really helpful, the pistol I got was a lightweight one meaning it had a bigger kick – which I didn’t really understand when the sales guy was selling it to me a few weeks ago.  What I should have done was have my brother recommend one instead of going in cold and relying on the sales guy.  The “safety” is that pulling that trigger is about 10 lbs of pull, by the time you pull it the whole thing jerks up a little.  He seemed upset that they sold that one to me at all.

After a few shots to nowhere near the target, I got the hang of it a little with his help.  He called a “cease fire” so I could get my target sheet, was actually very happy with the results for the pistol I bought and that I even had anything on that sheet.  A cease fire means (besides the obvious) everyone has to step behind a line and leave your firearm on the table open to show it can’t fire accidentally.

I hopped in my little car, then headed through the farmland to get back home.

Later I txt’d my brother before he finally called me.  No, I shouldn’t have gotten the light pistol…oops.  He saw my picture and said my stance was too far back, like I was leaning back too much.  He hunts, he was telling me all about how he trained and what to buy to clean, etc..  I knew he was an NRA guy, no idea how into it he was.

Not going to say a lot about how my brother has helped me after that looting incident, but he has really saved the day for me since then.  I NEVER would have considered getting a firearm if I hadn’t talked to him.  The laws in California are stricter than anywhere in the U.S., that was about 2 weeks from start to finish.

Everything’s locked up tight, no one was condescending to me the whole day.  In a way, kinda feel like a sell out.  In another, it’s like having my Garmin InReach I rarely use but carry it everywhere.  I may never need it, until I do.

Dare I say, the target practice was fun?

 

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