Nothing like celebrating the birth of Christ by shooting guns! No offense to anyone who may have done the same thing, but I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of redneck creeping in. On Christmas Eve, shortly after I got to my Grandparent’s house, in walks my Dad with a shotgun and says “Come on Lauren, you’ve gotta go shoot this gun!”. I had never shot a gun before in my entire life. Ever. They scare me…..the loud boom, the potential of knocking me on my butt and hurting me if I don’t hold it correctly, and mostly, when combined with someone that has the intention of doing so, the power to kill something. Yep, my blog just got serious for a hot second. Anyway, I protested. I said No. I refused. I could feel myself starting to shake a little. But it didn’t matter. My cousins and husband started joining in the battle to get me to do it. Then down the steps came my Pappy. I had always said that, if I ever did shoot a gun, the first time would have to be with him showing me how and coaching me through it. He walked over to his gun cabinet, grabbed a gun that he said is a good beginner’s gun for reasons that are beyond me, and said “Let’s go!”. I was stuck. There was no getting out of it now. So outside we went to the end of the yard…….me, my Pappy, my husband, my sister, my Dad, and two of my cousins.
After getting some coaching on how to hold the gun, how to aim, where the safety is……all that fun stuff…….and lots of whining and pouting on my part……I couldn’t stall anymore. Despite how much I was shaking and really didn’t want to, I knew I just needed to suck it up and do it. So I did. I shot my Dad’s gun. A Remington 12 gauge gas-powered shotgun. And what I’m about to confess now, I’m not necessarily proud of, but if I’m going to tell this story, then it’s not fair of me to leave parts out. After I shot the gun and my Pappy came over to me to take the gun from me…….I started crying. Not a bawling, tears rolling down my face crying. I just teared up. I can’t explain why I did. It’s not because the gun kicked-back and hurt me or anything like that. I could feel every single muscle in my body shaking and the influx of emotions I felt was just overwhelming. I’m an extremely emotional person…..AKA I cry every time at those stinkin Sarah McClachlan SPCA commercials, so the feelings of fear and release and pride over just having done something I was terrified of got to me. And when my Pappy saw me he called me something along the lines of a crazy person or a baby. I can’t remember which. He loves me. Everyone else laughed at me, too. Even my Mom when she came out. It’s ok, I deserved it. After that, everyone else took turns shooting at the target box and then somehow it became my turn again. But this time I had to use the other gun so that I could see what it’s like to use a gun that you have to actually chamber the round yourself……blah blah blah. So after a little bit of useless protesting, I grabbed the .410 pump action shotgun and did my thing. And this time I shot it twice! That was enough for me. But I didn’t cry and I didn’t shake uncontrollably. Success! Then I didn’t waste too much time letting everyone know that it was way past time to eat! I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures of it all to show you. I thought about going and grabbing my camera but I was a little pre-occupied with the intense fear and nervousness that concentrating on those guns was really all I could do. Instead, I made sure to grab the three shells I shot so I could get a picture of them. Because every blog post is just way boring without a picture. These three little guys are my proof of how my family and I spent a part of our Christmas Eve celebrating baby Jesus by shooting off some guns.