I'm Terrified Of Guns, But I Felt Like A BADASS Shooting An AR-15

Photo: Emily Blackwood

Should I make this my new Tinder pic??

I've always found guns to be, well, hella scary. 

Out of all the personal weapons in the world, guns are one of the most desensitizing ways to defend yourself. With just one pull of a trigger (and obviously some good aim), you can take the life of another human being.

Within seconds, an entire person's existence is gone forever. 

These were the exact kind of thoughts you should NOT be having when you're on your way to a gun range, FYI.

But there I was, putting on my sound-proof earmuff things and protective eyewear that kept fogging up because I was sweating so badly. 


I hit my first wave of regret when we opened the doors to the indoor range and everything was loud. It's was just like, "BAM, BAM, BAAAAAAM," every 5 to 10 seconds. My little jumpy heart was not invented for adrenaline-pumping situations like this. 

I don't know if it was the fact that I was wearing wedges or jumping out of them every time a gun went off, but pretty everybody could tell I was a newb. 

Stationed next to an old lady in a plaid shirt that was firing off rounds like nobody's business, I got a quick lesson in shooting from my instructor that I immediately forgot once the gun was cocked and placed in my hand. 


First, I shot your average rifle and its punch was equivalent to the BB gun I shot when I was 13. The last gun I had shot before this, by the way. 

Next up was a handgun, which though it was smaller in size, had a lot more power to it that kind of made me feel like Charlie's Angel for a moment.

But the real power and badassery came with the AR-15, a.k.a a semi-automatic rifle. 

Despite the fact that it's been reported that Omar Mateen, the shooter who killed 49 people in Orlando, used a Sig Sauer MCX rifle and not an AR-15, the weapon itself has been the latest topic of the gun control debate.

And for good reason, it's a little scary: 

But honestly, it wasn't as intense as I thought it was going to be. Like most things we're afraid of, the build was a lot worse than the actual event. 

While action needs to be take to keep weapons like this out of the hands of people who aren't mentally stable enough to use them, shooting a real gun has taken my personal fear level down a few notches. 

I don't think I'll be applying for a concealed weapons permit anytime soon, but at least I won't be the newbie at the gun range anymore.