Renegade Adventure: Taking Aim


RIP Reporter Kylie Hendrickson stops by the shooting range. (Check out our Gallery for more pictures)

Kylie Hendrickson, Reporter

I’ve only shot a gun twice in my entire life, and if you asked me what kind it was, I honestly couldn’t tell you. I just remember I had fun while doing so. I had never been to an actual shooting range. When I previously shot guns, it was out in the fields shooting at cans or handmade targets. So when I walked into Second Amendment Sports, I honestly had no idea what to expect. The rows of guns intimidated me, and I had absolutely no idea what to choose.

An employee was graciously patient and helped me choose one that best fit my small hands and that didn’t have a lot of “kick.” I remember the last time I shot a gun, it was too heavy for me, and it almost made me fall on my ass once I shot it. After some thought, I ended up with a Springfield 9mm XD tactical, and boy, did I fall in love with that gun afterward. Once inside the range, an employee showed me how to load and reload the gun and to always keep it facing forward for safety reasons.

I braced myself for my first shot, not knowing what to expect, and I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to shoot. The gun was light and the handle fit my hands pretty precisely. I couldn’t help but feel a little badass, like Mathilda in the movie “Leon: The Professional” when she first shows Leon that she’s capable of learning how to handle and shoot a gun despite what he initially thought. My friends Jesse Najera and Ambria King accompanied me and they also fired a few shots.

All three of us ended up shooting right in the target. We were pretty impressed with our skills and had a blast. I’ve heard people say that shooting guns is a way to relieve stress, and they weren’t wrong. My usual stress reliever is to go headbanging crazy at rock concerts, but I have to say that this is definitely a new hobby I will be picking up. We picked up a few fliers and found out that they even have training courses such as private lessons and handgun courses. They even offer five shootingrange memberships that range from $25 to $250 per year.

Afterward, I ventured to the archery department in hopes to try to learn how to use a bow and shoot an arrow. Alex Bowman was there to greet me. He was extremely knowledgeable and helpful in the works of archery. I also just couldn’t help but laugh at how perfect his last name was. Bowman opened my eyes to how technical archery really is and that you just can’t go into it blindly thinking you will do well the first time. It takes lots and lots of practice and dedication to get it down.

They, unfortunately, didn’t have any feathered arrows set up, so I couldn’t go out and actually try it, but I still was able to hold the bow and get a feel for it. I quickly realized that it definitely takes a lot of upper body strength to pull back the bow. I pictured myself being like Katniss Everdeen (of course, I had to make that comparison). Overall, I had a fun experience and I learned something new. The employees there were so helpful and made my adventure that much more memorable.