On the Range: Trigger happy | AspenTimes.com
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On the Range: Trigger happy

Catherine Foulkrod

Veronica Underhill is the self-proclaimed president of the NRRAA (National Restaurateurs Rifle Association of America). Last week she was my liaison to the Basalt State Wildlife Area Shooting Range, providing me with a unique glimpse into an alternative springtime sport. Though perhaps less salubrious than my usual weekend activities of skiing, biking and hiking, shooting guns is by no means second rate.When discussing our possible plans to go to the range over multiple cocktails the night before, the idea seemed perfectly logical. However, the next morning as I was awakened by an enthusiastic phone call from Veronica (not her real name), a hangover set in and I found my zest for discharging firearms had diminished considerably. The next thing I knew, I was sitting at Veronica’s kitchen table, filling up on hearty oatmeal, homemade yogurt and quite fittingly, bull’s-eye eggs. After breakfast and a quick run to Frying Pan Anglers for earplugs and targets, it was off to the range.I received a crash course in shooting-range etiquette and safety, then Veronica loaded her antique .32 Special Winchester lever action rifle. A bear gun.My gun-shy friend Adam swallowed his fear and shot first. Seeing him fire without any disasters, I felt confident enough to take my turn. I hesitantly released the safety, put the target in the scopes, held my breath and pulled the trigger. As the gun recoiled into my shoulder, I immediately comprehended what this was all about: power. I was slightly out of breath and perhaps slightly turned on.Meanwhile, Veronica had been befriending a fellow gun enthusiast. His weapon of choice was a homemade AR-15, fully equipped with a laser scope. Heretofore these terms were completely foreign to me, but judging by the awe on Veronica’s face, I knew this gun was for real. “It was designed to shoot people,” we were told. And when her newfound gunfriend offered to let her shoot the assault rifle, I knew Veronica had found love.


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