I found a new way to relieve my stress on Wednesday: I picked up a Glock 22 and 35 and commenced to firing.
Yes, seminary has driven me to pick up the cold steel of a firearm. All the tension it brings and frustrations of classwork that I can't seem to grasp left my body and flew straight toward my target. He got it four times to the head, once to the neck and a few to the chest area.
And that was the first time I ever shot. My target was definitely dead.
My frustrations, my anger and depression I found myself under were definitely dead . . .at least for a day.
This was my first excursion to the firing range, at least for the purpose of learning about gun safety and usage. I figure if I ever find myself in a situation that requires I use the weapon for my safety, at least I'll have some knowledge of how it works. The trip was one that I had added to my list of 100 things that I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime and so when my cop and seminary friend offered to take a few of us girls -- we're now dubbed the newer, prettier version of Charlie's angels -- I hopped at the chance to go.
The firing, while scary, felt good. Kinda. I had a mix of emotions. Funny thing happened. As I stood behind the firing line with my arm extended out and my Glock aimed toward my target and started to think about how powerful I felt and how I "could get used to this feeling," the Lord spoke. And in a quiet still voice he said, "You should never be comfortable behind the back of that gun.There should always be a feeling of discontent."
I thought about that. And as I pulled the trigger to see the bullet escape the chamber causing a mini volcanic explosion, I thought about the many young brothers on the street who have become comfortable being behind the arm of that weapon. At that moment, I gained more of a reverence for the power that I was wielding. At that moment, it became very real that I could take a life -- decimate one with a simple pull and "Click". Just like I had taken my anger and frustration and killed off the demons I had been battling for the past few weeks.
In those moments I stood between the stalls of the firing range, I became aware of others who hurt and have no way to express themselves than through the cold steel of a piece like the Glock I held. And I silently weeped for them because no one saw their pain. I was reminded of how desensitized we have become to the suffering of others around us. And it was in that moment I prayed for eyes to be opened to pain other than our own.