Live Fire

So…I fired a weapon just the other day.

I’m in my late 20’s and have never fired a weapon before this time. Luckily, I’ve never had the exclusive opportunity to discharge projectile weapons in an attempt to fatally wound fellow mortal creatures. But I digress…

Weeks before this transpired, my father invited me to this idea. Not for any other reason than to have a good ol’ Louisiana male time. It sparked an immediate curiosity, fueled by years of simulated gun combat, that warranted an investigation into this unfamiliar territory. Yes, I know what guns are. Yes, I know what they are used for. Yes, I know they are loud and typically have recoil. Yes, I know that they need to be reloaded from time to time. No, I never shot one in “real life”. It was imperative that I take advantage of such an opportunity.

Would my experience from video games carry over to a real life situation such as this? I mean let’s stop and think about my current list of accomplishments:

– My actions during numerous key battles shaped the outcome of several intergalactic wars.
– My vengeance rained down upon dangerous criminal organizations responsible for the loss of precious life.
– My feats within post-apocalyptic dystopias saved societies from total collapse.
– My performance within countless military operations averted socio-economic disaster.

So it was decided, we leave at Saturday’s dawn.

Upon our arrival, after stopping for cheap ammunition to use for “pleasure-shooting”, we parked the truck roughly a mile away from the main road. Located in a quiet hunting camp within Point, Louisiana, paper plates with painted targets would become my first casualty of war.

It was quite fascinating.

I had no health bar, no cross-hairs that adjusted to my current body position, no remaining ammo count. Just my hand, a surprisingly light double-action .22 Ruger six-shooter, the hammer of the gun, and the iron sights that had to match up to the indicator at the edge of the barrel. My hands wouldn’t stay steady, I couldn’t get the sights to match up! Then I remembered the tricks I’ve learned over the years from video games, old war movies, articles from the old hunting magazines in my parent’s bathroom, rednecks guffawing at their prized deer kills… (Remember to breathe – squeeze the trigger – anchor your shooting hand against your free hand – when the sight matches up just take the shot)


Bull’s-eye. Euphoria swept through me. My father was in disbelief. I felt like the character you decide to build up in your favorite JRPG (just to see if he/she is even worth having in your party) level up multiple times after one battle. I was victorious…until I shot again and missed the center by several inches…then the next one
…and the next one.

I then moved on to the scoped .22 rifle. This was the main event my amigos. I was always a sub-par sniper in multiplayer, had trouble adjusting to the random movements of experienced players that knew to stay in motion. Of course my target was just an old paint can, but still the prospect of sniping was stimulating. Several shots fired – no hit. My father took over the gun to make sure I wasn’t sucking up the entire forest – no hit. TREACHEROUS SCOPE, YOU MISLEAD MY INTENDED TRAJECTORY! After another deadly encounter with painted paper plates for scope calibration, I was ready to decommission the can.

POW ———————————————————————-#deadcan (Death mist saturated the scene of the crime)

While I had several great victories, they were outweighed by my amateur failures. But for someone who never shot a real gun, one thing was clear – my video game experience is what led to my current level of prowess. This, of course, opens the proverbial “Pandora’s Box” of VIDEO GAME TRAINS KILLERS! THE YOUTH WILL RISE UP IN REVOLT! But it can be boiled down to simple human nature: “We are capable of creation, and destruction”. You give a knife to a paragon of virtue, they will use it to preserve life by using it as a tool, or a manner of self-defense. Give the same knife to a selfish sycophant and you’ll probably end up dead to ensure their personal survival.

Firing the guns at targets, with my dad, did not fuel my Krogan blood rage. (/nerd) I had fun, got intimate with live weapons, and received a drop kick to my right shoulder after firing several rounds of 12-gauge steel shot.

It was simply a good day.

© 2012-2013 Brett Wooley. All rights reserved. This article can be shared, as long as credit to the author is given. You cannot re-publish this article as your own.