Monday, March 14, 2005

Class Trip to the NRA

I just realized that with my colleages Jonathan V. Last and David Skinner out of the office today, it had fallen upon me to post items for our loyal readers. Sadly I too was away--at the National Rifle Association's headquarters in Virginia, where Ashley, Kelly, and Graham were kind enough to host us at the range. Weekly Standard coworker Michael Goldfarb was a pro (and is a regular at local ranges). I've gone shooting before but I would have been better off saying it was my first time. I was a terrible shot with the Glock and not much better with the Sig. But be forewarned, if you come after me, I'm going for the legs.

1 comment:

Jay D. Homnick said...

Vic, you remind me of my own inauspicious, but rather comical, maiden voyage to the shooting range as a member of the Israel Defense Forces. I had bought a place in Israel and was considering living there long-term, so I went and signed up for citizenship. Then came the draft notice, so at age 32 I was going to learn how to soldier in sixty days. After training, I would be a full-fledged member of the IDF Reserves in good standing.

I was very excited, waiting to be crowned Stud-For-Life.

But, oops, it was my rotten luck that all this was taking place in December 1990, shortly after a massive influx of Jews from the Soviet Union. The upshot was that instead of my training alongside a hundred other novices from the U.S. and Canada, I wound up being teamed with a bunch of Russian-speaking fellows, all of whom had already served two years in the Russian Army.

So the Israeli commanders, instead of patiently guiding such tyros as myself through the laborious rites of passage into military reality, found that they could coast through their jobs by giving a five minute intro to some complex operation and then watching the Russkis breeze through. Guys like the odd Canadian and Frenchman - and yours truly - were treated dismissively, as if we were afflicted with chronic martial retardation.

Our first day of shooting started off with heart-pumping enthusiasm for me, and I was beside myself with joy to note (Vic, take heart) that each of my first dozen shots hit the human silhouette SOMEWHERE. An arm, a leg, every shot drew blood.

But all that glee turned into ashes in my mouth when I looked around at the Comrades smirking as they surveyed the tight little circles that they had painted around those paper hearts. Oh, but my heart was not paper, and they had scored a bull's-eye there, too.