This past Monday evening, eleven adventurous participants from the London Writers Society went on the first part of a two-part “Firearms Field Trip” to the Crumlin Sportsmen’s Association. (Click a thumbnail to see it full size.)
This first event focused on the use of shotguns on an outdoor trap-shooting range, and the results of the trip exceeded expectations. The terrible rainy weather that had persisted throughout the day let up at the last moment, making the weather for the evening perfect—not a single drop fell, and the temperature was even relatively warm. Our hosts at the Crumlin Sportsmen’s Association provided outstandingly informative, friendly instructors, as well as hot coffee and pastries; and their facilities were outstanding (http://www.crumlin.org/). Even when Lady Luck seemed to have thrown as a curve in the form of a malfunctioning trap-throwing machine, the result turned out to be advantageous: the malfunctioning machine on one range meant that all the participants took turns shooting on a single second range—as a result, we enjoyed a chance to see all of our comrades shoot.
The event was conceived of as an opportunity for writers to gain real-life experience with the firearms that we had so often written about, and the trip indeed proved even more informative than expected! Not only did the participants attain hands-on insights into shotguns, we gained fascinating insights into the psychology of our fellow writers:
- The safety instructor’s warning, “Whatever you do, don’t shoot the bunker that houses the trap machine,” was interpreted as a tyrannous assault on the freedom-of-choice of a certain young writer and playwright, who promptly blasted the bunker to prove that she was an individual unfettered by the constraints of safety fascism. And in case anyone mistook this young firebrand’s assault for an accident, she blasted the oppressive bunker a second time as a twelve-gauge exclamation point on her crie de liberte’.
- In the first round of shooters, London Writers Society President Richard Nagel, upon missing his first six targets, found himself the butt of scorn and ridicule. But he then promptly set about scoring nine hits, the highest score of any shooter in the first round. What lesson should we derive from this? That Richard thrives on ridicule. Spread the word
- Trip organizer Buddy, the London Writers Society Secretary, upon learning that his twelve hits had earned him only 2nd place in the second round of shooters behind Roxanne Lutz’s beau, Alex, judged that Alex would be assessed a two-point penalty for not being a writer, under the Canadian Association of Trap Shooting Standardized Imaginary Rules. This gave Buddy the win. The lesson? Be thankful that Buddy’s not the London Writers Society Treasurer.
- A certain well-published writer of gritty crime drama, upon feeling a real gun in her hands for the first time in her life, discovered her inner conscientious objector. She went zero for twenty-five on the range, a baffling result that can only be interpreted as tender expression of concern for the suffering of clay pigeons. Rumour has it that her upcoming next book (originally tentatively titled, L.A. Crime File: Bullets for Breakfast, Blood for Brunch), will now be recast as a children’s storybook, Bambi Learns that Shotguns Are Hurtful.
Other notes…. John Hitchens and John Jeneroux proved outstanding first time shooters, each hitting eight targets… guest playwright Robyn Israel was a great sport, manning the trap machine trigger switch for half the night… Roxanne Lutz was a cheerful presence, though finding her a shotgun in ‘petite’ proved a challenge… Sandra Dikkes was also a great sport… London Writers Society Vice-President Erin Moxxam attended wearing her glasses in public for the first time, only to discover to her delight that absolutely nobody made any snide comments at all, proving that a person need not be self-conscious about wearing glasses, if they’re holding a loaded shotgun.
The second part of the “Firearms Field Trip,” which will take place on the morning of Saturday December 4th, will be conducted in the Crumlins Sportsmen’s Association indoor handgun range. This event will focus entirely on handguns, and each of the participants will have a chance to experience several calibres and styles of handguns.