I have lived in the south for 8 years now. I have yet to do anything “Southern”. I don’t eat barbeque or say “y’all”;and I certainly don’t have any hospitality, let alone the Southern kind. I am not into NASCAR, four wheelers, or moonshine. Confederate flags make me extremely uncomfortable. The people down here call me a “Yankee”, and I am proud of it.
One of the really big differences I have found in the South is that our neighbors up north all had alarm systems on their homes for protection. Down here, our neighbors use guns. Lots of them. I think everyone has at least one fire arm. They keep them in safes under their beds or in their closets. They talk at ease about how they heard a noise and “grabbed the gun”. The thought of having a gun at home scares me. I feel like only bad things can happen. My husband used to feel the same way, however lately he has been watching a lot of zombie shows and has decided that maybe we should be prepared for the end of the world and buy a firearm so we can make it through the “first wave” of an Apocalypical Attack.
I have explained to my husband that I don’t want to survive a crazy attack where only twenty percent of the population survives. Obviously we would die ourselves, but just a slower more painful and upsetting death. I’d rather just go right away. Besides, every time we try storing food to prepare for bad weather we end up eating it immediately and end up with one pack of Ramen Noodles and half a gallon of water.
But my husband just wanted to “look into” having a fire arm at home for safety, or zombies, or the end of the world and so we joined our friends on their weekly date night to the gun range. My first issue for the gun range was how do I dress for such a place. Can I wear my knee high boots and skinny jeans? Are high heels a no no? I obviously don’t own any camo and I’d rather be dead then go out in sweats on a Friday night. After all, I hired a babysitter for this occasion.
I finally figured out what to wear, (the skinny jeans and a cute sweater and the high boots) and we met up with our friends. They were very psyched up for the range. My one friend’s husband had a giant bag of guns including a case as big as me, that contained an AK-47. We walked into the range and I immediately felt uneasy. Guns everywhere. (No kidding, right?) But seriously, besides the bb guns we used at day camp, I have never seen a gun. As I looked around all I could think about was the 90210 episode where David Silver’s friend accidentally shot himself. Nothing good could happen here.
A man slowly walked out of the shooting area, gun swaying, in his left hand. I jumped and hit behind my husband. How was I supposed to be sure this guy didn’t have bullets in his gun anymore? This place was shady. I was thinking of leaving then, but I decided to just go into the range and watch.
It must have been obvious how uneasy I was because everyone was asking if I was okay. But with every ridiculously loud pop of the guns I kept thinking of Brandon Lee, and all the episodes of Cops I’ve ever watched. My girlfriends had turned into total man-ish war fighters, filling their magazines with bullets and shooting their paper targets people to shreds. They had bullet shells stuck in their hair and gun grease all over their hands. All I kept thinking of was how much more fun the spa would have been at that very moment.
Everyone kept asking me to shoot, it was like they were trying to get me to do drugs: “Come on Lauren, just try it. It’s fun. Do it once and you won’t want to stop. Don’t be such a wimp. Your such a wet napkin.” I didn’t care. I was not going to do it. There was just something dirty and dangerous and not thrilling at all about touching a gun. Call me paranoid, but I was focusing on the creepy old child molester looking guy that walked in, whom I was convinced was going to turn around an blow us all to pieces.
These friends turned rednecks of mine, shot their pistols and rifles for an hour and a half. In that time I imagined at least twenty scenarios of horrific events happening. (All which seemed much worse than dying in an Apocalypse.) By the time they were finished I was drenched in sweat and had a horrible migraine.
As we walked out my two friends agreed to meet back at the range during the week to “practice their shots” while the kids were in preschool. I told the girls I’d be at the gym. I’ll fight intruders with my panic button and brute strength. I decided at that minute that I will be only hanging out with my “Yankee” friends. I feel much more at ease reminiscing about college, and discussing politics then possibly killing each other.
As for the end of the world, I’m not that worried, I live a mile from a nuclear power plant, I think I have bigger problems then needing a gun for survival or saving up my Ramen noodles.