I got an email from NRA’s Woman’s Programs, telling me about a planned wilderness escape. The attendees would learn to shoot smallbore rifle silhouette, scoped/tactical carbine, long range high power rifle, conventional and tactical pistol, historic firearms and shotgun (five-stand), and archery. Other activities included in the program are bow hunting, a mock hunt, and survival training.
Although I enjoyed the day I spent learning about gun safety and shooting various weapons at the local gun club (I thought someone who has killed as many people in books as I have should know how to shoot), I can’t imagine being steeped in gun culture for eight days. Nor am I certain I’d be willing to pay $1800 for the privilege. Still, the idea does tug at me, as do all things I’ve never done before. If nothing else, the shooting complex would be an interesting setting for a murder, and I could chalk up the week to research.
One thing in the invitation especially caught my attention: Whether you are a novice or a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, it’s an experience that will prepare you for your next adventure!
Do they know about the adventure I’m considering, walking up the Pacific coast? Oh, my, I sure hope I won’t need to know how to shoot for that expedition. Guns are heavy! I tend to take as little as possible, probably way too little (though not as little as The Peace Pilgrim who carried only a pen, comb, map, toothbrush, and the clothes on her back). I’m not planning on walking for peace, exactly, but am aiming for a peaceful walk. Not only would a gun overload my pack, it would make me nervous, as if it were calling out to be used. (Can you feel my shudders?) So not the spirit of peace!
Still, I would take pepper spray or bear spray or some other sort of unfriendly creature spray, and I figure as long as I remember to point it away from me, that’s all the expertise I’d need.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.