There won't be any pictures today, as they were not allowed at the private shooting range I was at most of the day.
It began in the classroom where it was old home week. My Bingo buddy was there, along with Bill (we attended high school together) and Frenchy (we went to both grammar school AND high school together). Just so you get the picture, Frenchy is in the same business as my family was for 20 years ... farming rice (after we went broke in the cattle business). He has a white beard down to the middle of his chest, drives an old 58 Chevy truck and packs a .45 Smith and Wesson on his hip in an old time gunfighter holster. Now that's MY kind of guy!!
There were three women in their 20's, along with an assortment of men, mostly I would describe as young. The two Sheriff Deputies giving the class were excellent instructors. I learned much more here in four hours than I did at the Arizona CCW class, probably because California has a LOT more rules and regulations. We saw videos that made me laugh and one that made me close my eyes because I knew what was coming.
When we broke for lunch, I steered everyone over to the Hangar BBQ at the Merced Municipal Airport. If you're ever going through town and want some great lunch, check them out! They smoke all their own meat and even make their own brand of chili with smoked tri-tip. Don't dress up, it's kind of a dive .... but a really good dive!!
It's now 90 degrees out ... perfect shooting weather ... NOT!! By the time we all got out to the Police Department shooting range, we were roasting nicely. As we lined up for gun inspection, I quickly noticed that Frenchy and I were the only ones with revolvers. THAT turned out to be a good thing.
The way the instructors handled the shooting portion was beyond professional, always stressing safety. Never once did I feel in danger ... well maybe once, whereupon I said I'm moving ... so we all did. Although they said this was "practice", it was actually our test ... immediately, right off the bat.
As they gave instructions, we would fire six shots at a target, from varying distances up to about 30 feet, for a total of 30 shots. This we did four separate times, some people using different guns. We had to get 20 of those shots inside two small rings, with each gun you "might" carry, to qualify. Frenchy got 30 out of 30. I got lucky with 27 out of 30, making us the two best shooters of the day.
With that done, they began to train the six best shooters in tactical shooting. I had no clue what that was, but I jumped right in. Shooting much faster at different areas of the target as we moved from side to side, I scored 29 out of 30. Not bad for an old lady. It kind of surprised the instructors and it certainly surprised the heck out of ME!!!
So in the end, I passed. I can't say as much for the other three ladies who all failed the course. Passing doesn't mean I will carry a gun. It will take another six months for the application and background clearance and probably another course (they do have a time limit), and even then I'm hesitant. It's a huge responsibility that totally changes your lifestyle and your life. After taking the class, I'm not sure I want to go there. Time will tell.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Fire up that barbecue and relax with friends and family, but always keep in mind why we are celebrating. Oh ... and turn on the tube for the Indy 500 race. Lots of interesting tradition here, including the drinking of milk by the winner, who one year drank orange juice instead, causing an uprising!! It's going to be a fun weekend!!