Safe shooting can be a stress-reliever


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Drizzt
February 22, 2005, 03:02 PM
Safe shooting can be a stress-reliever

By Jeff Mitchell

VACAVILLE - Most people would agree, guns can be a topic that can generate strident legal arguments.

But for a steadily growing segment of the population, the ownership of firearms isn't about staking out part of a vociferous Constitution argument.

Shooting guns, some folks say, is an act that's just plain fun - maybe even therapeutic.

"It's hard to explain, really," said Sherie Smalley, a Fairfield pathologist who took up target and sport shooting seriously just last year.

"There's something about shooting that allows me to release tension after a long day and re-center myself," Smalley said during an interview at The Shooting Gallery in Vacaville. "It's become one of my favorite hobbies."


Smalley's not alone.

While a significant number of the estimated 300 million American gun owners do claim to keep their firearms for personal protection, a healthy chunk of those - 40 million - keep and shoot guns almost exclusively for the enjoyment that comes from plinking at a target, according to the Connecticut-based National Shooting Sports Foundation.

And, in addition to those who enjoy just the Zen-like challenge of target shooting, the sport branches off down many competitive avenues involving pistols, revolvers, shotguns and rifles. There's even something called "cowboy action shooting" where competitors dressed in period costume test their marksmanship using Old West-era rifles and pistols.

Never looked back

Before Marcia Arnold-Serrao entered the gun world in 1992, she was a successful jewelry salesperson.

But after an initial visit to the Commerce Place range and pro shop, she's never looked back, investing herself fully in the sport.

Now a veteran shooting instructor, Arnold-Serrao said the act of being an accomplished target shooter involves mastery of the mind and full control of one's body.

"It's not hard to fire a gun. Most people can pick up a firearm and shoot it," Arnold-Serrao said. "However, to do it consistently well requires both concentration and practice."

Like any athletic endeavor, a person must dedicate themselves to the sport to become an accomplished marksman, Arnold-Serrao said. This involves a fair amount of both muscle and breathing control.

But mostly, the hard-to-describe feeling many people get when firing a gun boils down to one word: Fun.

"It is enjoyable," Arnold-Serrao said. "I can be having a bad day and come here and spend some time on the range and leave feeling 100 percent better."

However, the very nature of shooting demands that neophytes quickly learn and demonstrate an orthodox respect for the safety and mechanics of firearms. California law, by the way, requires it.

So, when Joseph Brooks, 47, decided sport shooting might be a cool thing to share with his 20-year-old college-bound son, Jermaine Brooks, they signed up for a three hour gun safety and orientation class at the Vacaville range.

The class ended up being a good refresher for Joseph Brooks, an Air Force veteran, and a primer for his son.

"This has been a good class - you can never be too safe when you're dealing with firearms," the elder Brooks said. "That said, I think we're both looking forward to getting out on the range and seeing what we can do."

http://www.dailyrepublic.com/articles/2005/02/22/local_news/news01.txt

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thumbody
February 23, 2005, 11:15 AM
They better stake out a constitutional argument part if they want to keep enjoying this therapy.

RaggedClaws
February 23, 2005, 11:29 AM
...the estimated 300 million American gun owners...

This can't be right. According to the CIA World Factbook (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html), there are only 293 million Americans total (as of July 2004).

What's the actual estimate of gun owners in the US?

El Tejon
February 23, 2005, 11:49 AM
Vacaville?!?! :what: "Cowville". :D

Flashback to 8th grade Latin: Vaca est alba. Rana est parva. :D

Ragged, I believe I've seen 70 mil, but will look around. Maybe 300 North and South Americans? :confused:

Mr. Mysterious
February 23, 2005, 12:28 PM
I sent this to the author:

Hello, just have a quick question for you, you stated in your article:

"While a significant number of the estimated 300 million American gun
owners do claim to keep their firearms for personal protection, a
healthy chunk of those - 40 million - keep and shoot guns almost
exclusively for the enjoyment that comes from plinking at a target,
according to the Connecticut-based National Shooting Sports
Foundation."

The Census, www.census.gov lists only 295,530,475 Americans. Just
thought that I'd let you know. The real number of gun owners is probably in the 80 million or so range.

TallPine
February 23, 2005, 01:26 PM
Well, I would think that stopping a home intruder or other aggressor with a firearm would be a great stress-reliever ... :neener:

:D

hrb02
February 23, 2005, 02:46 PM
Don't know about the 300 million number, but here is what DOJ and ATF have in their stats database:


Number of firearms in the US: 223 Million
(Source: US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Guns Used in Crime, 7/95, from ATF data)

dasmi
February 23, 2005, 02:48 PM
Right, 223 million firearms, 80 millionish owners. Some of you people own a whole lots of guns :)

TallPine
February 23, 2005, 03:23 PM
Right, 223 million firearms, 80 millionish owners. Some of you people own a whole lots of guns
Are you serious :confused: That's only 2.7875 guns per "owner"
(the 0.7875 gun must be a carbine :D )

I have more guns than that, and I sure don't have a lot of guns.

Anyone know how many new guns are sold in the US each year...? I would guess it is in the many millions - Ruger, Colt, S&W, Winchester, Remington, Savage, and many others are making money somehow. ;)

Guns don't really wear out in normal use, so except for casualty loss and crime confiscations, most guns ever sold are still in circulation.

I would guess something more like 500-600 million guns in private hands: Molon Labe!

:p

El Tejon
February 23, 2005, 03:30 PM
I think domestic production is around 4.5 million (don't know how many exported of that).

Guns don't wear out? :uhoh: I must be using mine incorrectly. :eek: I'm shooting them to pieces. :D

Mr. Mysterious
February 23, 2005, 05:53 PM
Got a reply back:

From: Jeff Mitchell <jmitchell@dailyrepublic.net>
To: Jason XXXX <jXXXXXX@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Safe shooting can be a stress-reliever

thanks. We corrected that in this morning's paper. jm

whm1974
February 23, 2005, 06:13 PM
Number of firearms in the US: 223 Million

That is just what they know about. I also think more 80 million people own guns too.

-Bill

The_Antibubba
February 23, 2005, 08:19 PM
What's most amazing is that Vacaville is in California-right outside San Francisco, in fact.

I repeat: a positive story about firearms-within spitting distance of SF!!


Are the dead resurrecting yet? :p

artherd
February 24, 2005, 03:12 AM
I've been to the Shooting Gallery, one of the few CA ranges STILL RENTING GUNS to shooters! Not clunkers either. I've shot a Kimber Custom Stainless II Gold Cup (I think... Kimber has so many different names), and an HK USP Elite .45 as well.

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