Women on Target

I have to admit, I am a little bit afraid of guns. I want them far away from me. But I also thought it would be theoretically fun to shoot at clay targets and the like.

When I saw a flier for a class called Women on Target, which pairs women with mentors for a day of gun safety and target practice, I was hesitant. But it was only $20, and I got a couple friends to sign up, too.

I worried I wouldn’t be able to remember all the steps– daydreaming can cost a life here– but I was soon assured as the mentor walked me through each step.

I also worried I wouldn’t be able to handle any kickback or noise. I’ve been shooting once, when I went to Family Range day with the Rangers, where I shot a machine gun and a semi automatic rifle. You’d think I’d be more courageous. But that was a long time ago.

Cadillac had offered to take me to the range but, well, he’s not always the most patient teacher, nor am I the best student with him. Maybe we expect each other to read minds too much.

Anyway, the day turned out to be a lot of fun.  We fired rifles, a pistol (both .22s) and a shotgun. The shotgun is the one with the most kickback; once you fire that you can allegedly fire anything. It left a nice red mark on my shoulder.


I was the most accurate with the rifle.


We had to fill our own shotgun shells. Now they’re my souvenirs.


I’m not afraid of handling a weapon anymore.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

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