Dodge City, the location of Residency School, is located in The Sticks. This is not entirely unlike Hometown, which was (more or less) also located in The Sticks, albeit in a different region of The Sticks. Several of Dr. Man's fellow residents are from other areas that are in The Sticks and some are just going native. This leads to the fact that several own guns.
This is only important because I am a not-so-closeted liberal. I believe in healthcare for all, helping those that are having a hard time, and science. I, also, feel squeamish about guns. I've never been of the belief that all guns are evil and only those that are going to rob a bank or overthrow the government own guns. I've never risen that far above my roots. However, I also don't believe in guns for personal protection. I've seen some of the people from Hometown who own guns and, trust me, it's a 70-30 chance that they'd shoot themselves instead of a Bad Guy. So, going into this it is important to note that I had never seen an actual handgun in Real Life and the only gun that I had ever seen in Real Life was my Dad's shotgun (that he used for hunting).
This all started last week when Dr. Man asked if I'd be interested in going shooting when I came up. I replied, Shooting what?. He explained that his fellow intern, P., owned a couple of guns and wanted to know if anyone wanted to go out to the shooting range and give it a try. Dr. Man was (is?) an Eagle Scout and had shot a rifle before. Not wanting to be out done, I told him that I was game.
That's how on Saturday, I was at the gun range with a very sleek black handgun in my hand. It looked like one of my Brother's old toy guns. I was taught gun safety rules: never point a gun at anyone-- loaded or not, keep your hand off the trigger until you're ready to shoot, etc. Assured that I wouldn't shoot myself in the head as long as I pointed the barrel away from me, I pulled the trigger.
The flash of fire and the jerk upwards startled me. I'd always heard about a gun “kicking” when fired, but I had thought about it more in terms of a horse kicking backwards-- not in the sense of lifting my arms upwards. It was such a shock that I laughed and immediately want to put the thing down. I was sure that if I continued to hold it, the thing would decide to fire upon me. No, no. Keep firing. everyone urged, Wasn't that fun? Try it again! So, I did. It actually turned out to be a lot of fun. It was sort of thrilling, in the way that it was like escaping certain death all the time.
I still don't think that I'll ever own a gun for “personal protection.” However, I think target practice could be a good stress relief with regards to grad school.