Target Practice

“Hey, Kyle…you know what would be fun to do over this break?” I asked over Thanksgiving.

“What?” he replied.

“We should go do some target practice!” I said enthusiastically.

After a moment’s hesitation Kyle looked at me and teasingly said, “Who are you and what have you done with my hippie liberal Erika?”

I laughed and retorted, “Target practice has nothing to do with being liberal or not. So there!”

After borrowing a 22 from a friend, we hopped on the snowmachine and headed out of town.  Eventually we got to a nice clear spot with some short trees. We took our homemade targets – printer paper with a big cross sharpied on them- and used a staple gun to attach it to a short tree.

Kyle showed me how to load the gun, showed me how to stand, and said, “Alright, go ahead.”

At first, I stood there, used my left eye to aim, and fired off a number of bullets.  Then I set the gun down on the snowmachine and walked over to see how many I had hit on the paper.

“NONE!” I shouted across the frozen tundra to Kyle.

As I walked back to Kyle and the gun I wondered how my aim had been so lousy. “Ok, Kyle, can you explain to me again what I should be seeing as I look and shoot.”

He explained again, and I tried to get everything to line up correctly. Frustrated, I grumbled, “I just can’t get anything to line up right!”

“Well, which eye are you using?” Kyle asked.

“My left one,” I replied. “I know it’s my more dominant eye.

“Well, I think you should try with your right one.” He suggested.

Taking his suggestion I fired off a few more and then went to look at the target. Upon reaching the target I jumped up and down and yelled to Kyle, “I did it! I did it!”  I had gotten a number of the bullets I fired in the target.

When I returned once again to the gun and snowmachine Kyle pointed out that I was standing awfully funny, leaning back quite a lot. He suggested I try a few from a kneeling position. Once again, I took the suggestion and then shot some more. When I went to look at the target I had gotten one right in the center.

“Bullseye!” I yelled back to Kyle.

It turns out that the gun I was using was just big enough and just heavy enough that I had a hard time holding it perfectly steady while standing up, but could easily keep it stable while kneeling. With this new insight, I shot a bunch more and hit the target with great accuracy. After I went out to inspect the target again I shouted back to Kyle, “This is a lot of fun!”

Once we had used up all the bullets we decided to head home. As we drove back into town I had a huge grin on my face. “It’s really fun to learn something new AND succeed at it” I told Kyle when he asked why I was so happy.

Erika Written by:


  1. Kyle's Dad
    December 28, 2010

    Congratulations! There’s a pink short barrel 22 Ruger at Terry’s Gun Shop with your name written all over it.

  2. Dad
    December 28, 2010

    Great shooting. Must be the genes. You have an uncle that won the new york city police marksmen competition.

  3. Mom
    December 28, 2010

    I liked it better 20 years ago when we could protect you from dangerous things!

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