Chair Force Engineer

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Happiness is a Warm M9

I finally qualified on the Beretta M9 today. My regret is that my grandfather didn't live long enough to see this moment. He had thought it was something important when I told him of my failed attempts to qualify back in spring. I lost him earlier this month, but I'd like to believe that he's smiling upon me from his perch on high.

Most people wouldn't treat qualification on the 9mm pistol to be a big deal. I do, because I wasn't raised around firearms and I haven't developed any marksmanship skills. Even as a youth playing "Duck Hunt" on the Nintendo, I would stand close to the screen to shoot the ducks. (I was also rebuffed in my attempts to shoot that stupid laughing dog. One of these days I will teach him that schadenfreude works both ways.)

It took a generous co-worker to take me to the city shooting range and let me shoot several magazines with his .45 pistol. Compared to the .45, the 9mm's recoil is insignificant. I still notice that I'm pulling my shots down and to the left, but it's not as bad as before, and I'm compensating by aiming high and to the right.

Having recently seen the superb Casino Royale, I feel like I've earned my "Double-0" status now. Yet the Air Force will probably never ask me to use any kind of firearm again. Still, Moqtada al Sadr had better watch out; if our paths cross, he'll find a cap busted in his turban and two in his pubic-like beard.