My First Time Shooting A Gun Will Not Be My Last

My First Time Shooting A Gun Will Not Be My Last

The Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon is a powerful weapon.
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With the end of the stock pressed up against the inside of my shoulder and my left hand comfortably yet firmly grasping the gun, my right thumb turns off the safety with one flick, and I close my left eye. Focusing my gaze along the center of the gun, I say, “Pull.”

All of a sudden, the sporting clay shoots out from the left. My gun follows its target moving 50 miles per hour. I pull the trigger. The once singular solid piece of clay has exploded and severed into multiple pieces. I watch as the broken clay pieces fall to the ground.

My family in the remaining spots of the 5 stand erupted in cheers. I had successfully hit the most difficult thrower of 5 stand on my first day ever shooting a gun.

The gun I shot was a 28 gauge hunting shotgun called the Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon. This shotgun is compact and low-profile while still being extremely powerful, and its top 686 action is preferred among competitive shooters and serious hunters.

The 28 gauge produces a considerably low action, allowing for a true premium-grade experience. This gun was chosen for me by the sporting club’s Shooting Professional due to my inexperience with shooting a gun. The 686 Silver Pigeon has 2 cone-shaped locking lugs at mid-action between the barrels. This feature gives it good locking strength and durability while still keeping its scaled-down action profile.

As someone who was once terrified of guns, my experience shooting sporting clays was one I’ll never forget. It helped me to realize that guns are not as scary as they seem, and I look forward to my next visit to the clay range.

Cover Image Credit: Tina Alvino

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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6 Reasons (For 6 Rings) It Sucks To Be Anything But A Patriots Fan

The dynasty lives on.

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The Patriots dynasty lives on with their sixth Super Bowl win this Sunday, leaving Tom Brady sporting rings on both hands. This win left Patriots fans in a frenzy and the rest of the world in awe at the total domination of the New England program. Although I am not a Patriots fan, it is hard not to acknowledge the impressive talent on both the coaching and athlete side of the Patriots sports program. Despite cheating, murder scandals, and questionable affection with their children, the Patriots still consistently manage to win championships. It pains me to say it, but at the end of the day the New England Patriots are just THAT good.

1. No matter how good of a season your team is having, the Patriots are always having a better one.

11-5 in the AFC East.

2. You can't root for Brady, no matter how good you know he is.

We all know Brady is perhaps the best quarterback of all time, which is painful to watch as the fan of another team.

3. They have the easiest schedule.

Let's face it, the AFC east isn't exactly a challenging schedule, especially for a team like the Pats.

4. You'll never have Belichick coaching your team.

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5. The Patriots get an entire region as their fan base.

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3 teams in New York compete for fan bases, while the Patriots are gifted an entire region of support.

6. As much as we hate to admit it, they're just THAT good.

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