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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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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They Really Are The Same Old Jets

They do not know how to run a football team and have somehow turned a once-promising offseason into one of angst, anxiety, and disappointment.

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As a collective group us Jets fans do not expect much from the franchise, we are aware of their struggles and we take all of the negative shade other fans throw at us.

However, not even a month ago I wrote an article truly believing that these "New" New York Jets were going to turn it all around, that this new regime might have just figured it out, that our owners just might have fallen upon something. They released sick new jerseys, signed arguably the best two available free agents in linebacker CJ Mosley and running back Leveon Bell. The team also brought in offensive guru Adam Gase as their head coach and Greg Williams as defensive coordinator.

Everything seemed right in Jets land, I mean they were not even the laughing stock of New York, that title belonged to the Giants all off-season.

Until it didn't.

Around a month later from that first article I wrote, I am here righting another article feeling completely different about the state of the franchise. The amount of hope I had for this team going into the future has almost been completely ripped away from me and all I feel is the disheartening truth that the Jets will never be different. You might be wondering what I am talking about, and if you follow the NFL, I am sure you already know what I am talking about but for those who don't here it is...

The Jets fired their General Manager Mike Maccagnan. Okay someone was fired, no big deal. No, this is a big deal. A GM's job in the NFL is to build a team. Sign players, draft players, build a culture and evaluate players. The Jets ended last season by firing their head coach Todd Bowlers. Christopher Johnson the acting owner of the team decided to hang on to GM Macagnan feeling he has done a good enough job for one more chance at building a winner. Maccagnan and Johnson worked closely together to find the next head coach Adam Gase and entered the off-season with the second most cap space in football a young QB and the #3 pick in the draft. Like I said before all was good in Jets world. Then May 15th happened.

I mean the Jets firing Maccagnan is not what is so bothersome in this situation, it is the timing. I mean do they realize they could have just gotten rid of this guy back in January before the whole off-season and opened up what probably would have been the most attractive job in football... a lot of money a young QB and the 3rd pick. But no, that would have made too much sense for the Jets and that is why they did not do it. This move has been a bombshell, unnecessary drama surrounding this team because of incompetent owners. It is really unfortunate. There is a part of me that wants to believe the media is making this seem so much worse than it actually is because, let's be honest, that is what sports media does.

But with the Jets, it is always different.

The impossible, the crazy, the most bone-heading, mind-boggling things are 100% possible. As my favorite radio voice, Joe Benigno said, "the Jets are a disgrace... they are not even a second class team, they are like an 8th class team." He is right on the money there. Unfortunately, the team I hate that I love will never be a 1st class organization with continuing to make unbelievable move after unbelievable move. They are a place I'm sure people really have to be desperate to work at because the owners do not have a clue about the game of football. They do not know how to run a football team and have somehow turned a once-promising offseason into one of angst, anxiety, and disappointment.

When this article posts this story will probably be a week or so old, so who knows the Jets might have found their next GM, and it could be an executive everyone raves about, but at this very moment, I do not even know what to say anymore, other than this team will forever and always be the SAME OLD JETS...

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