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Getting Over A Fear of Guns

Like em or hate em, guns are something that are out there. I’ve never had an opinion on them one way or another – but at the same time, I had never really given any thought to the concept of going to a place to fire off a bunch of lead at a target. Not because I thought anything bad of it..

Truthfully.. i’ve always been scared of guns. Guns in the wrong hands have killed friends and loved ones… they just make me very very nervous.

So recently, I was invited by my friends Jay and Susan to go out and just get a better understanding of them. Saturday morning we set out – with their arsenal in tow, and I spent the day working through different types of guns and shooting them at Shooting Sports Tampa.

One of the things that I couldnt wrap my head around was just how loud a gun actually is. That in itself was very unnerving. The other thing that really left a mark with me was the cross-section of people that were at the range. Mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. Businessmen and free-wheelers.. It seemed like everyone was taking fun, in a quite responsible manner. There were all of these rules – that everyone was quick to point out was for safety and general welfare of those around them.

While Susan was shooting a Mini 14 rifle – I thought it a good idea to try to see if I can capture the muzzle fire of the gun. They pointed out that they thought it would be very hard to capture it. I thought that not only could I capture it.. I may even try to do an HDR of it. Camera and Tripod in tow, I setup for the shot and played around with it in post. That’s what you see above.

That night, while I laid in bed I wasn’t left with a Testosterone filled high of being able to overcome a fear. I laid there with a sense of humility. I thought about those soldiers of ours – kids really – that are out there firing these loud dangerous machines in the face of danger for our safety. I thought about the power this thing had to protect – and harm human life. I was left with a tremendous amount of respect and caution – something I dont think I was really ready for. Whether I do it again or not – it was an incredible lesson in respect. For that, I was truly grateful.


  1. It was our pleasure to spend our day with you!

  2. RC

    I found your post very interesting. One for the goal of capture the muzzle blast (which you got nicely), but for your goal. Sports have keep a lot of youth out of trouble. I got involved in small bore rifle shooting at a young age. I had a older man took me under his wing and gave me direction and guidance in both the sport and life. One thing I look back on fondly is shooting in the national each year. A firing line of over a mile long with people of age very young to very old. Boys and girls to old men and old ladies. Your post brought back many good times. Today all I shoot is my Nikon DSLR.


  3. Your final paragraph is great! Our soldiers are incredible and thanks for recognizing what they do.

    The muzzle shot is cool and I always like your HDR!

  4. I thin respect and caution are intrinsic in the majority of the shooting community; it’s central to the message of safety that most firearms aficionados try to impart on new gun owners/users.

    For me there was an early thrill to having a gun, but now it’s more of a zen-like centering exercise. I’ve carried everyday practically for 20 years — both in private and professional life. A gun is a tool — albeit a loud one — just like any other. With care and respect, it will only harm when doing it’s job…and hopefully that moment never comes. But if it does, like having a spare tire for a blowout, it’s bloody useful at that moment.

  5. I used to love shooting all the time. It is a lot of fun, if done in a responsible way. I have gone out shooting with people that were not responsible, and they were never invited back.

    Unfortunately, once Obama got elected there was a huge fear of him banning ammo so prices went up to the point that ammo was priced out of my range of just plinking.

    I love the photo. That is great.

  6. Great photo! It sounds like you have some good friends. I’m glad you took the opportunity. Like others have said, guns are just tools, nothing more, nothing less.

    I’m proud to be a “shooter” of both cameras and guns.

  7. RC,

    As a gun enthusiast, and a conceal carry permit holder, I found your article very refreshing! Any chance you’ll be taking any classes about firearms or perhaps become a gun owner yourself in the future?

    As a photographer, I’m curious about the technique employed to capture the muzzle flash – how’d you do it? Just hold down the shutter button in “rapid fire mode” while they took the shot? 🙁

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