Double TapDecember 6th, 2012
Back in school I was always picked last for basketball. But now I can shoot a zombie in the forehead left-handed at 25 yards. How would I know that? I took a zombie-themed handgun safety course, naturally. Keep that in mind when you’re choosing your team for the zombie apocalypse.
Personally, I do not believe in the right of an individual to own a handgun, regardless of the current Supreme Court’s interpretation of a “well regulated militia.” I’m not going to march in the streets about it, or pry one from your cold, dead hand. I’m simply not going to buy one. But if the world does go to hell in a hand basket, be it Red Dawn, World War Z, or The Big One, handling a gun safely might be like the life skills they taught you in elementary school–patience, sharing, coughing into your elbow–but for the end of the world.
The timing was perfect. I’d just finished watching season 2 of The Walking Dead, and as my friend Haleemon said, I ain’t goin’ out like that. I signed up through Zozi, a local adventure experiences site. (Disclosure: That link earns you and me credits.) The course, offered by Fisher Executive Protection, was taught by a super-mellow Gulf War veteran named Adrian.
After about two hours of lecture, a ridiculously easy exam, and hands-on practice with an unloaded handgun, we hit the range. Adrian led the plain vanilla students through the commands we had all drilled: Starting Position! Ready Position! Set! Fire! They popped off 20 rounds and called it a day.
Zombieland Rule #2: The Double Tap. In those moments when you’re not sure the undead are really dead, dead, don’t get all stingy with your bullets.
But not us zombie killers. As the last bastion of the human race we had two commands: On “Surrender!” we faced our instructor with empty hands raised. On “Threat!” we put aside our differences as humans. Spinning downrange, we loaded the magazine into our semi-automatic pistol, dropped the slide, and stared down the sites at our zombie target. We gently squeezed the trigger, never slapping, making each shot count.
We shot two-handed with both dominant and weak hands, and single-handed with each hand, because you never know what injuries you might sustain in Zombieland. Forty rounds with a Glock 19, and then the pièce de résistance: Two shotgun rounds. Upon firing, one young woman in my group screamed, “OH F**K!” which, technically, could have gotten us killed if another shooter had turned towards the noise, but it was excusable. The kick from the .50 caliber slug was… impressive. My response was a more Keanu Reeves-like “Whoa.”
The course was an illuminating experience, and made for an excellent opportunity to talk to my kids about handgun safety. Unlike in “Fido,” that means if they see a gun, they stop, don’t touch, leave the area, and tell an adult. Basically the same principles as when confronted by a flasher.
It solidified my resolve not to have a gun in my house. That’s simply too much deadly force, especially with kids around. I’m still scared to death of guns, which was part of the reason I wanted to take the course. It freaks me out standing behind a cop at Starbucks, knowing that he could kill me instantly with his service revolver, if he wanted to. Of course he doesn’t want to, but a criminal might. Now in that situation maybe I’d see a muzzle and a hammer and a grip instead of a mysterious death-dealing relic, and maybe I’d maintain enough composure to survive.
And if the undead come knocking? Double tap.