I had never held a gun.  It was heavier than I expected, though just as hard and cold.

My parents refused to drive with me until I had completed Drivers Ed.  I turned the key for the first time with a stranger next to me and two random classmates in the back seat.  I learned the finer points of accelerating, braking, and turning with a snickering audience who had the privilege of private lessons before performing in front of peers.  I discovered blind spots and the carelessness of pedestrians.  I learned to merge into highway traffic while a man forced my knee down harder and harder onto the gas pedal.  I felt the rage of others.  I had never been more afraid.  This was one afternoon.

I still remember the thought I had when I first felt the power of metal and speed in my hands.

I could kill someone. 

The enormity of such a  responsibility was staggering; that understanding flooded my mind again as I considered the potential I now held in my hands.

There was no fear; the safety was on.  I held a gun for the first time standing next to a man I trusted.  I learned to check the chamber and load my gun.  I passed over zombies and aliens to choose a target that didn’t easily allow for a flippant attitude during a lesson in deadly precision.  I felt the weight of a ready gun in my outstretched arms.  I centered my sights, held my breath, and fired.