Saturday, November 12, 2005

L.A. stories (The Gun Club)

Life in LA can be hard and unrewarding. Sometimes you just want to go out a bust a few caps from your AK. And that's just what we would do on Saturday nights.

When the stress of grad school would reach toxic levels, Gina and I would call a few friends, pack up the guns, and head out late at night to the L.A. Gun Club in the middle of town. The L.A. Gun club is a warehouse converted into an indoor shooting range behind rows of razor-wire fencing and security cameras. It was open late at night, it had character, and most importantly, it was the only indoor range that would let me use my MAK90 (Modified AK), albeit, with soft-tipped bullets only.

The clientele was also pretty interesting. Rich Korean businessmen would mingle with gangster types, sometimes complementing each others' choice of weapon. One time there was this newbie who leaned over the rail to see where her shots hit. In the process of leaning over, the barrel of her pistol wound up pointing directly into her neck. On rare occasions you might spot a bonafide celeb like Ice-T or some other TV star late at night when the crowds were smaller, but that's another story altogether. Mostly though, there were the regular schmucks like me who were just looking to unwind, or better yet, let loose.

Between me and my friends, we had quite a nice arsenal at our disposal. I had my MAK90 and a Chinese-made SKS. Both fired 7.62x39 caliber rounds-- heavy and slow bullets, but with enough power to go through a small tree trunk and still be lethal. We also had an M1 garand, a 12 gauge shotgun, another MAK90, and a assortment of handguns. We brought everything. Mostly though, I stuck to the rifles. With most people at the range using handguns, the sound of the MAK90 and the shower of sparks it made against the back wall silenced the place for a few seconds as people looked around to see who brought the small cannon. Sometimes, when the owner wasn't looking I'd fire 3 in rapid sucession and watch the fireworks. After a few hundred rounds with my friends, I'd be covered in gunpowder residue and feel positively peaceful.

I sold my toys before moving to VA thinking that transporting them on the plane (even in pre Sept 11) would be too much trouble. Plus, I didn't know VA gun law very well, or the relative lack of it. Once in a while I think about finding a local range around here and revisiting my old hobby. Somehow though, I don't think I'd enjoy it as much as I did. Bikes trump guns... and there wouldn't be much chance of me running into Ice-T in these parts anyways.


Blogger BradH said...

Hmm. I wonder if there is a way to combine the two hobbies...?

I can see it now. Mountain biking hunters with AKs. Bikers riding furiously after a 5 point buck shooting off automatic weapons, taking out the wildlife and they zip through the trees. Ok, maybe only in a Tarantino production.

P.S. I'm advocating neither the senseless killing of animals nor gun control.

9:23 PM


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