I was out this week at a shooting range (in Wexford), practicing, ensuring that my muscle memory was still pretty good. The most important thing, at least for me, is to be ever so gentle when pulling the trigger, after having lined up the dots (with the dominant eye open, the other closed) for the target – and ignoring the recoil that will happen – having properly prepared: held the pistol with both hands, arms fully extended and leaning the body just a bit forward, the feet pointing forward, a footer so apart. You see how my three shots were pretty well on target above!
The first time I shot a gun was in high school (at HPS-Begumpet, and then again as undergraduate at IIT-Madras), somewhat mandatory in India at that time, as part of National Cadet Corps (NCC). Although we did not have conscription in India (and still do not), I suppose that possibility of war (with Pakistan? China?) was real enough that many of us (teenage boys for sure) were given basic training in firearms. I suppose my colleagues from Israel, and maybe S. Korea and Turkey (and even Singapore), have had similar experience (as a teenager or as a young person) in terms of training and other aspects of preparedness for war.
I learnt then that (with shotgun and rifle) not to have a gap between the gun and your body/chest (if you do not want to fracture your collar bone). At that time, I do not recall having a semi-automatic (like what I used this week, can you guess which one? Hint: Not Walther PPK that is used by MI6/James Bond!), but instead having a revolver, where, after each shot, one had to manually set up – “cock the gun” — for the next shot. The semi-automatic means that, after each shot, the gun reloads automatically – like AR-15, banned in 2004 (by President Bill Clinton, but became available after 10 years) – but you have to pull the trigger each time you want to shoot. The fully automatic setting means that one can shoot multiple rounds continuously while holding the trigger down, like with AK-47. I remember shooting one of these in a range in Miami a few years back, and it is quite an experience.
Film lovers (in the US) know the title of this post is the Oscar-famous phrase by Matthew McConaughey (opening his acceptance speech for his role in Dallas Buyers Club), an exaggerated variant of his line from his first movie role in:
Dazed and Confused is a 1993 American coming-of-age comedy film written and directed by Richard Linklater. The film features a large ensemble cast of actors who would later become stars, including Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, and Renée Zellweger.
Clearly, he was top of my mind this week (among people who are in movies):
Matthew McConaughey in emotional plea for gun control at White House.
While he has been in many decent movies – A Time to Kill, Amistad, Contact, Interstellar – the one I enjoyed quite a bit is:
The Lincoln Lawyer is a 2011 American legal thriller film adapted from the 2005 novel of the same title by Michael Connelly. The film also stars Ryan Phillippe, Marisa Tomei, and William H. Macy.
Favorite movie of mine with Marisa Tomei? My Cousin Vinnie. William H. Macy? Fargo. Ryan Phillipe? Breach.
If you have not seen it, streaming now is a new series titled The Lincoln Lawyer (and it is pretty good). Talking about watching series that are nostalgic, I also recommend:
Like Top Gun that I discussed in Top Fun, if you liked the original, especially the first season of Bosch, you will feel satisfied with Legacy.
Another streaming series that I enjoyed very much (although I did not see the original, and from what I understand, is a departure from that in some fundamental ways, and perhaps why I liked it!) is:
Set in Denmark, it deals with the geo-political fallout created by an unexpected oil find in Greenland, thus bringing in difficult topics such as colonialism and, of course, dealing with the triple threat of China, Russia and US. Given that Denmark (like UK and India) has a parliament system of government, it was fun to see a slice of the tension between the minister and the ministry (as represented by the Civil Service staff), most delightfully dramatized in:
Yes Minister is a British political satire sitcom. A sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, ran for 16 episodes from 1986 to 1988. It was the favorite television program of the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher.