Smoking Guns

Smoking Guns

A Story by Sami Khalil
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Loaded guns and debates...

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Smoking Guns        by Sami S. Khalil



Gunshots echoed everywhere as he was paying his dues at “The Magnum” outdoors gun range. The attending clerk handed him a liability waiver to sign, which was intended to protect the place from lawsuits if people injured themselves.

The famous range had three grounds with obstacle course as much. The first was called “The Foreground” for beginners. The second “The Middle Ground” for semi-professionals. The third carried the name “The Background” for graduates.

This range promised a truly shooting experience with an ultimate skill level.


 People did like the place as they flocked to register based on the word of mouth. It had a good safety record, but in case of bleeding injuries, there was a nearby hospital to rush them to it. Another good thing related to customers’ wellbeing is that eye and ear protections were provided.

The reason Britt was here because his dad (a retired police officer), was adamant that his son learns how to properly handle guns, while learning the rules. The first rule was to treat guns as loaded at all times. The second was never to fire the gun at the ground. The third and most important one was to always use them in self-defense.


Now, as Britt signed the liability form, it was trigger time. He was handed a burnished “Magnum 45”, assigned a highly trained instructor. While both were doing the walk and talk, the instructor commanded him to act like the preppers and vigilantes, to be ready for any fight/war scenario by an enemy attack or macho bullies. “Act fast and furious lest you be killed”, he said. “Feel the action if you are going to gain any traction.”


As they walked down the path, a Native American bust popped out of nowhere. Britt pulled his gun and started shooting. Further down, more busts emerged: space aliens, Big Foot, bears and zombies. Britt shot them all with high accuracy while replenishing his magazine quickly. He passed gleefully the first obstacle course.


As the time neared the second course, Britt could not jump the gun, but wait for his turn. This time, he was blindfolded for the training. He had to rely on his

 

senses to feel the delicate movement of his opponents. With fingers trembling, his unspoken thoughts careened around his mind with such monstrosity. As the walk and talk commenced, he would hit the target sometimes, miss other times. He needed over fifty percent to pass. Eventually he did, vanishing the fears of failure that dragged him.


He geared himself now for the hardest third course. Before the walk and talk, the instructor admonished him: “Listen Britt! Shoot them all. Dare they not rise against you. You have the right to bear arms and the right to vanish reasons.”

As they walked, a strange thing happened. Britt’s busts popped up all along the path as he shot them nervously one by one. He felt like his own assassin, or you might say character assassinator. Nothing soothed his nerves for his feelings were wrapped and swaddled by shock.


After the course ended, the instructor congratulated him on passing the test with rictus sneers. He said: “Britt! You have passed the last course. Although I saw the shock on your face, you obeyed orders and never flinched. It is not about killing the self, but taming it. Violence is never the answer. Peace, safety and justice entail you vanish this real enemy. I’m not sure if there were a grave deep enough for our egos. But go ahead, find a fitting place to bury it.


As you know, we can be blinded by hate, biases and rapt convictions. For the real battlefield is one that is not distant, but within. Ask not what guns can do for us, ask what we can do with guns. Always remember this, 

Truth is louder than a loaded gun.”  


Kurt Cobain Nirvana With Gun Painting Macabre 2 Poster by Tony Rubino



 

© 2021 Sami Khalil


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Reviews

always such rich values and virtues your stories hold dear Sami, and always You end them with the great surprising ones, " I am not sure if there were a grave deep enough for our egos. But go ahead, find a fitting place to bury it." our worst enemy is our own selves, people should start from their insides before going outside wanting to change the world, change the inside if You want to change the outcome. to choose Kurt Cobain and his famous sentence " I wish I had a gun" is more perfect and special to me, I love him and I don't believe at all that he killed himself, for that sentence... I feel my belief that he wanted to have a gun to shot the world, the horrible world he hated. another amazingly written story Sami, well done my friend.

Posted 1 Month Ago


Sami Khalil

1 Month Ago

Wow! Did not know that. You taught me something. Very talented and gifted artist. I wish I have his .. read more
you carry a weapon in hopes you never use it,but if you do only to protect the innocent

Posted 2 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

2 Months Ago

An excellent summation and understanding of this write. Glad to see you upon my page sir.
 wordman

2 Months Ago

catching up sami,not here much
Sami Khalil

2 Months Ago

Wow! Same here. Off and on.
Hello, Sami! :)
This was an interesting read, compelling as you unfolded it. It would be great if guns could be used as shields, but really all they're good for is putting holes in flesh, or carrying the weight of that threat, violence. Thanks for sharing this thoughtful story.

Posted 3 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

3 Months Ago

Hi Mattavelli! So good to see you visit. What you said is absolutely true and worth the examination... read more
Desperation often leads people to find assylum in violence , dear Sami . we must look beyond our won distinct communities and national boundaries , to love humanity and not let hate get the best of us . Thank you for a though - provoking piece . Good to visit you after long . keep safe and smiling :)
With love , Ankita

Posted 3 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

3 Months Ago

Whoa! So true and well said. Thank you Ankita for this truthful and well needed explanation. Glad .. read more
interesting commentary Sami. at first i thought it waaaaaaaaaaaaay slanted as this is no puplic shooting range you are talking about. i suppose one might find something like it on a law enforcement range .. but never an instructor like that nor teachings like that. i don't think even terrorist groups have the sophistication of pop out targets. so your closing did surprise me sir .. you do make a statement but it seems conflicted .. even the character of the instructor changes and seems out of place .. with a sneer he seems to become a father talking to a son ... also ... no one would give a beginner a 45 to learn with ;) its like jumping on a Harley Road King without ever riding before. i think your trying to make a point but i think this one needs some rewriting .. its there ... but not real clear to me .. i think the strongest line is the one about how your protagonist feels as if he is destroying self too .. for me that's the best part of this one.
E.

Posted 3 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

3 Months Ago

Thank you sir. Local terrorist groups are plentiful as you know like international ones. The whole p.. read more
Einstein Noodle

3 Months Ago

yes .. plenty of terrorists to go around the world .. full of blind hate and as cowards will kill, f.. read more
It seems we in the USA are having much domestic terrorism these days. Your story seems to suggest that people learn to use guns to avoid using them (roughly, something like that). I love the way you pick an uncommon setting like the shooting range & you slam the reader right into that scene without a bunch of excess description getting there. I feel it is not clear that this guy is going to do course 1, then 2, then 3. This feels muddy & should be clarified. It doesn't become clear until he gets to course 3, then we realize he's doing all three. The way you describe the different courses initially, we get the impression that a person would be assigned to only one course, the one fitting his expertise. Other than that minor distraction, your story proceeds powerfully & with a gripping narrative. Your ending is unexpected & I would wager that it also comes across as unconvincing to many of us who think guns are a problem in this country (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 4 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

4 Months Ago

Whoa! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Glad you enjoyed the story and the message. Be s.. read more
You write so well Sami. Each paragraph flows seamlessly into the next. You carry your reader with you. On the topic of guns I flinch. Even in this type of scenario. We do live in violent times. It's not just guns either. You may have the guns, but we have the knives. And over here they are being used by younger and younger people. The only magnum I will relish is the chocolate coated ice cream dear Sami. They are delicious:)

Chris

Posted 4 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

4 Months Ago

Hehehe! What a wonderful review and answer to all of this. Use our sweet tooth instead of our violen.. read more
Chris Shaw

4 Months Ago

You are too kind Sami. Be
well yourself and take care. Get a bit fed up, see if you can buy a.. read more
Sami Khalil

4 Months Ago

Hehehe.....
There is so much violence in the world we live in that we sort of shrug out shoulders and move on when we see it. This is so dangerous. Yes, we all have "loaded guns" whether truly ammunition loaded or words ready to spew hatred. Your story is so well written and teaches an important lesson, Sami. Good one. Lydi**

Posted 4 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

4 Months Ago

Whoa! So true and well spoken dear Lydia. You have summed it up marvelously. It is a shame indeed. T.. read more
“Truth is louder than a loaded Gun”...
Quite a story and Perfect example of what Violence means in this our “present time”.
truly, Pat

Posted 4 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

4 Months Ago

Our present times are loaded with fake news from all sides and fake claims for inclusivity and exclu.. read more
Patricia Wedel

4 Months Ago

dear Sami.. we will Save our Constitution and Bill of Rights ... praying 🙏 for the Light. truly,.. read more
Sami Khalil

4 Months Ago

All true and well said. You are welcome.
' For the real battlefield is one that is not distant, but within. Ask not what guns can do for us, ask what we can do with guns. Always remember this, ~ Truth is louder than a loaded gun.”

Had you not been the writer, Sami, I wouldn't have read this and also, as your intended, the picture lured the viewer to.. have.. a.. peep. I did. Found the way it was done, in three moves: the steady near safe enough; the aware go.for.it. but then, ANYTHING might happen. The tension rose with good telling and inference, made me slightly cringe.. wondering perhaps if I wanted to read on.. which perhaps is how you, as writer, means one to think, to feel. Relieved, Sami, to read those final words and see that whilst it is your right to carry a gun, it is not the right to wantonly take a person's life and in turn, dilute or end one's own considered humanity. Could be right off the mark. Thank you for sharing a lesson to be understood and learned.

Posted 4 Months Ago


Sami Khalil

4 Months Ago

I totally agree. I delved also into the raging debate going on in America about guns and the constit.. read more
This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Sami Khalil

4 Months Ago

No need to answer....hehehe

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Added on February 28, 2021
Last Updated on March 1, 2021

Author

Sami Khalil
Sami Khalil

Tuscaloosa, AL



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