The trigger is pulled and as the bullet is released, adrenaline rushes and all the fears of shooting a gun disappear and the teachings of the Firearm Social Club set in as the lessons of how to stand, focus and
hold the gun become real.
Philip Lin, a sophomore computer science major who went to the Santa Clara Field Sports Park for the Firearm Social Club’s first gun range trip in March, said he had never gone shooting before, and he was apprehensive about shooting for the first time.
“The thing I noticed most was the recall,” he said “You’re at the range, you’re aiming, doing the technique they taught you . . . and you shoot it and it kicks back and you realize how powerful it is.”
Lin said since joining the club he has learned there is much more to shooting than just pulling the trigger.
Michael Passaglia, the club’s vice president and a senior biomedical engineering major, said Ryan Gilbert, the club's president, came to him in Fall of 2012 and said he wanted to start the Firearm Social Club, and by the spring it was all set.
Passaglia said the club focuses on
teaching people about the safety techniques involving firearms and the current gun laws.
“I thought it was awesome because people need to learn about firearms," he said. "You can listen to the news and be freaked out about things you don’t know about it, or you can learn about it."
Gilbert, a senior general engineering major, said he created the club, but he is not sure how long the club will last because it was a lot of work to get started and the club currently doesn’t have an adviser.
Gilbert said one of his initial reasons for starting the club was the current political climate surrounding firearms.
Although that topic is listed as one of the original purposes for the club in the constitution, the meetings are not necessarily geared towards the political aspects of gun control and gun laws because that doesn’t seem to be the main interest of its members, Gilbert said.
Passaglia said he is glad the club exists on a college campus so students can educate each other on gun safety and gun laws and discuss the issues.
“I have always been a proponent of teaching people and getting info out to people,” he said.
Passaglia said because the club is an open forum, members can bring up and discuss topics concerning firearms that interest them.
Passaglia said the government officials who often talk about gun control and the need for guns safety don’t always provide accurate information, and what they say can scare the public because general members of the public know how to protect themselves if there is a shooting.
Using a personal story about himself and his fear of snakes, Passaglia said he is afraid of snakes because he knows if he is ever in a situation and faced with a snake he would be scared because he wouldn’t know how to protect himself, and that is how other people feel about guns.
He said because a lot of people don’t know proper techniques of how to protect themselves if in a situation involving a gun they believe guns are dangerous and they get frightened.
“It’s a great place to start this, it’s an epicenter of learning,” Passaglia said.
Aside from their open forum informational meetings, the club also goes on field trips to gun ranges to practice what they learn about gun safety.
“(One of the) core elements to our club is hands on experience,” Gilbert said. “The main purpose (of the club) is to inform students about guns and if they could get hands on experience with them, that’s more important than something I can talk to them about, I guess.”
At the range, the members get a chance to practice their stance, the way to grip the gun, shooting and aiming.
Javier Perez, a sophomore chemistry major and member of the club, said he didn’t know much about guns before going to the club.
“Usually when people see guns they freak out … but in the club they showed us how to properly check if it’s loaded or not, what kind of weapons are assault weapons, because a lot of laws in California say it can’t hold more than 10 rounds in the magazine, and we’ve learned how to stand properly when shooting and a lot of other things too,” he said.
Passaglia said in the club they exaggerate safety so everyone knows when a gun is loaded and when it is not, and also for first time shooters the adrenaline can get the best of them and they go too fast so it’s important to exaggerate the need for safety.
“When you fire a gun you are setting off a controlled explosion that happens to be in your hand,” he said. “You’re literally holding on to an explosion, so you’ve got adrenaline going.”