Welcome to the Barney Fife Pistol Range

September 8, 2011

Blog Guy, I hope you can help me. My chiropractor’s beekeeper just gave me a 9 mm pistol for Labor Day, and I’m wondering…

Wait. You and your chiropractor’s beekeeper exchange Labor Day gifts?

Yeah, it’s just a little tradition going back to the 2008 Oscars. Anyway, I’d like to use it, but I don’t actually want to fire real bullets. Any ideas?

Sure. I’m the same way. Lots of us  love to go to a shooting range but don’t care for the acrid smell of gunpowder or the stigma of hitting innocent bystanders.

You should come with me to this public park where I practice with my unloaded .44 Remington Magnum. Look at these photos of policemen there, holding shooting practice with unloaded guns.

Really? How do they know if they’re getting any better?

Practice. The more hours of unloaded shooting they do, the better they get.

How do you know when it’s safe to walk across the line of fire?

I have to tell you everything? From the time they’re little kids, guys know how to make shooting sounds. Pow! Pow! Blam! Pshew!  Pshew! When those sounds stop, it’s safe.

Ah, that makes sense. I’d love to come with you. Say, can I try your unloaded .44 Magnum?

I guess so, but be careful. It packs quite a kick.

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Policemen take aim during shooting practice with unloaded guns at a public park in Hanoi September 7, 2011. REUTERS/Kham

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24 comments

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Blog Guy, I almost became a famous writer for a newspaper.

I wrote an article about the local police, saying as to how I kept the town safe by keeping all of the local Sheriffs bullets in my shirt pocket, to make sure that they had to call on me to issue those rounds to the Sheriff Department, in an ‘on call’ sort of way!

For some reason, I never got to write another article, ever again! Also, I had to move out of San Diego County to Warsaw MO, shortly afterwards.

I always held Barney Fife in such high esteem! Dadgummed small town politics!

Posted by uncarastus | Report as abusive

I humbly offer a haiku:

Hanoi public park
Shooting range, unloaded guns
In private parks, too?

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin bets her darned tooting
That she approves of practices for shooting
In public parks
Whether light or dark
To prevent invisible folks from looting

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Old boy in pic#2 better change his grip before he tries the real thing, or he is in for a nasty surprise.

I’m sure none of the bystanders are nervous… :-/

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

Actually I’ve stopped going to this particular bullet-free shooting range, since they started making us police our own brass….

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Captain squinty sure does strike a jaunty pose when shooting his pistol. It’s just a shame it isn’t actually an 18th century duelling pistol, which was probably the last weapon that could actually be fired this way without snapping your wrist like a twig.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Hey! I fire my cowboy .44 one handed! My 9mm and my 380s ARE pieces of cake, comparatively speaking.

Well, I never shoot the .380s nor the 9mm one handed, because the stance for shooting two handed is better.

However, who EVER heard of a cowboy employing his shooting iron two handed? Did I mention that I do wear a wrist brace while shooting mine?

Did I also mention that my cowboy hat is specially fitted with noise suppressing Mickey Mouse ears? Or maybe I was just thinking that it was? Yeah, probably.

Posted by uncarastus | Report as abusive

I wonder if these guys also double as census takers in Hanoi

Posted by jclimacus081 | Report as abusive

In the first photo, picture this:
Suddenly, the police start twirling their guns on their fingers, bursting into song, and dancing with the chairs as props.

The police sitting on the ground in back join in and start to sing and dance in formation — the chorus line.

It’s a musical called “Don’t Annoy the Police of Hanoi.”

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Very good, Spin… Also known as “I Fire my Pistol but I Miss Saigon…”

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

@Blog Guy: With the winning number “Is that a Real Pistol, or is it Pho?”

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

@Spin – I don’t have anything to contribute to your musical extravaganza, but how about an afternoon sing-a-long with Andy:

Oh, my Barney, oh, my Barney,
had a jail and couldn’t lock it.
Had one bullet for his pistol,
had to keep it in his pocket.

Posted by GeorgiaPeach | Report as abusive

Neo: So what are you telling me, that I can dodge bullets?

Morpheous: No Neo. What I am telling you that when you are ready you won’t have to. In Hanoi though. Only in Hanoi. I can’t emphasize that enough.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

I’ll fake aim at your brain and you won’t feel any pain,
don’t fence me in (in the park)
In the sun, in the rain ’cause the ammo never came,
don’t fence me in (in the park).
And the chairs we dance and straddle all the while our brains we addle,
don’t fence me in!

Nice technicolor uniform in the top photo, too.

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

My grocery clerk’s astrologer told me it would be safer to dodge the make believe bullets than answer the door in my lingerie…

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

I know what you’re thinking. “Did he not fire six shots or only five?” You’ve got to ask yourself one question…

Posted by hoopsnake | Report as abusive

Another very nice movie ref, hoop…

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Why in park? Are they scaring the tourists?

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

@fwd: Apparently, they’re scaring both the tourists and the folks on this blog who know a thing or two about how to handle a gun. I know what you’re thinking, @fwd: “What we really need in these fearful times is a photo of the Duchess of Cambridge.”

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

The most important thing about fake shooting people and making the “pow” noises is in remembering to mime the recoil. :)

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

Lol JC!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Now, there’s bullet maintenance, Barney-san….very cost-effective, too.

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

Last time they held a practice session, this fellow got hit, fatally wounded. The surgeons did all they could but couldn’t save him. They simply couldn’t find the bullet.

Posted by Malteser | Report as abusive

This somehow seems like a scene done by Improv Everywhere.

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

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