In which the very liberal1 Ursula Vernon decides to go and equip herself with a rifle so she can learn to hunt deer:

This was insane. I could kill someone with this! I mean, if I could hit them, which honestly, it'd be easier to club them to death with the stock (or the butt?) at this point, because looking at the bit through the thing seemed very haphazard, so they would have to stand very still unless they were right in front of me, and I'd probably forget to take the safety off and I didn't know how to load it yet and shouldn't they make sure I knew what I was doing before they let me give them money for a gun?!

"I don't need to take a class?" I said weakly.

"You will need to take a hunting safety class to get a hunting permit," he explained. "You go to the NC dot gov website and you can find class listings from there."

"But I can just shoot the gun. Without a permit?" (Oh god, I wanted a piece of paper that said I wasn't an idiot and knew not to point the end at anything I liked. Maybe that would make it true. Truer. Extra true. Maybe I should take the hunting safety class before I shot at anything. Maybe I should take the class before I loaded it. Or touched it. Maybe I should have my head examined.)

I have a particular gift–or curse–that occasionally I am so absolutely incompetent that I can negate the competence of others. This man owned a gun-store named after his father. He taught handgun certification classes. I had successfully baffled him so hard that he began to sound as uncertain as I was.

I ended up feeling slightly sorry for the gun shop owner, faced with such a reluctant customer. Not so sorry that I didn't laugh out loud several times over2 before the piece was done.

[Via MetaFilter]

  1. In the US sense of that word.

  2. That's more at Vernon and her internal monologue, not at the owner's understandable confusion over his latest customer.