Bearing Arms links to a study that tries to understand how new shooters feel when they fire a gun for the first time.
Firing a gun can be startling. In response, first-timers can experience aÂ fight-or-flight responseÂ – the body’s way of automatically responding to what it perceives could be mortal danger.
I remember the first time I shot in an indoor range, and I remember being startled by the noise, but I think that’s more aptly classified as the startle response. Even today, I can get that from gun fire if I’m not expecting it. But I’ve not experienced any of the feelings he mentions here.
The initial response and come-down that follows can lead to a strong sense of pleasure and reward in some people.
“That rush of serotonin feels good,” Fleming said. “A lot of people don’t like being scared, but there are people who like to jump out of aeroplanes or bungee jump.”
However, Fleming noted that most professional shooters he’s met – primarily police officers and military personnel – aren’t adrenaline junkies and espouse a “healthy respect for guns.”
Maybe people who don’t have that reaction are the ones who get into shooting.