Ron Displays the HK
Originally uploaded by meriwilliams.

Whenever we come to Texas, we’re not just attending SXSWi, but also visiting some good friends who live here in Austin. They happen to own Pasta & Co which makes the best fresh pasta in Austin (and probably the world). The pasta-maker at this fine establishment also happens to collect guns — everything from handguns to shotguns to assault rifles. He also builds sniper rifles, on occasion. So whenever we come to Texas, we try to make a little time to enjoy the pasta, the steak and the guns, as well as the fine company of the geeks.

Last year, we took Simon along with us. The outpouring of amazement and delight at the photoset on Flickr resulted in us widening the invitation this year to include some other geeks. Molly, Andy, Yvonne, MJ and Ian all answered the call and came along. We met at the pasta shop, for a quick gun safety briefing. Anyone looking in at the shop would probably have assumed there was some sort of arms deal going on — on one of the kitchen tables salads were being prepared, on the next the differences between an AK47, an HK and a Berretta were being explained!

We piled into the trucks (everyone seems to drive a truck in Texas!) and headed for Red’s Shooting Range. What all the geeks seemed to find hilarious was the stops that were made along the way — Ron went home to grab some AK ammo and Sheryl made a pasta delivery en route. That’s just the way it works, I say! Once inside we were joined by MJ’s friend Jackson and the real fun began.

I won’t bore you with a blow by blow (or shot by shot) account of who shot what and when — rather I’ll summarise as follows:

  • Everyone was very brave and pretty much tried all the guns. Even the assault rifles. There’s a full list of what was available here
  • Andy and MJ (both gun virgins) showed remarkable courage and talent — Andy in particular even impressed Ron with his innate skill!
  • Everyone seemed to have a blast!
  • The ATF proved that they are a force to be reckoned with!
  • MJ proved that she is infinitely talented at photo composition
  • Ron and Sheryl both showed immense patience and generosity in helping us to experience this!

On Monday we are going to be taken some Aussies along for a shooting experience. Since Friday a bunch of people have approached me about being involved next year — largely due to Andy’s gushing recounting of events, I think! If you are interested in coming along to Geeks with Guns 2007, then please leave a comment here and we’ll see what we can organise. I’m not making any promises — due to the obvious issue of safety, we may not be able to do this in a big group — but we’ll see what we can do!