Having A Blast

April 2004

This is an article about guns.

And let me just say this up front: I’m not a gun guy. I hate the things. I find the belief systems that steer most gun owners through modern life to be completely at odds with my own beliefs; I care nothing for the Second Amendment (I think it should be changed to something like “All Americans have the right to live comfortably in the knowledge that their neighbors aren’t armed to the teeth and might pose some kind of nutball threat to them if they become chemically imbalanced”); I don’t appreciate the political tendencies of most gun owners; and I can’t stand their gun-ownership arguments. ¶ Good. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s go have some fun with guns.

Twice a year, on the first Saturdays of May and October, the tiny Colorado hamlet of Gateway holds an event called the Gateway Dynamite Shoot, which may be the state’s most interesting shooting event. Each year roughly 250 “shooters” from across the nation head to Gateway to fire at soda-pop cans filled with a dynamite-like compound that, when hit, produce a wonderfully satisfying minor explosion of dirt, dust, dynamite-like compound, and soda-can shrapnel. I’d been hearing about the Gateway Dynamite Shoot for years, and last spring I decided to check it out.