- How to swim.
- How to ride a horse.
- How to survive a night outdoors in poor weather.
- How to start a fire.
- How to prepare basic foods.
And so on... but there's more stuff that modern-day adventurers should know. Such as:
- How to jump-start a dead car battery.
- How to change a tire.
- How to handle a crashed computer.
- And how to shoot a gun.
I learned the latter skill today... sort of. Under supervision, I loaded a revolver and fired it, at a firing range; and yes, I managed to hit the target from 20 feet away. I am actually not such a terrible shot, although I found out what every beginning marksman learns: shooting a gun is considerably harder than they make it look in the movies.
It's also a LOT louder. Even when the sound's turned up in a theater, they don't convey the deafening bang or the strong kick from the gun and the short, sharp breeze that you feel when you fire it. And the weapon -- as well as the ammo -- get hot. I think a lot of people who treat firearms as toys have never used a real one.
I handled and shot a semiautomatic, too, which was easier to shoot but harder to load and take care of. Apparently if you don't hold a semi firmly, the next round won't ... what's the technical term? It won't move all the way into the proper position and you'll get something bad to happen if you pull the trigger then. Revolvers are far lower-maintenance, apparently. They're good guns for people who don't use guns very often.
I'm not at all a big fan of firearms. I think they make it far too easy to cause lethal damage. I believe in the Second Amendment but I also think that guns should be much more tightly controlled -- it's too easy for the wrong people to get their hands on them. But using weapons is one thing people like us should know how to do... and in this day and age, guns are fairly common -- and important -- weapons.