Cassandra couldn’t believe how many shells were on the floor of the range and found the Beretta 92FS way bigger than the gun of her dreams. “I pictured a small handgun–a pink one I could put in my purse,” she said. After a few rounds, the officers offered her a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun. The kickback freaked her out, and the officers got closer, giving firm instructions to point at the target and “take your finger off the trigger” after firing, during which she was yelling, “Jesus!” and “Whoa!”
“I was worried,” Cognac told me. “I just hoped that she didn’t drop it. That’s why we only gave her three bullets.” She put the gun down and went to shake out her arms, which were shaking on their own. “I thought I’d get a rush of adrenaline and it would be fun,” she said. “But it was very scary. It overrode everything else.” She shot one slug out of the Mossberg and turned down the fully automatic Colt AR-15.