Release 0: Milpitas, 20 August 1998

The first Geeks with Guns outing took place the last night of the 1998 Perl conference. It grew out of some email between Larry Augustin and me a few months earlier. I had recruited Linus Torvalds for a shooting expedition sometime in the indefinite future at the 1998 Linux expo. Rob Walker (Larry's sysadmin at VAR) and Dan Quinlan (of Transmeta and FSSTND fame) joined us.

Though the event was invitation-only, word of it had leaked out before the Perl conference. Lots of people there were amused/or and nervous about the whole deal. I enjoyed assuming a slightly manic grin and telling people that this is all part of my master plan to convert the hacker culture into wacko libertarian gun nuts like me.

Just because I was being funny about it, they thought I was joking. And I must have heard ``Just don't shoot Linus!'' not fewer than two or three dozen times. Hmmph....

After overcoming a couple of snafus in communications and logistics, we hauled off to the Targetmaster in Milpitas and shot pistols for about two hours. I'd brought my Colt .45 Officer's Model. We rented a couple of 9mm semiautos and (if I'm recalling correctly) one .22 semiauto.

Our two newbies were Linus and Dan. Linus had actually had some firearms experience during his compulsory Finnish Army service years back, mostly rifle shooting with a few hours of pistol. Dan was completely green.

I can report that Linus is a steady, competent shot -- no crack marksman, but a careful and scientific one likely to perform well in a clutch situation. Dan was the real surprise of the evening; the man is a natural. He was astonishingly good for a beginner, sometimes putting a couple of rounds through the same hole at 21 feet.

A good time was had by all. Afterwards, we stopped at a Baker's Square and plotted world domination over pie and coffee.

This original expedition was planned as a one-time event, and only renamed ``Geeks With Guns Release 0'' retroactively when it became clear there would be more outings.