By Danielle Sturgis | October 12 2008 05:50

When my mother said she wanted to come to northern Virginia for a visit, I knew the time was right for some exposure to firearms. My first Women On Target clinic was a wonderful experience, but then again, I wasn't my mother.

Mom's never been a fan of firearms. Quite the contrast with my Marine Corps machine gunner of a father, Mom wasn't so sure of my decision to join — and eventually apply for a job with — the NRA. But she's always supported her children, and when I mentioned I'd like her to come along to the Oct. 11 Women On Target clinic, she booked her plane ticket without hesitation.

I don't want to give away the whole story — which will, by the way, appear in Traditions and Club Connection — but the experience was awesome. Mom almost outshot me on the rifle course. And she couldn't stop smiling. "That was fun!" she said. She talked to other ladies who had never before touched a gun. She sat through a few seminars on firearm safety and had an NRA-certified instructor by her side at the Ridge Rifle Association's range for both pistol and rifle sessions.

I took a ton of photos, of course, and I'll post a slideshow so you can go through them all if you have the time. But I want to highlight a few things in particular, so I've posted the following photos:

Gene Strickler and Cathy Cofflin

Gene Strickler and Kathy Cofflin, pictured above, were hosts extraordinaire to both mom and me. They put a lot of work into the clinic but insisted the Ridge Rifle Association should get the credit. "It's these members, and their wives, who make this happen," Strickler said.

The day was sponsored by the Ridge Rifle Association and the NRA, of course, but Gene was sure to point out the generosity of the local Sportsman's Warehouse which donated a ton of gift certificates.

Tasty home-baked desserts

And lunch was delicious — check out the extensive array of home baked desserts, above, we chose from in the Association's club house before picnicking on the lawn, below.

A picnic lunch

The entire slideshow can be viewed below. Notice the fog, which thankfully dissipated as the day progressed.

I warned you, it's a ton of photos!

Find a Women On Target Instructional Shooting Clinic near you — and stay tuned! I'll talk to Gene this week and post his thoughts on the clinic.

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