“So, I’ve been thinking about getting a handgun,” read the text message that lit up my phone one afternoon back in January. It was from my close friend Kari.
I know Kari had shot rifles and shotguns with her brothers a few times before, but pistols were a whole other ballgame. So, I offered to take her to the range as a first step in her search for a handgun. We went over all the safety rules, how to properly and safely load and unload the gun, and then moved on to shooting form. I explained grip, stance, sight alignment, sight picture, etc. I was hoping that what I was saying made sense. I have been shooting for many years now but this was my first time actually teaching someone. I know all the rules, steps, and overall process of learning how to shoot can be overwhelming and I really wanted her to learn.
When she was ready, she picked up the gun, loaded it, clicked the safety off, and fired her first shot. I’m not sure who was more excited, me or her… not only did she hit the target, but she was fairly close to center! She shot a few more rounds, thrilled that she was doing so well.
After only an hour lesson, Kari was hooked. She told me she wanted to come back to the range and even take a training course. I was ecstatic to say the least! I was definitely proud of her for doing so well. But, the feeling I got from seeing her learn and enjoy this new found sport was indescribable.
I encourage you to take your friend or family member who is willing and eager to learn to the range. Introduce them to firearms. Make sure they learn proper safety rules and form. Encourage them to sign up for range time with an instructor or a firearms training course. Simply, provide them with the educational resources and information they may not be able to get on their own.
That is how we will ensure the future of shooting sports. That is how we will pass down traditions like hunting, shooting, and the outdoor lifestyle. Be willing to share your passions, wisdoms, skills, and beliefs with others… and that is how we can preserve the 2nd Amendment.