I was in the 9th grade when my Dad first took me to the gun range. I was nervous to say the least. He is very passionate about firearms and the Second Amendment so I was extremely excited that he was ready to share his training and knowledge with me. I remember that day so well. He taught me all the safety rules and made sure I knew them through and through before I even touched a gun. “Always treat a firearm as if it is loaded” would be forever burned into my brain. He showed me proper grip, stance, and sight picture and alignment. I was ready. I fired my first round and to my surprise, that little .22 had some kick! I was a little shocked that I actually hit the target, and not too far off center. My adrenaline was pumping. I fired a second round, and another, excited with my grouping on the target. Needless to say, I was hooked. Going to the range was something my family and I did together while I was in high school. I guess you could say it was part of our “family bonding time.” When I got to college however, we picked up a new sport: sporting clays. I loved shooting pistols, but this… this would soon become my true love. Shooting a shotgun is very different than a handgun and in all honesty, I liked it better. Sporting clays soon became a family ritual whenever I came home from school for the weekend.
And the rest is history. It’s hard to image how different my life might be if I never learned how to shoot. Firearms have become a hobby, a passion, a family bond, a means of personal protection, and now my career.
So I want to wish a big Happy Father’s Day to you, Dad! There’s no gift I could ever give you that even comes close to the one you given me. To you, teaching me to shoot may have been something simple, an activity you hoped I might enjoy. But I can honestly say learning to shoot has changed my life and helped shape me into the woman I am today.
I can’t possibly thank you enough for taking me to the range that day when I was 13.