Last week I received an email from a friend who was taking a father and son to the range for their first experience at shooting. They were also bringing along a foreign exchange student who had been staying with them. My friend asked if I would come along as another set of eyes and to assist. Of course, I happily agreed.
We met at the outdoor range after work on Friday. I knew the father and son already, and met the very pleasant Spanish exchange student. They had been given a talk on gun safety prior to coming out, but I did a quick review, for my own peace of mind. My friend was supplying the guns and ammo this trip. We took the three shooters to the line and allowed them to shoot, only one at a time at first. After starting them with .22 and 9mm pistols, we saw they were confident and safe. A .45 ACP gun was added to the mix, and all the newcomers rejected shooting the .22 any more. After about an hour of shooting, and tweaking stances and grips, we moved over to the rifle range.
A .22 rifle, an AK-47 and a .308 hunting rifle were on the list for this part of the introduction. Targets were set at 50 yards for the .22 and AK, and 100 yards for the .308. Now the smiles really started! We allowed all three to shoot at the same time as they rotated through the firearms. I think the AK-47 won the popularity contest. I even took a turn at shooting it, as well as the hunting rifle.
It was a joy to see the smiles on the faces of all the new shooters. The exchange student made sure he got copious photos and videos of his experiences. It's a good bet that it's not something he'll be able to easily repeat soon.
After we finished shooting, stopping only because the range does not allow shooting after 7:00pm, the dad had a lot of questions about firearms and self defense laws. We spent a lot of time talking about those subjects. Or, more precisely, I spent a lot of time talking. They found at just how passionate I am on the subject. I am happy I was able to share some of what I've learned over the years, as well as dispel some misconceptions.
I fully expect that I'll be doing another session with the father, as he's becoming very aware of the needs, and his rights, to protect his loved ones. I'm glad I could help a small bit in that awakening.