There aren’t a lot of universities out there that are anywhere right of center, but Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan is one of them. Two years ago, they decided that their students should have the opportunity to learn to handle a gun safely, in support of Second Amendment rights. A patron donated 37 acres of land for this use. The class is so popular among their student body that there has always been a waiting list to take the class since its inception. The shotgun/rifle range is in operation, and a pistol range is in the works.

Over the summer, my grandparents go to Hillsdale to audit some classes and hobnob with other old folks who are there for the same reason. This year, they ended up with some extra space in their schedule, so they decided to take a condensed version of Hillsdale’s gun safety course.

My grandfather is no stranger to firearms (though he admits he’s a little out of practice), but my grandmother cannot remember ever having touched a gun in her life. Said my grandfather: “She had never touched a gun before. Now she knows how to use one safely, if she has to, and how to store it, safely.”

She learned the basics: don’t keep it loaded if you aren’t using it, don’t point it at people you don’t intend to shoot, keep the barrels open to (a, show whether its loaded or not (b if it is, it can’t accidentally go off. She learned to keep her finger off the trigger when she isn’t ready to shoot as shown in the picture. Good form, Grandma! She must have missed her real calling in life, because she hit her first clay pigeon with her first shot ever. Her instructor looked at her bug-eyed.

Both of my grandparents shot at 25 pigeons, and yet both reported that there was no bruising from kick. My grandfather turns 76 later this month and my grandmother is 69, not exactly in the prime of their life. They live in a retirement community, so a home invader is unlikely, but should there be, neither would be able to take him/her in hand-to-hand combat. But there is comfort that, even if they can’t handle an intruder, they can handle the gun that can.

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