Taking a Noob (Mom) To the Range

By Cranky

My mom has been a lifelong liberal, opposed to hunting, guns and violence in general.  Over the years this has posed quite a challenge as I seem to have been born with a deeply ingrained conservative point of view. I blame it on the library card she helped me get as soon as I was old enough to read.  She, on the over hand, always blamed it on defective genetics. In recent years she has gradually been inching over to a more conservative point of view and even expressed an interest in shooting so last weekend I took her out to the range . . .

I brought a pair older .22s and my AR-15. I assumed we’d spend most of the day with the .22s but thought she might get a kick out of trying the “scary black rifle” after she got comfortable.  She loves antiques and the old wooden stocks and aged bluing of these vintage rifles had always caught her attention. I also hoped the quieter report and low recoil of the .22 LR would decrease her anxiety levels and help her feel more confident more quickly.

One of the rifles, a Stevens 87A, I inherited from my grandfather (her dad) had an issue feeding that couldn’t be cleared at the range. We were both disappointed because this rifle has been in the family for longer than I have and we were looking forward to shooting it together. Disappointed as we were, I hadn’t really expected to shoot it much and was planning on using a Marlin 989 M2 carbine for most of our shooting.

Surprisingly though, she struggled with it. She wasn’t fazed by the recoil and was doing well with safety rules, but looked very uncomfortable handling the gun. She was also having a lot of trouble hitting the target and I could tell she was getting more and more frustrated. After watching her struggle for a while, I finally realized the problem. The rifle didn’t fit. This is a small .22. I taught my son to shoot with this same rifle when he was little bitty. That was one of the reasons I brought it along but I could plainly see that she had a problem with the length of the stock.

Taking a chance, I pulled out the AR-15, collapsed the stock all the way, and gave her a quick review of how to work the rifle and how to use a red dot sight. She was on the paper in one shot and hitting reliably from there on out. The increased recoil didn’t affect her in the least. The increased report took a few rounds for her to get used to, but her frustration was gone and she was now excited with her own progress. After I retrieved the target and she saw the number of rounds that hit the paper she was even happier — she was in love with the AR.

It was my turn to shoot and as I happily plinked away with both the old Marlin and my AR-15, she wandered off. I didn’t think too much about it, but at the next cease fire she was still MIA. A little worried, I went looking for her, first along the firing line and then in the showroom. And that’s where I found her, smiling like the Cheshire Cat.

She was in the process of purchasing her first firearm.

It seems the little M&P 15-22, in Pink Platinum, “spoke to her” from behind the counter and she decided she had to have it. She spent the next hour punching holes in paper with her very own AR.

On the way out to the car she asked if her rifle would be affected by any of the proposed legislation from Washington.  I replied that, yes, it probably would as would my AR. She paused for a bit and then said, “well that’s just stupid.”

She is now a member of the NRA.

Cranky posts at Notes From a Cranky Buddha.

comments

  1. avatar Ron Burgundy says:

    Your mom rocks Dan!

    1. avatar nerd_nurd says:

      It wasn’t Dan, it was Cranky. But yeah, this was pretty cool.

  2. avatar Rob Eide says:

    Congrats! Add one more for the good Guys!

  3. avatar Brad says:

    Victory. It smells like cordite from your Mom’s new AR.

  4. avatar Andy Kay says:

    Very cool. I too got to help my parents buy their first guns. They got a pair of S&W model 60 revolvers. They had their first lesson a short time later and reported that they were ready to practice monthly. They also got a chance to develop a home protection plan with their instructor (He did a 3 hour home defense class in their house with them).

  5. avatar Roger Cain says:

    Unpossible, I don’t believe it because guns are “icky”.
    I know it to be true because Obummer said so.

  6. avatar PatAnderson says:

    That’s awesome!

  7. avatar Kris says:

    Took my 64 year old mother to the range a couple weekends ago and watched her squeel like a little girl every time she contacted steel. She then.insisted on an.AK47 for Christmas and posed with my friends suppressed AR with an evil 100 round drum.

    The.cherry on top: She’s a state legislator. She made sure we got pictures.so she.could take them with.her to the.legislative assembly on Monday and show off to.all her legislative friends. God I love this state and my mother.

    1. avatar LongBeach says:

      This is one of those things which is so awesome that you question whether or not it’s for real. If it is, well-played! Half of me is in disbelief and the other half is loving it.

      1. avatar Clay says:

        This is exactly what I was thinking. If it’s true, and I hope to heaven it is, I love it!

    2. avatar Rokurota says:

      Which state?

  8. avatar Lance says:

    Education is a key weapon to win this war.

    1. avatar tjlarson2k says:

      Exactly. The only way to convince people that it’s crazy people that are the problem, not the tools they use is to get everyone behind an AR-15 at the range and once they realize you don’t turn into a serial killer monster upon touching it, the truth becomes crystal clear.

      What’s scary is what also becomes clear is all of the idiots in politics that actually believe in magic, that an inanimate object can magically make someone evil and commit crimes. It’s quite sad.

      Being anti-gun without having ever shot a gun in the age of the internet is like stubbornly believing the world is flat while refusing to go out on a boat to see if it’s true.

    2. avatar tjlarson2k says:

      I think the majority of the problem is the fact that this entire war is based on assumptions and not facts.

      Guns don’t “make people evil”. That’s all there is to it. End of debate.

      Most of the legislators and politicians that are anti-gun have never fired a gun, ever. They literally have a child-like mentality when it comes to guns and they stop at “I don’t like it.”. Well “I don’t like it” isn’t good enough sir/madam.

      Hundreds of millions of people “like” guns and that’s enough. Guns serve a legitimate purpose in self-defense and they are the great equalizer when it comes to dealing with violence and criminals with today’s technology.

      And that’s that. After WWIII happens and we’re all back to sticks and stones, are you going to ban rocks once an evil person bashes another person in the head for giggles?

      Seems silly to ban tools because it’s tool-use that is mankind’s greatest strength (and weakness).

      Tell you what, Mr./Mrs./Ms. Anti-gun, while you are at it, at least have the courtesy and fortitude to be consistent in your beliefs. Every politician that uses a car, at all, is a hypocrite of the highest order because cars happen to be involved in a huge amount of fatalities every year.

      But I don’t blame cars, I blame stupid people. Why? Because I’m not a moron and I can see fault where fault is due. As should you, politicians.

  9. avatar Moose says:

    When I first read that I thought it said ‘liberty card’. Funny in a way cause that’s what a library card is.

  10. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    God bless you and your mom. That was a very sweet post.

  11. avatar Jeremy says:

    I took my mom out for the first time this Saturday (also a former gun control advocate and teacher).

    Her response to the shootings was the opposite of most anti-gun folks. She wanted to real to shoot.

    She shot my glock 19. On the way home she asked, “How much would a glock 19 cost if I decided to buy one?”

  12. avatar Gregolas says:

    Dan,
    Great story! Greater Mom!

  13. avatar Rob says:

    What?!?! She didn’t take Joe Biden’s advice and “buy a shotgun”?

    😀

    1. avatar Brad says:

      Yeah, that would have been a real smart move. Thanks for the greatbadvice Biden. He would of had RF’s Mom dislocate her shoulder and scare her off guns for good. Perhaps that’s his goal all along. Buy a shotgun, my ass.

  14. avatar bruce lorraine says:

    Go mom, Great story

  15. avatar Matt in FL says:

    If this story didn’t make you smile, there’s something wrong with you.

  16. avatar speedracer5050 says:

    Awesome Cranky!!! Thank you and congrats to your mom for seeing the light of just one of the many reasons we own guns.

  17. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    Cranky, that is weapons grade, text book awesome. Congratulations, sláinte and l’chaim!! Now, for the next range session, see if you can get a couple of your Mom’s friends to join you. Well done sir!!

  18. avatar Jay W. says:

    Thanks for making me smile!

  19. avatar إبليس says:

    B-b-b-but evil salt-rifles are too difficult to hit anything with!

    1. avatar Gyufygy says:

      And they raises your blood pressure, too!

      Oh, maybe that’s where they get the public health idea.

  20. avatar eugene says:

    a success story! good job!

  21. avatar WA_2A says:

    Go ahead, Feinstein, tell her there’s “no earthly reason” for her to own one.

  22. avatar jacquejet says:

    Your mom sounds like a great girl. Good for you.

  23. avatar SpeleoFool says:

    Very cool story. I think a little hands-on education (i.e., “range time”) for newbies is about the best possible defense we have against “stupid” legislation.

    Kudos to your mom, Cranky, just for accompanying you to the range. That she enjoyed the experience enough to get her own firearm is an awesome bonus.

  24. avatar Miserylovescompany says:

    Delighted to hear of your success, Cranky. This is what we need more of. A LOT more….

    Tom

  25. avatar Don says:

    this is an awesome, feel-good story. i hope she is able to enjoy it for a very long time.

  26. avatar Gary says:

    And that’s the way it’s done!

  27. avatar k says:

    I needed this kind of story. Gives me hope. Needed it after reading the school newspaper today.

    http://arbiteronline.com/2013/03/11/concealed-weapons-not-necessary-at-boise-state/

  28. avatar Lauderdale Vet says:

    The S&W 15-22 is great. It’s a fun gun to plink with.

    It would be even more fun if we could still buy cheap .22 LR by the bucket!

    1. avatar Lucubration says:

      I love my M&P 15-22 dearly. That’s a great first purchase for anyone getting into shooting.

      Awesome story, Cranky.

  29. avatar circadia says:

    I love this post so much.

  30. avatar g says:

    Sounds like a win for everyone. Go Mom!

  31. avatar RayinTexas says:

    This has to be one of those memories that we all treasure. God bless you and your mom.

  32. avatar Silver says:

    Great story.

  33. avatar Ray says:

    It’s pretty obvious she’s no astronaut.

    1. avatar g says:

      “It’s pretty obvious she’s no astronaut.”

      Mark Kelly may be an idiot, but Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, the Apollo 13 and other astronauts from the US space program throughout the years are still childhood heroes of mine. We as a country can do far worse as far as role models / heroes are concerned.

  34. avatar Fred says:

    Awesome story, put a smile on my face. One question: I noticed her tshirt with the ARs on it. Was it your tshirt?

  35. avatar Mamba says:

    What a wonderful story….and it has a happy ending.
    Thanks for sharing, will pass it on.

  36. avatar Yaya says:

    My ‘G’ (grandma) and Cranky Buddha is my dad……very real, very true, and yes the shirt is hers. ENJOY more from Cranky Buddha and Thanks for sharing!!

  37. avatar Sarcasm off says:

    I love this story. As a “noob” who has recently conquered the use of a pistol thanks to many NRA classes, there’s hope that I can move up to rifles next (if the bf is willing to share his AR-15!)

  38. avatar William says:

    Well, “noob” is “boon” spelled backwards! See what I did there?

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