By Jeff K.
As a child I went to Scout camp over the summer and shot a .22 rifle. Man that felt cool. All laid out prone, looking down range 50ish feet, trying desperately to punch out the center of the paper target. That was fun. I don’t know why, but I never shot again until recently. So when my eldest son asked me to safeguard his AR while on tour in the middle east, I did the responsible thing, got all legal (Illinois FOID card required), started looking on-line for knowledge of responsible gun handling.use . . .
If I’m going to store it, and possibly use it, I don’t want to be the subject of a ND/careless use story. And having a few younger kids (pre-teens) in house, yeah, I better man up on doing it proper.
Where to start? NRA? Joined. I used their links to find a proper training instructor and signed up. As my son had provided some basic training on a handgun in a prior range visit, the basics of use were already established, but all the other ‘stuff’, I wanted to know more. Things like stance, grip, trigger control, maintenance, I want better knowledge.
Web sites such as TTAG, and others helped fill in the corners of knowledge that only time and effort can establish. Reading how many ways people ND motivates me to continue gaining knowledge. But nothing replaces sitting in a classroom with a proper teacher. Knowledge costs time and money.
I decided to sign up for class. I wavered back and forth on which class. Basic handgun seemed too elemental and not appropriate to my goals. I had invested probably 40+ hours reading online and had a firm grip of what to do, what not to do. For another day of effort, I could cover those basic points,and get a conceal carry permit. And as an added bonus, beat my son to the punch. So I did it.
I got a lot out of class and it caused me to rethink the cool factor of CCW. Fifty years without a significant ass-kicked fight or encounter, there was no great need for CCW other than to be cool. In hindsight, it would have been worthy to sit through the basic class. I may yet do so, even though I feel I am above this basic state of knowledge.
Now I find myself in a quandary. I took my 13-year-old to the range and let her shoot. We discussed what to do, what not to do. I hovered over her, fully prepared to catch her arms flying over her head as we’ve seen in countless “reckless shooter” videos where the shooter goes flying, dropping the gun from surprise. She surprised me and handled my 9mm better than anticipated. Breathing once again, we finished up the session, went home and she gloated over her experience.
A second trip, this time with a .22 semi-auto. She readily absorbed my comments of what to do to make this better, safer, more fun. So now my quandary begins. Getting her proper training.
So now I am looking at ‘sitting in’ on her basic handgun class. Incidental knowledge may benefit me despite my ego of it being to ‘elemental’. What I don’t care for is the heavy emphasis on self defense. It is a valid point, but it’s not why she gets to use the firearm. It’s for recreation use only. Granted, she’s at that point where self defense is something to start practicing, but legal firearm self defense is several years away.
So I ask the audience, how have you brought your children into the firearm knowledge? What’s your plan of introduction?