Question of the Day: Can Range Time Convert Gun Control Advocates? by Robert Farago | Nov 15, 2011 | 28 comments facebook twitter linkedin email [HTML1] comments Texan says: November 15, 2011 at 11:35 Absolutely. We fear what we don’t understand; once it becomes familiar and comfortable we are on the road to accepting it. Images and promos of ranges, gun stores, etc. reaching out and marketing more to the gun-grabbers come to mind: “Bring a gun-grabber, shoot for free!” (I’m sure that concealed carry course guy in Texas can think of something creative)… If that doesn’t work, there are other ways to convert them… Reply ExurbanKevin says: November 15, 2011 at 11:45 Firearms: The gateway drug to freedom. Reply Moonshine7102 says: November 15, 2011 at 11:52 Here’s my story: My wife comes from a country with virtually ZERO private ownership of weapons. She was (understandably) leery of having guns in our home, but after much discussion she was persuaded to come to the range with me. After our outing, she allowed that it wasn’t nearly as scary as she thought it would be. After the second range session, she said it was “pretty fun”. After the third, it was “when can we go again?” The fourth? “When are you going to buy me a pistol?” Fifth? “I want to get my carry permit.” And that, friends, is called “winning hearts and minds”! Reply sdog says: November 15, 2011 at 12:28 dang moonshine, i’m still stuck at number two, any suggestions? Reply Moonshine7102 says: November 15, 2011 at 12:49 What are her complaints? Once you get her to go beyond “I just don’t like it” and start talking about what she doesn’t like, the game is nearly over. Address her concerns, and you’ll win her over. If you need help, reply with her complaints and I’ll do my best to help you out. Reply sdog says: November 15, 2011 at 13:15 i think the problem is that she does not like very much recoil, she loves to shoot the my 22/45, but she shot a few rounds out of the G17 (which i got rid of recently, replacing it with a sig 226) and was not too crazy, i thought about maybe getting a 380 as a midway point. what do you think? Moonshine7102 says: November 15, 2011 at 13:28 Go with the .380, and see my post below. My wife doesn’t mind shooting my .45, but she likes her 9 a whole lot more. She won’t touch the .44 😉 Recoil sensitivity can be reduced through training. Let her bang the heck out of that 22/45 all she wants. She’ll eventually want to try something snappier. If you handload, knock out a few hundred rounds of low-velocity 9mm, and have her try those. If she says “that’s not so bad”, you can work up in velocity until she’s shooting the full-house stuff. Just go slow, increasing the velocity maybe 50 fps every 300-400 rounds. sdog says: November 15, 2011 at 13:36 this is great stuff here, thanks moonshine for the tips. Moonshine7102 says: November 15, 2011 at 13:47 Any time. Good luck. Coyote Gray says: November 15, 2011 at 13:29 .32 ACP perhaps? A nice Beretta TomCat? Very nice…very asthetically pleasing. TomFox says: November 15, 2011 at 20:49 Get a heavy all steel 9mm like a Jericho 941, CZ 75-sp01, or a 1911 in 9mm. Lightweight 9mms are not really all that much fun for ladies that are beginning shooters. Moonshine7102 says: November 15, 2011 at 13:24 Here’s what I did. This method worked for my mother, my brother, and my wife. It will cost you around $200 as written; you may find places to shave that down. 1. Talk about the four rules. Explain each thoroughly, and why they are necessary. Tie it to something she does every day, like driving a car. There are reasons why you check your mirror and turn on your signal before changing lanes. There are reasons why you don’t rev to the redline often. There are reasons why you don’t drive on sidewalks. Keep it fun and factual. 2. Buy a cheap 20-gauge. Harrington and Richardson makes a break-action single shot you can get for about $130 where I live. Why not a 12? Duh. Why not a .410? You’ll see in step 3 below. Get a Limbsaver slip-on recoil pad for the 20, and grab a few boxes of low-brass target loads. 3. Here’s the make-or-break point. If you get this far, and if she is convertible, you’ve got it in the bag. Take her to the range some day when it isn’t crowded. You’re going to shoot trap. Why? Because now you’ve made it a game. It isn’t about shooting people. It’s about breaking clays. It’s about having fun. It’s about trying to improve your score. Once the gun is seen in the same light as a baseball bat or a hockey stick, and no longer as an implement of destruction, she can relax and enjoy the sport. Reply Griffin says: November 15, 2011 at 13:46 I completely agree with Moonshine7102. Very well laid out.I do something very similar. After years of successfully introducing “gun neutral” friends to shooting I was frustrated to consistently not be able to convert any of my anti-gun friends. I was able to educate them on how ridiculous the assault weapon bans are, proving that they aren’t really bans of “assault weapons” but rather just a ban of “scary looking guns”. However we would always leave the range with them still against all forms of gun ownership, sometimes with even stronger feelings on the subject. Then last year I started shooting sporting clays. I was surprised at how many of my anti-gun friends were interested in it. Their is something civilized and not scary about it, something even gentlemanly in their eyes. Though clay sports emulate hunting birds so in many ways it’s more violent than just plinking paper targets in their eyes it is less violent. So now I always invite any of my friends and co-workers who express anti-gun sentiments to shoot some clays. If they agree to go to the range they have, so far, all enjoyed it and at the very least become more sophisticated in their attitude towards guns. I might not get them to stop disliking the “scary black rifle” nor “evil handguns” but at the very least I get them to stop being anti-II Amendment. Ralph says: November 15, 2011 at 11:53 Fools cannot be turned into sages, hoplophobes cannot overcome their irrational fears and the wilfully ignorant cannot be taught. Anyone else might enjoy a day at the range. One thing that really bothered me is when Schulman said “I’m for the right of these people to carry firearms.” WTF? These people? You mean, like, Americans? Reply HAVE GUN says: November 15, 2011 at 12:19 “Fools cannot be turned into sages” You made two very good points. Reply GS650G says: November 15, 2011 at 11:54 I converted two Brits in an afternoon. 30 years of anti gun education wiped out in a day. I had to drag them away from the line after telling them all the bullets were gone and the range was about to close. Reply HAVE GUN says: November 15, 2011 at 11:57 My wife was never anti-gun, just not crazy about them. She did own the classic 20 dollar Saturday night special. A near worthless piece of garbage to carry (illegally concealed) while waiting at the bus stop for her ride to work. After we married I bought my first handgun, used S&W Model 10 .38. Finally convinced her to go to the range just so she could know how to handle it. A new gun nut was born. Weekly trips to the range were mandatory and she didn’t kvech when I bought more guns. 🙂 Now, if only she would actually use her CCHL Reply Charles says: November 15, 2011 at 12:09 Yes. I have seen it firsthand. It has as much to do with meeting shooters and realizing that they are just ordinary folks as it does discovering that guns are a blast to shoot and that they don’t “just go off”‘ by themselves. Reply Todd says: November 15, 2011 at 12:40 yes, from practical experiance. and it does not, it usually minimizes their attitude after the fact. Reply JRP says: November 15, 2011 at 12:48 Yes, with conditions. It should be a range which is strict on safety and you have gone there long enough to know there won’t be any asshats around muzzle sweeping everyone or doing some crazy reloading maneuver he saw on the internet with live ammo. You won’t convert anyone if they see even the slightest bit of unsafe and stupid behavior. Reply Sean says: November 15, 2011 at 12:50 YES. Not usually a complete 180 in my experience, but like the posters above, it definitely softened their stances and made them question some of their assumptions about firearms. Hand ANYONE a .22 rifle with a red dot sight and some fun targets (shootnsee, fruit, steel, anything that will bounce or fly when shot…), and more than likely you’ll go through at least 200 rounds of .22 in fast order. Red dots make anyone a stud. Reply Tdubb says: November 15, 2011 at 13:13 I think range time can help, if its done right. Don’t try to scare them with the big loud gun and don’t bore them with all the details. Go over the safety rules and give them a .22 I think the range can be intimidating to some shooters. I’ve taken some women shooters who didn’t want to shoot when they got there because other people were there and would see them. They don’t have to love it when they leave, but lets at least hope they understand it a little better. Reply Coyote Gray says: November 15, 2011 at 13:31 Yes. Reply Eric S. says: November 15, 2011 at 13:57 I’ve converted 3 folks including my wife who went from believing no one should have guns (to include police and military) to wanting one of her own. It has a lot to do with that person’s willingness to try something new and your ability to present it to them in a way that makes them comfortable. I live in Columbus, OH and can attest to the fact that Blackwing Shooting Center (where they took the councilman to shoot) is one of the safest ranges I’ve ever been to. They watch you like a hawk and eject idiots, which is nice. Reply Tyronicus says: November 15, 2011 at 13:57 My wife was anti gun…we took the NRA begginer rifle course now— with a new gun safe in the house, a hunter safety course for sunny boy and I, and a commitmnt to properly train our children-she wants our date nights to be at the rifle range…I have often thought that before a congressman votes for increased gun legislation, they should first learn about guns at the range…btw wifey wants cx4 storm for Christmas–she thinks it’s her idea too! Reply miforest says: November 15, 2011 at 14:23 my favorite weapons in the war on ignorance are a 20 ga H & R break action shotgun with a soft add on recoil pad and my single six 22 revolver. “low recoil ” 20 guage shotshells and some big tin cans they’re reactive targets at close range. always use hearing protection . Reply Tom says: November 15, 2011 at 18:23 I really cried when they discontinued the Nylon 66 as I converted more people to shooting with that gun than any other. Yeah, I know there are more accurate guns out there, but the Nylon 66 was very light and easy to shoot for women and young adults. The Ruger 10-22 really is not bad to start women and kids with either though. Reply TR says: November 15, 2011 at 19:00 My wife only agreed to let me get my CCW after several trips to the hills with my single-shot bolt action .22. There’s just something fun about plinking a bunch of cans that makes everyone ok with it. Reply Javier E says: November 16, 2011 at 04:38 It’s like riding a motorcycle, esplaining it to Lucy just doesn’t go far enough. You have to expearience it in order to understand it. Reply Javier E says: November 16, 2011 at 04:44 It’s like they say about riding motorcycles, ” If I have to esplain it you wont understand it”. Reply Tim McNabb says: November 16, 2011 at 08:35 In the video, the councilman ticks of schools, churches and bars as places one should not be carrying concealed. These are also places one is more likely to need to defend oneself. I go to a large church with a prominent pastor. Our security detail has had to de-escalate a number of incidents. So far, violence has only been threatened, most walk-off-the-street incidents are just people who are a little confused or mildly disturbed and we do our best to minister to them. Still, it is statistically the most dangerous place I go. I think one must never drink while armed, but I can see why a designated driver might also want to carry – since you never know… Reply Javier E says: November 16, 2011 at 09:41 Like riding a motorcycle explaining it just doesn’t come close to describing the experience. Just like being a victim of a crime will certainly change many a perceived notion about the criminal justice system. Reply Javier E says: November 16, 2011 at 09:44 Being a victim of crime can also bring about that change in the anti gun side too. 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