woman shooting range pistol gun training
Dan Z. for TTAG
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Hang out at the range, or take a course like the one Bob Keller coached for OSD a couple months ago, and you’ll see people talking about bullet weights, trajectories, the merits of different aluminum manufacturing processes, and ergonomic efficiencies that’ll shave a couple tenths of a second off your time on a particular drill. In a word: nerdery. People don’t spend hundreds of hours a year — or do their first-ever range trip, for that matter — to perseverate on sturm und drang. They do it because it’s really, really fun. Negative emotions can get a rise out of people. Yes, that is an open zero-day on the human brain. But for healthy people, it’s not a sustainable exploit — only positive emotions will keep them coming back. The dirty little secret of gun culture is that it’s a concentrated IV drip of positive emotions.

If you’d like to invite more people into gun culture, this is your greatest tool — and forgetting it is your greatest pitfall. You’re inviting people to something that’s inherently fun and which speaks to a love of life and community. So lead with that! Even pro-gun-rights people sometimes accept the framing that gun rights are about you versus society, or the gun as some final bulwark against a Hobbesian winter that’s coming. And sure, guns are a last line of defense in that sense. But that’s not you versus society — that’s you pro society. It’s you saying that if society falters and isn’t able to have your back for a few minutes, you’re ready to have society’s back and fill the gap for yourself until help arrives.

Plus it’s just really fun to hit the range. Nobody has fun at the anti-gun range, and everybody has fun at the gun range. Take people to the range. Have a safe time, and have a fun time. Do that well and everything downstream of it gets a lot easier.

— Open Souce Defense in Nobody goes to the anti-gun range

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  1. If not for how long ago the Sullivan act was put in place here I would say that denying new shooters the ability to easily try out a pistol without a license in most situations was one of the intended features. With that said 10/22 has been a solid starting point for cheap range fun with new shooters and our local ranges has a lot of 9mm versions of popular NY legal and “unsafe assault weapons” for when they want to try something new and then learn how limited Coumo made our options.

  2. True. I go to the range because I have fun. My wife started coming with me because she has fun too. If it improves my accuracy and proficiency, that’s great. But I go for the enjoyment.

    • +1

      My range time has become more fun since my son has started shooting. He’s really enjoying it and says it is a real challenge.

      The class he is in is easier but surprisingly competitive. You can use any rifle legally allowed on the range in any position, including prone off a bipod. You only have to follow the course of fire. He finishes usually in the top 3 out of 6-15 competitors who are using better guns and have a lot more experience. He has won the class twice in five events.

  3. There is and needs to be an element of fun and enjoyment to things in life. Guns and recreational shooting are certainly no exception.

    Negative emotion simply cannot be maintained for long without resulting in complete self destruction. This is one of the inherent problems with liberalism. It is by nature going to feed off of negative emotion, hatred, and self loathing.

    When I first got into all this it was a fascinating turn into a world of learning. Not just the adrenaline rush at the firing line but the process of learning the gun itself. Some firearms have more of a learning curve than others and even a degree of frustration in trying to figure out. A great example of this for me was the Ruger MarkIII 22/45 Light. Many have walked away from this one in disgust over its assembly and takedown process. It was a challenge for me that I just could not let go of. I love this thing and can take it apart and put it back together now under the table in the dark with my eyes closed. The MarkIV seems pointless compared to this. It represents an accomplishment and a satisfaction.

    If you do things you don’t enjoy then life becomes a chore without happiness.

      • Agreed. My Ruger Standard Pistol (not to be pedantic Haz, but technically there’s no such thing as a ‘Mark I’) was made in 1953 and still digests thousands of rounds faithfully.

        But even with reassembly directions right in front of me, there are times that fun little pistol has been the target of SO much profanity!

  4. Triggered Karen says (in her shrillest voice), “You call this FUN!?!?! You set off mini-explosions in your HANDS, and you call that FUN!?!?! Where is my HEARING PROTECTION!?!?! Where is my BULLET PROOF VEST!!?!? I feel so TRAUMATIZED!!!!”

    Of course, the word “triggered” amuses me, in and of itself. The anti-gunners have to use gun jargon, because their message is so weak that it has no impact until they borrow (steal) gun people’s terminology.

    • Hmmm could use an upgrade in hearing protection and a vest in the NIJ .06 revision or .07 if they ever get it moving would probably be a good idea at some point. Guess hysterical Karens sometimes have good ideas.

        • Hmm auto shutoff of moderate to loud sounds at shrill/high frequencies and normal microphone shutoff at typical gunshot volume. If it hasn’t been made already I can only assume sexism is involved.

  5. How is a normal human response a “weird trick”?

    People get an “emotionally pleasing” response from “bang bang bang” and enjoy the ‘exercise’ execution of firing to make that ‘bang bang bang’ like some people get an “emotionally pleasing” response from musical chords and chord progressions and enjoy the ‘exercise’ execution of playing music to make those chords. Its the same brain centers of emotional response and ‘fight-or-flight response’ coordination and produces the same chemical response. Its the reason that people who watch fireworks shows in person where they play the 1812 overture and time the fireworks loudest bangs to certain parts are the favorite parts of the show for most people. There is a mental and emotional ‘rush’ from these, one rooted in the human fight-or-flight response with the same chemical releases at different levels, the release of cortisol, adrenaline, and other hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine at different levels.

    Its not a weird trick or a brain hack. Its a normal human response and everyone has it even if they deny it, even staunch anti-gun and pro-gun control people.

    Seriously, y’all got to do something about article titles. They are becoming a little ‘click bait’ like.


  6. Seems like a great deal of people actively avoid doing fun things, work to ruin everyone else’s fun and when they themselves participate in what they call “fun” it tends to be self-destructive, self-medicating and rooted in self-loathing like perennially angst ridden teen-aged losers.

    Shooting range therapy is real. And fun.

    • I’ve had it going to an indoor range. When the weather improves it’s outdoors in Indiana for me(getting our FIRST snowfall today-gotta luv global warming😉).

      • Closing in on 10 inches of global warming out here in the inland NW. Temperature was 8 degrees last night.

        Outdoors on state/national forest land is the only place I shoot, but I don’t feel like freezing my fingers off. If this global warming doesn’t stop, I don’t know when I’m ever going to get out shooting again…

  7. My neighbors and I load up guns and ammo into the ATVs and drive out onto federal land to shoot. It’s fun getting there, it’s fun while we shoot, and its fun getting back. We try each other’s guns, and congratulate anyone with a new firearm purchase. Sometimes talk turns to politics, but mostly we talk about guns, and family and friends. When we get back we drink beer and throw some carne on the grill.

    Fun times had by all, and a priceless bonding experience with the neighbors. More people should do it.

    • “My neighbors and I load up guns and ammo into the ATVs and drive out onto federal land to shoot. It’s fun getting there, it’s fun while we shoot, and its fun getting back.“

      You can thank the Obama/Biden administration and the Democrats in Congress for passing the 2009 CARD act that removed Reagan-era restrictions on the carrying of firearms on millions of acres of federal managed taxpayer owned land.

      • So they did one thing right. Thanks, Obama. (And good riddance.)

        NB: The law applies only to national parks and federal wildlife refuges, and didn’t legalize actually *shooting* guns there, just carrying them. Opportunities for recreational shooting (the subject of this article) remained unchanged.

      • One could always carry and shoot firearms on BLM land.


        We know you worship Obama, but have the decency to clean off your chin.

      • Yeah, right, Obama was all for that arms-carrying provision.
        Face it, they traded that provision to get some other Lefty wet-dream goodie in return.

  8. “Nobody has fun at the anti-gunm range.”
    Uhh, are you sure about that. I’m envisioning lots of scenarios were it would be a real blast. Pissing on the french fries, crapping on the restroom floor, hacking up covid, scratching ‘ Let’s go Brandon ‘ on tables, Trump in 2024,take all the anti gunm pamphlets throw them in the trash, messing with their computers, flirt with the wives, wet chalk on the chalk board with a message of your choice, calling blomb threats,meeting people and finding out where they live. Is just a few of the fun things I could do at an anti-gunm range.
    Did I mention Dennis Leary’s ” I’m An Asshole ” is one of my favorite songs?



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