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Hoplophobia (fear of guns) costs lives. A unarmed individual is at greater risk from criminals and, yes, government tyranny, than an armed citizen. By the same token, an unarmed individual increases the risks of a successful violent attack against their family. And by enabling civilian disarmament, unarmed citizens put other individuals, families and society in general at risk. I’m not saying that everyone must have a gun. That would be tyranny as well. But I am saying that all Americans should try to understand guns: what they can and cannot do. How it feels to fire one . . .

Once they have that knowledge and experience, citizens can better understand their fellow citizens’ desire to defend and extend their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. And make informed choices about political candidates and public policy.

While there are plenty of introductory initiatives targeted at new shooters (e.g., the Appleseed Project and the NSSF’s First Shots) I reckon it’s your job as a gun owner to make this happen. People trust people more than they trust programs. It’s time to take a newbie shooting . . .

TTAG writer Nick Leghorn has formed a new organization to combat hoplophobia and general firearms-related ignorance: Take a Newbie Shooting. The org’s short-term goal: get as many newbies to the range as possible. The more general plan: provide a place where people interested in guns can hook up with volunteers to help them take their first shots.

The Take a Newbie Shooting website officially launches today. The national range trip is scheduled for March 9th. If you’d like to help, contact him through the website. Meanwhile, I highly recommend that you send any newbies a link to an article on TTAG, so that they can start their education even before you put a gun in their hands.

Why wait? Lives are at risk. Theirs and yours.

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    • My thoughts exactly. I do have about 150 rounds of 5.56 and a couple hundred 7.62 but no idea on when I will get more.

    • +1… bought my first rifle around halloween, got most of the other stuff associated with range shooting, bought a (fairly expensive) membership to an outdoor range so I can shoot said rifle… and now with the election and AWB hysteria I can’t find any bloody ammo! Haven’t even got to fire it yet.

      I tell ya, 1st world problems :p

      • Just learn to reload, I did by teaching myself. By a reloading kit and start doing it. It’s really easy and fun. There are plenty of books and videos that teach reloading. RCBS makes a good starter kit, though I personally prefer my Lee Classic Turret Press kit. I have no problem shooting now. Also, if you ask around, a lot of old timers are happy to teach reloading.

    • If you’re not using 22LR to introduce newbies to the joys of shooting, you’re doing it wrong. I guarantee that if you sign up for notifications at MidwayUSA and other sites when 22LR shows up in inventory, you’ll have enough to take some newbies shooting by March.

  1. Love the idea. In my own experience, it has always been way more effective at educating someone about firearms through an all expenses paid for trip to the range than say a debate in person or over the internet. Even if the person doesnt become a gun lover overnight, a lot of the ignorance based fear of an inanimate tool is removed.

  2. Might be hard for folks who can’t find ammo. I was the only guy at my range yesterday all day. I’m fortunate to have prepared an ammo stash well in advance of all this craziness. I’m going to make my stash 3x it’s original size when prices and availability get back to normal.

  3. We had a free-lance journalist at the range who was writing an article about guns here in Oakland. He asked if he take only the classroom part of the course because he didn’t want to shoot a gun. The instructor said no and so the journalist spent the afternoon shooting. He was a newbie who was marginally anti-gun. When the day ended, he had so much fun, he bought his first Glock within the week, and spends time at the range on a regular basis. So yes, I like this idea.

  4. I started taking my daughter shooting last month(Ruger SR22) and she loves it. That being said, I have not shot for about a month now. Like just about everyone else, I am having a hard time finding ammo. I have a case of 9mm and some SD rounds and will not waste them. Plenty of .22 ammo around so I will keep teaching my daughter for now.

  5. We had a free-lance journalist at the range who was writing a story about guns in Oakland. He was taking a beginner’s class, but didn’t want to do the shooting part. The instructor told him he had to shoot or not take the class. After he spent the afternoon shooting, he bought his first handgun a week later. Now he’s at the range regularly. Experience is so much more powerful than talking about guns.

  6. hoplophobia
    The word you’ve entered isn’t in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above.

  7. I’ve been suggesting that every fence sitter, anti and anyone who expresses an interest in guns or self defense (or even the possibility of an interest) I come in contact with go to TTAG, click on DGUTD and read until the’re too tired to read further for, well I don’t know exactly how long. As long as I have been reading TTAG which is quiet a while before I posted my first comment on 12/01/2011.

    Before TTAG I would use news articules to make my DGU arguments and I still do, but DGUTD gives me a lot of ammunition in a concise easy to locate package.
    It also comes in handy when face time is limited.

  8. This is a great idea! Just signed up to host!

    I have a Mosin-Nagant and a .22wmr that I’m not lacking for ammo. Also I can drop my .22lr conversion bolt into my AR-15 so they can shoot that too. I figure newbies don’t need to shoot expensive or rare ammo to get most of the experience.

    Let’s take some people shooting!

  9. I’d take a newbie shooting everyday if

    (1) there was someplace to go shooting that was conveniently located, and

    (2) most gun ranges didn’t suck.

  10. Good idea, but I’m not willing to expend part of my 150-round stash of 9mm (1/3 of which is JHP anyway) with non-gun friends until the panic buying stops, which seems to be south of never.

  11. I would gladly take a couple people shooting, but like others said I don’t have the ammo. If I can find some more here soon I’ll offer to take a couple people. At least give them a few rounds through a few different guns if they want. Show them how a scary black rifle compares to my semi auto .22 that isn’t so scary.

  12. I would love to do this, but I and my area are dry on 9mm. I am not prepared to pay $25/box for FMJ 115gr 9mm on a Gunbroker auction.

  13. I am more than willing to take some noobs out, I’ll have to find a range once I get moved… I still have ammo, moved off 12 acres into city limits.

  14. Does anyone ever reload anymore? I did some checking and I found brass and bullets for 9MM and both for 7.62 and 5.56. These are all in stock ready to ship.

  15. Thankfully, I can reload to any volume of ammo I need…no shortage of powder, bullets or primers in this part of the world (North Idaho). Still ammo available in the stores, though the stocks are thinning…

  16. I try to take a Newbie shooting everytime I go. As for ammo folks, I only share my beloved wisdom since I now have 1000 rounds of each caliber I own. There are two websites I used to do so. Each feacture a notify me when back in stock, and both have held pretty good prices. A little gouging the longer the hysteria, but still cheaper than Cabela’s. You are welcome:

  17. Does anyone reload? I found 9mm, 7.62, and 5.56 brass and Bullets with no problem. I reload .44 mag. and don’t have a problem either.

  18. I introduced my college roommate about a year ago and since then he’s looking to get his FL cc and has bought a .380, 9mm, 10/22 & an AR-15. He’s also planning on adding a 30-30 and a 12 gauge soon. Ironically he hooked me up with TTAG, so if you’re reading this John – Thank you and you’re welcome.

  19. I signed up, and trying to prod my shooting club to step up.

    Ammo will be an issue for me too, though if you have more than 1 or 2 newbies, after basic instruction and safety, there won’t be time enough to squeeze off too many rounds.

  20. There aren’t many things that are more fun and rewarding than taking someone shooting for the first time! I can provide them with all the .22LR they can shoot, and can charge them pre-panic prices for some 9mm & .223 from my stash. Hopefully, the supply will loosen up soon.

  21. I’ve tasked my girlfriend to recruit one of her squishy middle school teacher co-workers. Unless circumstances improve, I’ll restrict the shooting to .22lr only.

  22. Great idea. Unfortunately, after figuring out the first gun I wanted to buy from trying several at a shooting range, I couldn’t find any dealer anywhere in America that sells a Walther ppq. Looking for used ones, the price is now up to $950. So I guess I will not be able to acquire a firearm. Before announcing this day, wait till the stocks of firearms replenish.

  23. You should probably keep it to .22 long guns or a nice soft-recoiling center-fire and a little .22 handgun for the first outing.

    The problem I see is making this one day, if man of us are successful getting someone on board the ranges will be packed. Heck the already are packed on Saturdays.

    This should be a week-long event which will also give the newbies a choice of which day to go.

    As far as ammo goes, I understand we all are nervous about it. I am not personally doing any shooting right now but would gladly use some of my supply to take a new shooter to the range. Heck I did that very thing a few weeks ago.


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