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.