A pleasant and interesting experience

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Pistolenschutze, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. Last week, one of my students came up to me and, quite unexpectedly, asked if I could answer some questions for her about handguns. Now to get the full impact of this, it is necessary to know that the student is a female who came to this country from Germany seven years ago after marrying an American soldier stationed in Germany. That marriage unfortunately failed a few years latter. She liked the U.S. and decided to stay, and though she is not yet a citizen she plans to become one. She currently works for the Colorado Department of Corrections as a corrections officer, is an extremely bright and personable young woman, and one I have had as a student in my classes on several occasions. She is also a fluent native speaker of German, which gives me a chance to practice my language skills. :D

    I said I would be happy to help if I could, but out of curiosity I asked her why the sudden interest in handguns. It turned out that she wants to apply for certification with DOC as a prisoner transport officer which requires she qualify with a handgun. After further inquiries I discovered that she had never before in her life even fired a handgun, though she is qualified with both a shotgun and an AR-15 through her DOC training. It appears DOC no longer requires officers to train with handguns at all unless their specific responsibilities require the use of them. Since she works inside the prison or in the guard towers, she never received any handgun training.

    Anyway, I spent a few minutes explaining some of the basics to her--like the difference between a revolver and a pistol, the general differences between common handgun calibers, and the like--and then I asked her what weapon DOC issues to transport officers. It turns out that it is a Glock 17. It also came out in the conversation that she was interested in obtaining a firearm for home protection of herself and her two children. This seemed entirely reasonable to me considering how she earns a living and the fact that she is a single mom. Finally, I asked her if she would like to try out a few handguns at the range in order to at least become somewhat familiar with their operation. She jumped at the opportunity. Another of my students, a male, was also involved in the conversation, so I invited both of them out to the range yesterday for a practice session.

    To make an already too long story a bit shorter, the session was a great success. I started her out with a .22, we worked quickly up to a 9mm Steyr (I don't own a Glock 17, unfortunately), then a few rounds through my Sig P-230 to see how a double/single action works, and then a few through my Glock 30 to give her the feel for a larger caliber. She listened attentively to the instructions I gave her about safety, pistol operation, stance, hold, and the like. In a rather short time she was regularly punching 9mm holes in a 10 inch paper plate from 30 feet. Not bad for a first timer! More importantly though, I don't believe I have ever introduced ANYONE to handgun shooting who took more delight in it than she did. My other student also had a blast, though he had fired handguns before and was reasonably familiar with them.

    I think a situation like this points up a very important fact: When people who are inexperienced with firearms, but have open minds toward them, are given proper instruction they realize quickly just how much fun they can be, and that they are simply tools like any other tool. A further plus of the day was that we were able to establish what firearm would likely be best for her if she chooses to purchase one for home defense. In her case, a 9mm auto would be, by far, the best choice.

    Anyway, I thought I would share this experience with the membership. It always feels good to introduce another person to the best sport on planet Earth! :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2006
  2. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    There lies the truth.
    MANY people have never had a chance to shoot a firearm.
    Once they do......WATCH OUT.
    They want to shoot them ALL. :D :D :D

    I find that lady (new) shooters, usually are more accurate than men.

  3. Pat Hurley

    Pat Hurley Former Guest

    Sep 30, 2006
    Naples, Florida

    That was a fantastic story... simple, educational, and inspirational all in one. It inspired me to go teach a novice.

    Our rights are largely in our own hands to preserve. Educate and motivate others to take up the shooting sports/gun collecting, and our collective voice grows louder and stronger.

    Thank you for taking the time to write it.

    Pat Hurley
  4. Great story Pistol,
    Has she got the shootin bug yet?
  5. I think she has a terminal case of it, Southern, especially if it involves a 9mm. :D
  6. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Jan 1, 2003
    SW MS
    Kudos to you, PS, for taking the time to properly introduce this young woman to handguns.
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    A co-worker years ago took an interest in the targets I used to hang on the wall in my office (only the good ones, mind you). They were excellent conversation starters and she expressed an interest in shooting having only been rudely introduced to the double barrel shotgun as a kid when some stupid family members had her shoot it without telling her to pull one trigger at a time. The obvious happened and a fear of guns developed. For nearly a year she would accompany me weekly to the indoor range where she always was willing and able to shoot. It turned out to my dismay that her only interest in me was to go shooting. Oh well, such is life.

    Later I taught two other women to shoot. It took on one but her boy friend (later to be her husband) hated guns so she sold her only one she had, still loving to shoot. Love is blind! The other hated the whole experience but in retrospect indoor ranges are a terrible place to take newbies as the noise alone can put some people off. This latter one only had an interest in me and I only had an interest in teaching her to shoot. Life again!

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2006
  8. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Terrific accomplishment, Pistol.

    This is really the way for us to win the opposition over. They learn that it is safe and fun, all the while soon being able to aid and assist in keeping it a safe community. Another example of the effectiveness of one on one, similar to the experience Rosie mentioned in another thread.....:) :)
  9. I most certainly agree, Marlin. The tried and true Socratic method of one-on-one, questions and answers freely asked and given, together with careful and patient demonstration, always works best when teaching any new skill. I think group classes can also work, but not as effectively nor as efficiently as patient one-on-one instruction.
  10. rowdyredneck

    rowdyredneck New Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Excellent story.
    So true. Its sickening how so many people who support stripping away our gun rights actually know so little about firearms and won't even try to understand our feelings. They have been brainwashed into thinking that guns are evil and the cause of crime and corruption in our society. I wish I could take every one of these people out to the range for an afternoon, I bet a lot of minds would be changed once they see how fun and relaxing shooting can be.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2006
  11. Very true indeed, Rowdy. Not once in nearly 50 years of shooting, have I yet encountered someone who did not find shooting fun, relaxing, and safe after giving it a fair trial. If the liberals want to find "corruption" in our society, why not look to where it truly does exist: with those who want to legalize and unleash the poison of "recreational" drugs into our society, and those who think serious punishment for child molesters and rapists is unfair because their tender psyches might be damaged.
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