Saturday, August 16, 2008

How to Change Someone's Mind About Shooting in Five Minutes

Yesterday at the range, something happened that occurs with some frequency. A lady was grudgingly brought to the range by a friend who likes to shoot. The first words out of her mouth were "I don't like shooting, I'm afraid of guns. Guns are only for killing people". It always surprises me when people think that way whether it is about guns or anything else. Many people have preconceived notions about so called "hot topics" such as abortion, guns, immigration, or anything else that polarizes the population, yet they have no actual knowledge of the subject! They have been brainwashed by friends, family, the media, their religion, etc. and without immediate knowledge of a subject, they automatically hate (fill in the blank). Personally, I have no immediate knowledge of abortion so I stay out of the debate, since I cannot take a position on something based on theory alone. The same is true with firearms. I was raised around firearms, I own firearms, I practice with firearms, and I carry a firearm so I feel perfectly confident in my ability to delineate my position on the issue while at the same time, allowing others to have their opinion about the issue (as long as their opinions are based on experience not just heresay). So back to the story...
After a bit of cajoling, this lady--even though she was literally shaking--agreed to try shooing a .22 handgun. Once. Just so she would know what it was like. She shot once, hit the target, and relaxed a bit. She shot again, and even smiled. With her first magazine, she knocked down six plates on the plate rack target ( about a natural!). After three magazines she declared she had found her new passion. Amazing. And this actually happens quite often. A little bit of hands-on practice along with some common sense talk (such as: Handguns are used 99% of the time for target shooting which is a fun activity. Handguns are a tool that when used properly can be perfectly safe, the same can be said for a chainsaw. And, if you are in a life and death situation, a handgun will be like a seat belt--something that can save your life even though you hope you will never have to use it).
So anyway, score one for knowledge overcoming fear.


  1. Every American should be taught in school how to handle guns. Math, science, social studies, arms.

    You would eventually see anti-gun advocacy shrivel to near nothingness. And crime would take a dive too.