- Posted by Craig Cable
- On January 23, 2017
- 0 Comments
All right, I’m hoping this blog post doesn’t cost me my “Man Card” but I feel compelled to speak out against some unintentional (and maybe even intentional) mistakes that guys make when introducing women and young people to firearms.
Before I jump into the list of common mistakes, allow me to ask a couple questions. Think of your favorite sport or hobby. Now think back to your very first exposure to that activity. Was it a positive experience or a negative experience? Odds are it was a positive experience or you more than likely wouldn’t have pursued that activity much further. If we know this to be true, why wouldn’t we make every attempt to make this first introduction to firearms as positive an experience as possible?
If you have any desire for your kids, wife, family members, or friends to get into shooting firearms, you MUST avoid these most common mistakes.
- Big gun vs. little person: This is by far the most common mistake I run into when training (or should I say “desensitizing”) women in the use of firearms. With rare exception, their first experience with a gun was with their dad, brother, or husband. During that first exposure they received about 15 seconds of instruction before having a 12 gauge or a 45 caliber pistol shoved into their trembling hands and goaded into squeezing the trigger. Assuming that the gun stayed in their hands, you’ve extinguished any interest they may have had.
- Little gun vs. little person: This is a slight variation of the first mistake because it entails an improper pairing of the firearm with the experience of the shooter. This mistake centers on an assumption that a small gun is needed for a small framed person. This thinking isn’t necessarily wrong but a common mistake is putting a large caliber/small framed pistol in the hand of an inexperienced shooter. The felt recoil of a snub-nosed .38 is dramatically more intense than a larger K-frame revolver in the same caliber. The sharp pain that they’re likely to experience only confirms that they’re not capable of shooting any firearm.
- Too fast—too soon: This mistake occurs when our enthusiasm pushes them beyond their comfort or training. You know what I’m talking about. She says something like, “sure, I’d like to go shooting with you.” Next thing you know you’ve surprised her with a new AR-15 and a pink semi-auto with matching gun cases and off to the range you go. Once at the range, they find themselves overwhelmed by the cacophony of other shooters blazing away as their enthusiasm quickly diminishes.
The best way to avoid making these common mistakes is to exercise some patience and common sense. As tempting as it to demonstrate your manly strength and Seal Team 6 shooting prowess, this first introduction to firearms isn’t about you—it’s about THEM. It’s about making their experience the absolute best it can be. Done right, they’ll have a lifelong appreciation for shooting. Done wrong, they’re likely to develop a lifelong fear.
My advice is to start with a .22 caliber pistol or rifle rather than a 9mm, .38 or .45. Keep your first time on the range brief, fun and preferably during off-peak hours. And most importantly, consider having a certified instructor provide the training. I know this is a hit to the ol’ ego because you feel you’re fully capable of showing them how to shoot, but I’ve seen lots of bad habits passed on to new shooters like a plethora of nasty viruses that’s way too hard to kick. It’s much better to start them off with sound fundamentals. Believe me, they’ll be a much safer and more proficient shooter in the long run, and you’ll develop the shooting companion that you’ve always wanted. The only downside I see is that they’ll likely shoot up all your ammo as their passion and enthusiasm grows.
If you’d like to learn more about beginner classes offered by Meridian Tactical Training Consultants, visit http://meridiantac.com.