Idea: posting "Learn to Shoot - Free!" flyers on campus?


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MatthewVanitas
January 11, 2006, 06:24 PM
I've always enjoyed taking newbies out shooting, and opine that it's one of the single best ways to counter the negative image that some Americans still have of firearms.

I've learneda lot teaching basic firearms skills, and have had good experience both teaching friends, and training Iraqis while in the service. If I start doing it more frequently, I may look into getting Instructor certs through the NRA.

However, I don't know a lot of newbies these days, as most of the folks I interact with are a) already coverted b) not a good idea to approach due to departmental politics.

So, I was thinking I could make up a small flier saying "Learn to Shoot - Free!", and post it up on the bulletin-board in the Student Center at my school (University of Texas). I'd try this on a very small scale at first to see how it works.

I think I'd add some tasteful, non-hyped graphic like a line-drawing of a Peacemaker, and include something like "UT grad student will take groups of 2or 3 UT students to the range for an free introduction to safe shooting", and then my Hotmail account listed as contact info.

Force Protection measures: since folks would be on campus anyway, I'll plan to meet them to chat first to make sure they're not knuckleheads. I'll meet folks just off campus (due to gear in car) and carpool from there vice my house. Groups to ensure that I'm not stuck at the range with one antisocial nutjob. Have CCW just in case. Limiting it to UT students should provide at least some level of filter.

I think I'd bring out the Bearcat, MkII, and Marlin 39A. I think it would be best to go really, really light on the politics (unless they broached the issue), to avoid it being a "fun experience except for being ranted at by that NRA nutjob."

Those are just a few of my preliminary ideas, what thinks?

-MV

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jefnvk
January 11, 2006, 07:34 PM
I don't like the idea of taking strangers shooting by myself, not associated with any group. And I don't thin ktoo many people would go shooting with some random people.

Do you have a gun club of some sort on campus? Our pistol club holds a bunch of 'intro to shooting' classes with great success. Generally, they shut the range off to the public, and bring in the new people, show them how to shoot, and provide everything.

Standing Wolf
January 11, 2006, 07:43 PM
As long as you screen people beforehand, I think it's a great idea.

HighVelocity
January 11, 2006, 08:02 PM
I like the idea but who would be responsible if one of the attendees got injured? :uhoh:

incursion
January 11, 2006, 08:12 PM
I plan to do this in the law school at UT.

MatthewVanitas
January 11, 2006, 08:17 PM
I like the idea but who would be responsible if one of the attendees got injured? :uhoh:

Well, I'm not a business since I'm not charging anything.

Note also that I don't say that I "teach" or "instruct".

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but if I say "hey you outside the 7-11, wanna go skateboarding?", and he falls down a flight of stairs while skateboarding with me, it's on him, right?

So I'd say that I'm a non-commercial, unorganized, social gathering.

jefnvk: I'll check around to see if there's a campus group, which could be a good option if there is one. Downside of a campus group is that a campus group definitely would have legal liability issues, and the UT would take a very definite interest in their campus groups letting people shoot guns. Then again, they let campus groups give flying lessons and scuba-dive in waterfilled caves, so I'll certainly explore that option.


Caution is definitely warranted, but I don't want to go to the extremes that some on the board seem to support:

"I don't join any gun groups because I don't want my name on a list, and I don't let anyone I know (even my wife) know that I've ever owned a gun, and when guns come up in conversation I rant against them to disguise myself as a blissninny, and I'll never take anyone shooting because they might turn me in, and I don't go to the range because the Cripps might follow me home. So I keep one serial-less .38 revolver that I inherited from a senile mountain man, buried in a hermetically sealed box in my root cellar."

So I'll give the "organized" thing a look-see, and then might try one flier on one board and see what kind of reactions I get.

-MV

SomeKid
January 11, 2006, 08:20 PM
Not a bad idea, assuming you can keep the flyers from being ripped down as soon as you walk away.

I always noticed the people who 'cleaned' the boards, tended to clean away stuff they did not approve of. Expect to re-post your flyer daily.

ocabj
January 11, 2006, 08:26 PM
I work at UC Riverside and I meet quite a few people campus who are active shooters or are interested in getting into the shooting sports. As liberal as most college campuses are, you may be surprised on how many people you will meet in academia that actually believe in firearm ownership. I wouldn't mind starting a shooting club at this campus, myself. I think it would be fun and a good way to share the sport.

As far as posting flyers and what not, I don't know what kind of regulations you have at your campus, but you will probably have to check with the dept that is in charge of campus bulletin boards and what not. Also, I don't what the laws in TX are regarding bringing a firearm onto a college campus. If firearms on campus is prohibited, you should probably explcitily state on the flyer that firearms should not be brought onto campus. You should probably be prepared in being contacted by campus police once your flyers are released. They'll probably call the contact number listed and question your motives and intentions.

Good luck if you decide to run with it.

MatthewVanitas
January 11, 2006, 08:42 PM
As far as posting flyers and what not, I don't know what kind of regulations you have at your campus, but you will probably have to check with the dept that is in charge of campus bulletin boards and what not. Also, I don't what the laws in TX are regarding bringing a firearm onto a college campus. If firearms on campus is prohibited, you should probably explcitily state on the flyer that firearms should not be brought onto campus. You should probably be prepared in being contacted by campus police once your flyers are released. They'll probably call the contact number listed and question your motives and intentions.

Interesting points. I'll add the term "off-campus" range to clarify, but don't want to burden the sign with too much text.

IRT Bulletin Boards: no authority required on the board I'm looking at, just rules for size and must be dated for cleaning. It'll be interesting to see if someone tears it down.

I have a buddy on the UT Police force, I'll run the idea by him and see if he thinks that his fellow cops would hassle me about it.

IRT selection, etc: statistically speaking, especially if I meet the folks to chat a day or two beforehand to scope them out, I'm probably not any less safe than if JoeBlow says "hey, do you mind if I bring my cousin to the range next time?" I've met enough unpleasant people as friends-of-friends-of-friends or at work, who would have a much easier time locating me or annoying me, that strangers that I've chatted with for a few minutes don't sound so bad. How many folks on this board have said "my gun was stolen by my friend/brother/roommate's friend", vice "my gun was stolen by the guy next to me at the range"?

*some satire*

If you're more likely to be shot by someone you know than a stranger, shouldn't you hang around armed people that you don't know?

*/some satire*

-MV

MatthewVanitas
January 11, 2006, 08:42 PM
@incursion: are you still coming to the Austin shoot? If you want to team up this semester to take folks to the range, give me a shout. Got several good plinkers and decent experience as an instructor.

-MV

Justin
January 11, 2006, 08:49 PM
Why not simply go all the way, and start an extracurricular rifle and pistol club?

Quite a few colleges already have them.

Tim James
January 11, 2006, 08:56 PM
Matthew,

Obviously anytime you stick your neck out in public, especially on a touchy subject like firearms, you run the risk of being liable for your actions. Everything could go great, or you could be hit with a $3M lawsuit. You never know what will happen, and you'll get a wide range of predictions in this thread. My concern is that you seem to be trying to convince everyone that your idea is sound by using satire and poking fun at paranoid people on the forum. You would be better served by listening with an open mind. (I apologize if I've misinterpreted you.)

Another idea you could pursue is contacting small law school clubs directly instead of posting a public bulletin. Attend a meeting of one of the law fraternities or something and let them know what you're trying to do. That might out a lot of the strangers you'll want to avoid.

MatthewVanitas
January 11, 2006, 09:32 PM
My concern is that you seem to be trying to convince everyone that your idea is sound by using satire and poking fun at paranoid people on the forum. You would be better served by listening with an open mind. (I apologize if I've misinterpreted you.)

I see my comments could have been easily misunderstood, so I'll clarify.

I'm certainly not meaning to denigrate the opinions that the board has offered.

The two semi-humorous barbs were directed at

a) People who refuse even the slightest public support of firearms due to potential risk to themselves (of which we have some on the board)
b) The anti-gunner chestnut about "43 times more likely to kill someone you know"

So no jabs at the good folks who have posted very solid points at this time.

The strongest point is jefnvk's recc to look into organized campus activities, which I will do so. It's an incredibly lengthy list for UT, though tragically the Libertarian Club is defunct.

Regarding sticking one's neck out, etc, you have a very valid point. However, at what point does risk outweigh gain? It could arguably be a very bad idea, liability-wise, to take anybody shooting, or to go shooting period. I realize we're reaching into the theoretical realm at this point, but I'd hate to be completely immobilized by negative possibilities in life.

There is certainly call for cost/benefit risk analysis, but it is tricky to find the balance point.

I'll check out campus clubs over the week. Also fliers may be a bit too public/formal, so I could perhaps look into a more covert method of finding newbies. Newbies desiring to learn about guns are out there, it's simply a matter of finding the best method to meet the right people.

Dang, this is starting to sound almost as complicated as dating.

-MV

HighVelocity
January 11, 2006, 09:41 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but if I say "hey you outside the 7-11, wanna go skateboarding?", and he falls down a flight of stairs while skateboarding with me, it's on him, right?


If YOU supplied the skateboard then it might be your problem.

Same thing if you take someone and put a gun in their hand and they shoot themselves or somebody else unintentionaly then that might be on you as well.

jefnvk
January 12, 2006, 01:41 AM
Hey, even better, if the school doesn't have a firearms club, start one. Michigan Tech has a bullseye pistol, a competition rifle, and a practical pistol (IDPA sytle) club. Archery too, and rumors of maybe a shotgun club coming up. School funded range, too. Gotta get up and try practical pistol one of these days.

Just to me, the idea of taking random people out shooting is an invite to problems. Maybe I just don't trust people. No problem taking friends, and people I have been with for some amount of time, out, but not someone I just met.

Optical Serenity
January 12, 2006, 04:28 AM
Yes I think trying to start a pistol club may be an excellent idea.

incursion
January 12, 2006, 01:30 PM
I'm not sure how much time I'm going to have to shoot because I'm still a 1L. Last semester was the least amount of shooting I've done since I started the hobby. Plus, I'm trying to maintain a long distance relationship as well, so I travel back and forth between Houston and Austin often. I'll let you know what's going on via PM. I usually shoot at my friend's range in Liberty Hill.

Polishrifleman
January 12, 2006, 02:32 PM
Go for it good luck and have fun. Be careful and wary but it's better than locking yourself in the house.:neener:

My wife isn't an anti she is an "I just don't understand" which equates to a lot of individuals whom we deam anti. Give them a chance to see the side of firearms that isn't in the news, and who knows maybe they will be like my wife. I love the sly smile she gets shooting the .22 into the center of the target and the quiet silence in the car on the way home and the uncontrolable urge to blurt out "I'm a pretty good shot huh?". :D

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