Take a non-gun owner to the range day


February 5, 2009, 09:05 PM
Ok, there have been a lot of threads on words that we shouldn't use to describe various firearms that we own. In those discussions there have been mention of people who are not anti-gun but do not keep, own or sometimes have never fired a gun of any sort.

These are the silent majority of the US who we need to bring onside, to help in stopping the Anti-gun faction from restricting our rights. If each one of us does this with one person, we can educate them, we might not convert them to our cause, but might give them a real world view of firearms and their capabilities, and let them see through the smokescreen of the Brady's of the world when they see them on TV.

So here is my idea.

Find someone you know, could be a work colleague, neighbor, someone you know at the gym, your local bar, etc. IMPORTANT they must be a non-gun owner, if they're violently anti you'll find out :)
Discuss your interest in guns, with them, and invite them to the range with you, for a hour or so plinking. Repeat the first two points until you find a taker. You can also explain that you're doing this to try to let them see for themselves about guns and gun ownership, how they work etc. or point them at this thread.
Tell them you'll bring the guns, and ammo, eyes and ears, targets, and pay any range fee's but they can pay for burgers, or whatever afterwards.
On the day, take them to the range, ideally with several guns but at minimum, one handgun, and one rifle, give them a run down on safety procedures. When its safe to fire (if it's a cold range), how to handle the weapons, range rules etc.
Shoot the weapon first, so they can experience the noise, and observe what you do. Answer any questions once you're clear.
Let them shoot, pay close attention to them and others there. These people are novices, this is meant to be a good learning experience not a nightmare. Them getting ejected by the RSO is a really bad idea. As is them shooting you, themselves, getting rained on with hot brass from the yahoo in the next lane etc.
Repeat a couple of times with each weapon, or until they get tired.

Finally go for the burgers, ask them about their experience, find out whether they enjoyed it. Would they go again. Have they learned anything. I'm pretty sure that they'll be full of questions about your guns, why you have them and so on. Tell them, tell them your beliefs in gun ownership, and gun control, but, be polite, and listen to their perspectives too.

If somehow you convert them, and they take up shooting, get them to pay it forward too. Give them 6 months or so, then politely ask that they do the same thing for someone else you did for them.

If we all give this a shot, (say in the next month) I'm pretty sure that we could correct a bunch of misgivings that the silent majority has on guns and gun ownership. They can see firsthand, how we handle firearms, the care and safety we take, the rules we follow (like what's behind your target), and the enjoyment and security we derive from owning firearms. People talk too, so changing one persons perspective, could affect a lot more than just that person.

If you think this is a dumb idea, let me know, if you think its a good idea, let me know. If you do this, let me know.

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February 5, 2009, 09:11 PM
MAN! I am so glad I'm not the only person doing this.

I kick myself silly if I am not able to introduce at least 1 person every quarter to shooting and how non-evil guns are.

Over the past 4 years, I've used a method similar to the one you outlined and out of the 12 folks I took to the range and worked them up from a simple .22lr, to my 92FS up to my .45ACP, 8 of them were excited enough about marksmanship and exercising their right to keep and bear arms. The other 4 were die-hard, blue-died anti's and they never made it past about 4 rounds in my model 41 before they put it down and "couldn't do this".

The part I enjoyed the most is that 100% of the women (5) embraced shooting as a sport and went for their Concealed Carry Permit. (One was a bona fide Buddist!)

With recent political events, this is the only way we're going to grow our ranks, and thus support for the protection of our 2A rights.

Thanks for putting a nice, simple and effective approach out there for other interested folks to tap into and use.

February 5, 2009, 09:42 PM
A couple of years ago my brother-in-law brought 5 guys out to our land around topeka. These guys were all in the US from Japan for a karate tournement. Not sure of all the particulars not really my scene. Brother in law runs a kickboxing school. Anyway these guys had never in their lives handled a firearm. So like a true redneck host I called a couple friends and my brother. Pretty soon we had targets set up and around 50 firearms for them to try out. Was this formal training no. Just trying to show some guest a good time. We had everything from pump action .22 to a .375 h&h and .22 handguns to a couple .44's. The odds of these guys ever firing another gun in thier lives is slim. But for three or four hours you had never seen bigger smiles on a kid with a ice cream cone. Same for me that was without a doubt the best range time I ever had.

February 6, 2009, 09:46 AM
I've been doing this for a long time.

I had one at the range last Sunday and another coming this Sunday.

As soon as the weather gets nicer I'll have small groups whenever possible.

As a word of caution, keep the rhetoric to a minimum and concentrate on making sure they have a good time and are impressed with the safety measures without being frightened by overstating them. Provide plugs and muffs so they don't get jumpy due to the noise.

February 6, 2009, 09:59 AM
Many of my close friends are vehemently anti gun freaks. Ive made a point of taking the uninitiated to the range a few times a year (especially those afraid of guns) to show them that they are not nearly as scary as one may think. Seriously, I have friends that fear death because they are in the same 100ft radius a gun, and others that wont enter my home unless everything is locked up (always are anyway). Taking some of these friends to the range has proven to be quite helpful! A broad base of friends who previously feared even gun conversation now ask "hey Paul, you wanna go shooting today? I'll even pay for my own ammo"! haha!
I now take multiple car loads of friends to the mountains to go shoot. Trying something you think you may not like really can change your opinion on it.

Edit: My roomie is a good example, At first he didn't want to have anything to do with guns, I took him to the range and when he went home for break he bought a 9mm XD-M, freakin awesome gun.

February 6, 2009, 10:18 AM
Cool, its nice to see that I'm not as insane as I thought :D

I actually have a list of people who have been hearing me grouch about the current situation in WA with LPR's for months. Who have been both a little shocked that in WA I don't have any 2A rights, and that I'm a Ex-Pat Brit complaining about gun control :)

So all I'm waiting for is my AFL in the mail, and I'll be taking some of them shooting, I can see a lot of range time in the next few months taking them all, and knocking the rust off my skills.

February 6, 2009, 10:22 AM
Okay. I sooo wanna be taken to the range!

Can you please pick me up here

i will pay for ammo and supply the good beer for the de-briefing :)

February 6, 2009, 10:39 AM
Okay. I sooo wanna be taken to the range!

Can you please pick me up here

i will pay for ammo and supply the good beer for the de-briefing

I don't know of to many ranges in Germany. Hamburg is a truley beautiful city though. I had the pleasure of visiting a couple of times. When I was stationed in Wurtzberg and later when I was stationed at Landstuhl. I do miss the beer and the food.

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