Opportunity to share the joys of firearms


March 7, 2011, 12:13 PM

I recently jumped at an opportunity presented in my community group for church and would like a little feedback for my approach. There is a college-age guy in the group who is planning on studying in China this next year. He has couple friends who he brought to the group last week, one from China and the other from Vietnam. After we finished with our group, I took the opportunity to talk to the two of them and invite them to go shooting and they both seemed a little excited to do something that is taboo in their culture and something they would otherwise not have the opportunity to do (both cultures prohibit or severely limit private firearm ownership).

My plan is to take them to an indoor range, since range options here are limited. I will bring 1 handgun (9mm - would take a .22 handgun if I owned one), 1 rifle (.22), and 1 shotgun (20-ga) to give them a limited variety to fire.

I will warn them that the indoor range can be loud even with hearing protection, so they might be a little jumpy for the first 10 minutes
We will go over the 4 firearm safety rules (http://www.thegunzone.com/therules.html) (prior to arriving at the range and at the range)
We will all wear hearing and eye protection
I will demonstrate each weapon's operation
Each will have the opportunity to shoot under direct 1-on-1 supervision
Each will have the opportunity, to switch lanes rather than guns to do some more shooting while I observe from the back

My guns, ammo, and I'll pay for the lane, so I'm hoping that it ends up being a safe and fun experience for them to take back and share in their respective countries when they finish their education here.

This was a spontaneous invitation and we will be going within a week or so - what am I leaving out?

If you enjoyed reading about "Opportunity to share the joys of firearms" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
General Geoff
March 7, 2011, 12:18 PM
As this is likely to be the only time in their lives that they shoot real firearms, I would recommend bringing more guns for them to try. At least bring a centerfire rifle along with the guns you listed. In the end, it's your judgement as to whether they're prepared to fire the larger caliber gun(s), but if they demonstrate understanding and adherence to safe gun handling practices, I would feel guilty in denying them the opportunity to shoot some "crowd pleasers."

Also: while I normally would scoff at driving over an hour to shoot, in this case, it might be worth driving further to an outdoor range that will allow you to shoot centerfire rifles, if the indoor range won't. While range sessions might seem routine or even mundane to us, to these two foreigners it's the experience of a lifetime. It's worth an extra couple hours of driving to make it especially memorable. :)

March 7, 2011, 12:29 PM
Your plan looks good.

International visitors often enjoy an opportunity to shoot.

Sometimes there is a surprise. One mainland Chinese lady who accepted my wife's invitation was clearly comfortable with guns and proceeded to punch the bullseye out of the target. When we expressed surprise, she just grinned and said, "Chinese Army."

March 7, 2011, 12:53 PM
Awesome...That sounds like a great opportunity to allow them to experience a POSITIVE side of firearms (something they may not be accustomed to)...also I would agree with the extra travel time to an outdoor range...plus that is an hour in the car to discuss church related topics...could turn out to be a SUPER GREAT day!

March 7, 2011, 01:07 PM
Do your safety instruction and practicing muzzle control BEFORE you arrive at the range. Get all questions answered before confronting them with the noise and distractions of live fire. You may also encounter language/translation problems. It might be more difficult when they are wearing ear protection. Be darn sure no safety issues can arise ahead of time.

A noble endeavor; good luck!

March 7, 2011, 01:17 PM
I'd take more firearms, especially if you have something tacticool. As mentioned, this may be a once-in-a-lifetime event for some.

I'd let them handle the firearms before going to the range, preferably in a comfortable setting. I introduce new shooters to the weapons, explain the differences between them, and usually let them mount and dry-fire them in my home before going shooting.

It's a great thing you're doing. I usually take foreign visitors (including Californicators and Yankees) to the range when they visit.

March 7, 2011, 01:24 PM
One thing that I like to tell people ahead of time is that the range is loud, so if I'm yelling, Its not that I'm mad, I'm just trying to be heard over the gunshots and ear protection.

Sounds like it should be a great day, and its up to you, but I agree with everyone else that says that you should bring a bit more firepower if you can. Also, we/they may benefit if you take some pictures to document the excursion.

Chris "the Kayak-Man" Johnson

March 7, 2011, 07:13 PM
I agree the outdoor range would be better. An indoor range can be extremely intimidating for beginners between the noise and the smell of gunpowder. Also the longer drive will give you more time to talk about the firearms you will be shooting and of course safety.

I would take as many firearms as I could because who knows when they will get an opportunity like this again if ever.

Bring a camera and a crap load of ammo. I'm sure all three of you are going to want plenty of photos to remember this day by. This is why I love gun people. Oh and don't forget to let them take some targets home to show their friends and family.


March 8, 2011, 12:07 PM
Good point about the camera and a bigger variety of guns. Spring is trying to get started around here and we all decided that Mar 26 will be the best day for everyone to get together to go, so maybe we'll change plans and head to the outdoor range instead and take my .270 (nothing tacticool in the "collection" yet). :)

March 8, 2011, 12:46 PM
Some indoor (and maybe outdoor) ranges don't allow cameras. Indoor ranges are relatively dimly lit, so a camera's flash can be distracting. Even if the range doesn't normally allow camera's, if you speak to the RO and promise to turn off the flash, given the circumstance, I think many would give you the okay even if it's against their posted rules.


If you enjoyed reading about "Opportunity to share the joys of firearms" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!