Thursday, June 16, 2016

Do not make basic firearms instruction political

If you are bringing new shooters to the range, do not make the situation overly political.  This is an important issue which I did not discuss in my articles about bringing new shooters to the range.  Here are links to the articles if you have not seen them.

Part 1: Bringing New Shooters to the Range
Part 2: Making a Lesson Plan for New Shooters

I suspect that for many of my readers, firearms freedoms are a central political issue.  I support that view.  But the best thing you can do to advance firearms freedom is make new shooters comfortable, teach them safe practices, and get them interested in firearms training and ownership.

When you work with new shooters, keep the discussions focused on how to handle and use firearms safely.  There is a lot of information to cover in those areas.  If people become interested in owning firearms, that will have more effect on their views about gun rights than any political discussion could have.

Of course, people who are new to shooting may believe misconceptions about firearms which are widely spread in the media.  These views may be frustrating, and you may feel the need to correct blatant falsehoods.  But keep in mind that none of this is very important on someone's first day at the range. Creating a positive first experience at the range is much more important.  If your new shooters become interested in shooting, they will slowly learn the basic truths about how firearms work.  And they will learn for themselves which restrictions are an undue burden.

There are some things that everyone at the range needs to agree on.  Most importantly, there cannot be different opinions about firearms safety.  But people are entitled to have different political viewpoints, and that is a part of the basic freedoms that I believe in.  By making the range a welcoming place for new shooters, we can make gun rights stronger for the long term.

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