A few years ago, while celebrating the national holiday of our independence from the rule of tyranny, I wished that all children could be as fortunate as little Allison. She sat beside her daddy at the picnic table, enjoying a hamburger, a Sunny Delight and a pickle. I sat beside her. The sounds of rapid gunfire exploded in the distance. She did not cower in fear. She knew the people shooting the guns would not hurt her.
In fact, her daddy is a certified firearms instructor and a licensed gunsmith and she travels with him to various shooting events throughout Missouri.
The gunfire took place at the Central Ozarks Practical Shooters range, located in Phelps County, Missouri. On this day, several shooters were competing in a US Practical Shooter Association sanctioned match.
The sport was born in the Show-Me State, in Columbia, when an international group of shooting enthusiasts met for the first time and formed the International Practical Shooting Confederation in 1976.
Allison may not grow up to be a shooter, but no doubt she will grow up with a healthy respect for guns and the power that shooters have when they use these tools.
Just as I wish all women would learn to drive a standard transmission, I wish that all women would learn to shoot a gun.
I find that the older I get, the more I agree with former president of the NRA, Sandra Froman – a lawyer, shooter and widow of a law enforcement officer – when she says,
“I believe there is evil in the world. And I think that good people need to protect themselves from harm, from criminals who seek to deprive them of their life or their liberty.”
Of course, the idealistic, rosy-glasses way of thinking would be to imagine that Allison would never have to find herself in front of or behind the gun for any violent reason.
To deny her the right to use such a tool for either self-defense or sport, though, is unconscionable. ~ Barbara Baird
Barbara Baird is an NRA-certified shooting instructor, teaching pistol courses at the Rolla Shooting Club in Missouri. See her class schedule for summer 2010 at www.sheshoots2.com.