“Oh, MOM!” My daughter’s face lit up when she opened her Christmas gift from me this year. In the box was her grandfather’s .45 pistol, two boxes of ammunition and a “coupon” inviting her to join me in concealed carry classes.
We went to the range a few days before the class so she could try out the gun. She had fired the .45 once before when she was younger when her grandfather had taken her to the woods behind his house, where he had set up a small firing range. I was pretty sure that one short exposure had not adequately prepared her for handling the gun.
I need not worried. The kid is a natural. She nailed the zone on the target, and you can imagine her face when the officer on the gun range asked her if she was interested in competitive shooting.
We attended the concealed carry class, where we encountered the gamut of responsible (and irresponsible) gun owners and gun handling. I was more than pleased to note her irritation with the “I can’t wait to kill someone” mentality. She said to me quietly, “Those are the guys we’ll see on TV because they didn’t think when they pulled the trigger.”
I’m proud not only of her shooting skills, but also of the maturity in understanding that this is a responsibility as well. Sports of all kinds teach many things: teamwork, perseverance, effort, concentration and a variety of skills. I think the sport of shooting is the only sport that teaches you responsibility for yourself and your fellow man.
She has applied for her concealed carry license, and now has a new outlet for her talents. She has been spending one afternoon a week at the gun range, and finds the concentration it requires a great way to relax. She has asked that next year’s Christmas gift be ammo for a year. Yikes!
Not only did I score in the gift department this year, I helped create another responsible gun owner and promote the sport of shooting. Those are gifts that keep on giving.