Sunday, October 20, 2013

Teach Your Girls to Shoot!

Some months ago, I was watching a Military Channel show called "Inside Combat Rescue." In one episode, one of the guys serving in Afghanistan learned that his wife was going to learn the sex of their unborn child at some point that day. Grinning, he said that if the baby was a boy, he'd teach him to shoot, and if his baby was a girl, he'd be the most protective father...ever.

Now, I get where he's coming from, but of course, my natural reaction, as a woman, was to shout at the screen, "TEACH YOUR LITTLE GIRL TO SHOOT, TOO!"

When I was growing up, my Mom was TERRIFIED of guns. She hated them and wouldn't allow them in the house. As a result, I had to wait until I was 18 to learn how to handle a firearm, or even have any exposure to one. Oh, sure, I'd seen my Dad's long guns stored up at his parents' house, but because I was a girl, he never considered that I'd want to learn about them.

Well, everything changed when I turned eighteen. One of my first acts was to call up my cousin, our lovable "gun-nut" relation, who gave me a great foundation in safety and familiarity with many different types of handguns, rifles, and shotguns. When we finally headed out to a local gravel pit owned by a friend of his, I was unafraid and very ready to finally put my new-found knowledge to the test with live ammo.

Time went on, I pursued more education and experience with guns, and then went on a long hiatus. A few years ago, though, my brother and I came into possession of our dad's gun collection. Having been away from "the line" for quite awhile, I realized it was time to go back. Together with some friends, we planned a weekend of camping and shooting.

It went off amazingly! We gathered our ammo, we gathered our guns and headed into the hills and forests of Indiana. And, my friends, let me tell you...when we go to the range...we really bring it! I got some real quality time in with my .9mm and by Monday afternoon, the closing of our weekend, I was quite comfortable with the firepower extension of my hand. And I was thrilled to admit I also have a new boyfriend, formerly known as "The .8mm Mauser."

But....I have to circle back to my original angle: Girls and guns.

Last weekend at the range there weren't many girls or women shooting. Oh, sure, we the "fairer" sex were present, but most of the other women there were standing back while their boyfriends or husbands toed the line and picked off targets.

One of my friends noticed this as well and singled a few out for a few "lessons". The one that I loved, though, was the teen brought out there by her father, who stood back proudly taking photos while my friend taught her a few rudimentary gun handling and shooting skills.She had a full day and was a willing and enthusiastic participant.

And...I gotta say...I don't know who that guy was, but in my book, he's "Father of the Year."

Moms and Dads, teach your children to handle guns, teach them to shoot, and teach them well. And most especially, if you REALLY want to protect your daughters, make sure they are able to protect themselves, with or without a gun.

Gun Control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound. Women must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself. 
- Susan B. Anthony, July 1871


ignorant redneck said...

Only by your amazing example did some of those girls find the courage to shoot those guns.

Julie Olson said...

Oh I doubt that! You were very persuasive and encouraging to them, especially that teen with her proud Dad!