It's not an option to make somebody take up hand gunning or defensive shooting readiness. Influence is about as far as we can go in making a case for our family and friends to consider taking up a firearm for self defense.
When it's time to spring into action
But when we have one or more of our family ready to go, looking for help, instruction, suggestions, we are not living in a time where delay is wise. For those of us experienced with handgun operation, shooting, training, etc., jumping at the chance to help our loved ones get prepared should be a top priority.
I write all the time about people being ready to defend themselves in case of an attack on them or their family. I emphasize the horror of what it would be like to be caught in a gunman's sights with nothing but the palm of the hand for defense.
So with my daughter wanting to improve and solidify her shooting skills, in preparation for eventually getting a concealed carry permit, I wasted no time.
This last weekend we spent four hours at Brushy Hollow National Forest Range near Waldron, Arkansas. We had the range to ourselves for the entire time.
We practiced a lot with minimalist shooting; getting the gun up, firing, back down with minimal movement and in minimal time. We shot plain pieces of paper, Dirty Bird targets, and silhouettes. To round out the targets, some canned sodas, ice filled plastic bottles, and potatoes made for satisfactory splatter targets.
While shooting is fun for us, at the point of shooting silhouettes, it's where it hit me with startling clarity what this meant.
When I took this picture over Jacquilyn's shoulder and considered what it could possibly represent, the weight of my responsibility hit me. Not just in keeping her safe, but in all the the potential repercussions of taking up a firearm in self defense.
I have to ensure she can act if necessary, and in doing so expressing as comprehensive a picture as possible of what it could all all mean if she ever had to take that stance with a human assailant.
I'm not rich. Between the three people in our household, we hold down 5 jobs. But I spared no expense in getting ready for the day we spent at the range, one of many more to come.
Jacquilyn was able to shoot four different semi-automatic pistols and while she has shot them before, I asked her to define which one fit her best overall. She shot different types of ammo, all from defensive distances. Her results were from impressive to irritating (to her) while trying to break habits she has developed doing a lot of "fun" shooting for the last several years.
She'll get it down though. I'll be there with her.
I pray my daughter, wife, any other family member, and friends will never find their life on the line.
But if that day should come, I pray they'll be ready.
My determination is to be as much a part of their readiness as possible.