Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mind if I get a second opinion?

As a father, 4H Shooting Sports instructor, and adviser for our club, I usually tend to be my daughter's primary shooting and firearms instructor and coach.  Even though I pretty much know everything about everything, I still sometimes find I don't know everything... much to my wife's and daughter's amazement!  Actually my wife's not really amazed, she's know better. 

The gentleman in the picture is not me, but a friend and fellow shooting sports instructor, Richard, who is coaching my daughter on the skeet range.  Richard is an accomplished shotgun shooter who is now retired from his day job and shares his expertise with our youth for the his usual fee... nothing, zip, nada, el zero.  He has an easy-going, gentle demeanor and seems to know just the right analogy or way to explain what you're doing - right or wrong - so you can improve. 

He's knows there are tried and true methods and techniques for shooting, but also that there are things that work for each individual shooter.  He studies his students, coaches them... and tells my daughter how to improve her shooting.  Now sometimes he may tell her exactly what I told her, but occasionally a second opinion seems to go farther with those we are close to, doesn't it.

When it comes to various topics about God, Gals, Guns, or Grub... seems like a lot of folks know all the answers and anything to the contrary is wrong, or plain ol' stupid.  I'm always a bit leery of anyone who says, "This is the only..."  Seems like that happens a lot, especially with firearms.  Now I know what all you idiots who don't conceal carry with a 1911 in .45ACP are thinking... see, half of you already have your blood boiling. 

Its important to learn and make informed decisions.  A good instructor will go beyond teaching you by also learning about you.  So I'll make a blanket statement, "You need to surround yourself with and seek out folks who will teach you, not just tell you."  That way you understand why you should do something a certain way and what might be necessary to make it work for you the majority of the time.  If you've been to a shooting school and have already learned all you need to know, great... try another one.

 "Where no counsel is, the people fall: 
but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." 
~Proverbs 11:14

The next time someone tells you "This is the only...", you might just want to tell them, "Mind if I get a second opinion."  Even if it is your dad!


  1. your blanket statement is a good one - applies to life all around. :)

    your comment on my horse's butt cracked me up!!! :)