Over the years, I have have been blessed with the opportunity to literally teach hundreds and hundreds of men, women, boys, and girls from ages four to seventy-eight the fundamentals of gun safety and use, concealed carry, self/home defense, hunting, and competition shooting. As a long-time, certified NRA and 4H Shooting Sports instructor... I have worked with a wide variety of folks through basic firearms courses, Ohio Concealed Carry courses, Boy Scouts, and 4H along with personal and family training opportunities.
I have seen and trained victims of abuse, rape, and crime who gain back their confidence. I have witnessed the peace and joy of overcoming fear. I have watched the building of self-esteem from the satisfaction of good, safe shooting. I've seen seasoned law enforcement officers and those serving in our military get back to focusing on fundamentals and improving their shooting skills.
Guns can put a hundred-and-two pound gal on equal or better footing than a two-hundred-and-fifty pound attacker. Guns can also put a smile on the face of someone who might not have much reason to.
We had a young man join us again for a couple of days at Shooting Sports Safety Camp, which was held this past week. He'll be starting high school this fall while continuing his battle with Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that was weakened and left him confined to a wheel chair at a very young age. It took a lot of strength and determination for him to join us on the range and even hold a gun, but this is one tough young man.
My fellow instructor, Steve, provided the one-on-one instruction, coaching, and assistance while I handled RSO and line coach duties along with our other instructors. Steve brought his Smith & Wesson M&P 22 for the young man to use. Those adjustable, M4-style stock guns are not assault rifles, they're just ADA-compliant firearms that can be adjusted for a proper fit for the shooter.
It was a hot and tiring week out on the range, but the results for this young man were the same as they were for everyone... smiles all around... plus some cool refrigerator art to take home.
That's just one more reason why... Guns are the true equalizer...