"Plus, the sensory experience of target shooting-readying your stance, controlling your breath, focusing on the target—is so absorbing that I can’t indulge my free-floating worries. I can’t have a self-conscious intellectual reaction when firing a gun. It’s almost meditative. At one point I glimpse a woman in her sixties dressed in a white polo, creased khakis, and pristine white sneakers—attire for a day of golf at the country club; she’s brandishing a Glock. I have to stop myself from laughing with delight."
- Amanda Fortini
Here's a woman who grew up thoroughly in a "guns are bad, scary things!" culture of the liberals states, but expose her to to a little bit of American freedom, put her on the shooting range just once, and this is what she takes away from the experience.
And then there's this bit, and I quote,
"Yet to fire a gun is to realize you can do it: You can operate one, understand how it works."
This. This is without a doubt one of the single biggest reasons why bringing folks to the range works! One of the biggest issues folks have with guns is fear of the unknown. Fear that it's just going to go off. Fear that it'll hurt them. Fear that they won't be able to competently and safety use one. Hell, a fear they can't even verbalize. Once those first few rounds go downrange and they see holes in the target in front of them much of that goes right out the window, replaced with the exhilerating realization that they CAN do this. Fear is quickly replaced with fun.
It's funny, because this mirrors my mom's experience. All it took was a little exposure to guns and gun ownership and one single range trip to go from "I don't want a gun in the house" to being excited about having her own gun in the house.
It may take Amanda a little bit more time than that, but she'll get there soon enough. She's already taken that first huge step towards overcoming her fears. I'd say, give her a couple more trips to the range and she'll be just fine. Way to go Amanda!