I was talking with a fellow gunwriter a few months ago, and he said something that I thought was really profound. “For most gun owners,” he told me, “every time they go to the range, it’s their first time.”
And he’s right.
Most gun owners never get better at shooting. They go to the range, set up their target, turn a bunch of money into noise and holes in a piece of paper, and then go on their merry way. They never take the small amount of time required to be a better shot, because they don’t see a need to be a better shot. They make the same mistakes over and over and over again. Every time they go to the range, nothing changes. It’s their first time at the range, repeated endlessly, like a ballistic version of Groundhog Day.
This is something I can understand. My family occasionally goes bowling. It’s fun, we have a good time, and we spend a few hours turning money into knocked-down pins and ticks on an electronic scoreboard.
In other words, we treat bowling just like most people treat going to the gun range. I don’t see a reason to get better at bowling, because it’s just a fun activity for me, it’s not my passion (or job).
Put a bookmark in that idea, and let’s move over to another athletic recreation: Golf. People spend a LOT of money and a LOT of time trying to improve their golf score, even though at the end of the day, all they’ve done is hit a ball with a crooked stick and made a bunch of marks on a piece of paper. However, it’s important for some people to be better at golf than their friends and co-workers are. It’s important for them to not only have a good time when they go shoot a round of golf, but they also need to be a little bit better at it than their co-workers are.
So why don’t we try that same motivation with the shooting sports? What’s wrong with telling someone they need to be a better shot, not only to save a life, but to be a bit better than the guy in the lane next to you? What’s wrong with using ego, the desire to feel good about our accomplishments, as a motivating force for gun training?
Which is why I started “How To Make Friends, Win Gunfights And Impress Everyone At The Range,” over at the ammoman.com blog.
Enjoy, and stay tuned for more episodes.