It’s been said by many fighters for liberty that we are not going to vote are way out of this. I’m inclined to believe this is true. So what to do, aside from a full-on civil war, (which contrary to the many mischaracterizations of the Three Percent, and of Mike Vanderboegh in particular, we do NOT encourage)?
I propose part of the solution is teaching new shooters.
I spent the second week of April visiting family in New Hampshire and New Jersey. On most past trips up that way, I have driven the 8-10 hours to New Jersey and visited my family there for a few days and then continued on up to NH to visit relatives up there. But as I said in my Condition White post, I like to take a few things with me for converting money into noise and having fun while at it.
In two days it will be seven years since I moved down here to North Carolina from Massachusetts, the Cradle and Grave of Liberty. In that time, while making up for lost time (I was always pro-gun, but never jumped through the hoops that MA requires to actually own any boomsticks), I have watched some cases closely, like Brian Aitken with much concern. I not only travel through NJ – which is risky enough given the penchant for NJ law enforcement and judges have for ignoring the law and arresting and prosecuting travelers, anyhow, even when complying with both New Jersey and Federal anti-freedom laws – but I also lodge there on my way up to NH.
Technically, I might be able to justify the lodging part, but really only in my own head. I’m not really just staying in NJ to spend the night resting for the second leg of my journey, but staying around for a couple of days to visit family.
So given NJ’s disregard of the legality of some behavior they don’t like, and the shaky legal ground I would be on during my extended lodging in NJ, most of my trips to visit family now involve avoiding NJ altogether and staying at a hotel in Pennsylvania overnight and driving the rest of the way to NH the next day. Depending on family schedules, I might either meet some of those from NJ in NH, or take a few days out of the trip and, leaving my trunk full of ‘things’ in NH, take a short trip down to NJ.
This last trip up, I took the second option, arriving in NH on Saturday, visiting NJ from Tuesday – Thursday and then leaving NH on Saturday, tracing my path back home through PA. And it was one of the most fun shooting time I’ve had in a while, since my Bacon and Boomsticks event on 9/11 of last year. And this time it involved one brand new shooter, as well as three more who had little knowledge of firearms due to how long it had been since they last shot. Heck, with a nephew in NJ who is a martial arts and firearms instructor, I even got the chance to shoot in NJ which was a first for me.
Interesting side note that I did not expect. Two relatives who I thought had political views, for the most part, antithetical to my own are very much into prepping. That part, I knew, but they both, at different times, expressed to me that if “Obama gets re-elected, all bets are off. We’re screwed.” I wouldn’t call either of these relatives leftists, of the OWS type. But it did surprise me when I heard that comment. Even those who might have supported Dear Reader in the past (though I have no idea how they voted), are seeing the danger in a second Obama term. It’s what’s prompting them to be preppers, at least in part.
Onto the festivities.
This is Niece HC as she gets ready to shoot for the first time.
We had just finished up cleaning the guns when HC said that she had wanted to shoot earlier, but that we were packing up the guns to trek back up the hill to the house. I wasn’t going to let the fact that the guns were just cleaned interfere with corrupting another new shooter, so we broke out the 10/22 again.
The deck we stood on at the back of the house is about 12-15 feet off the ground and beyond it are about two acres of cleared land that has a pretty good slope. Instead of going out to the spot we usually shoot, we set up a target about 30 yards or so away and let HC shoot off the deck.
Not bad for a first time shooter.
Brother-in-law TC inspecting and admiring the Ruger Single Ten.
I never got these boys’ last name, but A and I were brothers who told me they had a collection of 19 paintball guns. Wow. Never met anyone so into paintball that they owned such a variety of paintball guns. They had both shot real firearms before, but said that it had been a long time ago, so I was sure to go over the Four Rules with them thoroughly beforehand, as well as with GA who was the adult friend of the family who brought A and I over to learn to shoot.
Here is A shooting GA‘s Heritage Rough Rider .22LR single action revolver. Turns out I have the exact model (I have the additional .22 Magnum cylinder) with the exception of the grip design, but didn’t have mine with me on this trip.
Each of these boys had slight problem with over-extension of the shooting arm, and I think A was gripping a bit too hard with his shooting hand because he was shaking a little. But they were doing okay, and I was addressing mostly safety this first time out shooting with people I didn’t know. In that area, all the new shooters listened really well and followed the rules judiciously.
I first taught niece RC with my Heritage about two years ago, so she was accustom to it.
Had an interesting experience with Nephew DC when I first started teaching him a few years ago to shoot with the 10/22. It’s what convinced me that when teaching kids, or anyone you are not sure of, a bolt action .22LR is a better choice than a semi-auto rifle. We were using tracers and it was twilight, so it was just full of awesome to see exactly where you were hitting the target. So DC gets this excellent shot off and swings the rifle around with one hand and holds it above his head with a victory shout of sorts (think “Wolverines!”). Frightening moment, to say the least.
We had a little talk. It was a while before I took him out shooting again.
He’s a good foot and half taller, now, and a few years older and wiser. He’s more careful, and he listens, now. He’s very good at even pointing out to others when they are not being safe. Almost to a fault, but I’d rather have that than what I saw in the past. Much improvement, and that’s what matters.
Here’s GA shooting the Ruger Security Six. Everyone loved this revolver, and so do I. Though, I just couldn’t convince most of them to stop cocking the hammer and shoot it double action. Guess they were used to the single action of the Heritage.
Niece SC here with the Security Six. She’s a natural with guns, and lots of other tools, in terms of her comfort level. She actually shot this double action, unlike most of the rest. I just need to slow her down a bit to take well aimed shots. I guess it’s the Russian in her.
GA brought out his Charter Arms .38 snubbie.
Things to watch for when shooting with someone who’s had no training. And GA was fine with this, as part of my purpose was to teach safety, first, along with sparking the interest in shooting as well as the history and politics of guns. What you see below isn’t too bad…
…but on at least a couple of occasions he was pointing that revolver straight down at his foot and he even cocked the hammer while still in that position. New shooters (and even old shooters who haven’t had training, or simply aren’t paying attention) will not even realize they are doing this. It’s an easy mistake to make, and potentially disastrous one.
Niece JC, here, is going to be a regular Annie Oakley. The first time I brought her out shooting, I set up three plastic water bottles for her, handed her the Mossberg 500A 12 Gauge, and she took slow, aimed shots and got each of them, one shot each. I set up three more bottles, and she repeated her success. Yes, it was a shotgun, but given this girl had never handled a firearm before, I thought it was pretty impressive. Below, she’s shooting the Charter Arms.
RC with the 10/22.
And everyone had a blast with the DSArms SA58 Carbine (FN-FAL clone).
Especially me, with the “proxy” shooters grin.
RC was leaning back a bit in some of the photos we took, more than I noticed while there, and wanted me to put my hand on her back because she was worried about the recoil. She had only shot .22LR before this day, and didn’t want to shoot .357 (only .38), so when I asked if she wanted to shoot the FAL, she said, “oh, maybe one shot.” Not gonna happen. It’s like potato chips. Can’t shoot just one. I think she shot about fifteen rounds. (At the point in this photo, she had straightened up somewhat.)
And this was the result.
DC managed to bump fire the FAL from his shoulder twice. I didn’t even know if he was trying and I resisted the urge to stop him because it was just so much fun watching it. The second time, it did wind up blowing the floor plate and spring out of my cheap mag (on the last round), but I had that happen at the Appleseed shoot in March with a different mag, even though I wasn’t bump firing it. Anyhow, I now have a bunch of Thermold mags that will hopefully function better.
Later, TC lent his kids as minions to help with the cleaning.
A fun time was had by all. Plus, there are now four new shooters. One who had never shot (HC), but I count GA and the two brothers A and I he brought with him due to GA not having the training, and the brothers not having shot for so long.
TC sometimes worries about the cost of ammo to me when I come up and shoot with anyone who wants to. But I see it as passing down something important to our posterity. TC doesn’t have the time he would like to take his children out shooting on a regular basis. So they’ve associated my visits with shooting, which I welcome. And since I don’t have any kids of my own, and the odds are I won’t, I see extended family as my posterity. Build in them an appreciation for the rights we have, a few of which are codified in our Constitution, and the price paid for them. I keep hearing that we are not voting are way out of the mess we are in right now in this country. Perhaps we can train our way out of it. Can’t hurt to try, and there is a lot of fun to be had in the process.