I took a young lady that I know from work to the range, because she's never shot or even held a real firearm before and she wanted to see what it was like.
OK, she was cute and single. That helped. It even got me to overlook the fact that she gave money to one of the anti-gun groups that was out panhandling in DC last year. She at least admitted that she didn't know enough about the issue to really have an opinion either way, hence her desire to come out to the range with me.
I decided to keep it simple for her first-ever outing, so I brought one of my Smith and Wesson Model 10 revolvers out for her to try, with some light-loaded handloads. I also brought a .22 rifle in the form of the Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22, mainly because of it's easy-to-use peep sight and adjustable stock, as she's a bit on the petite side. (And cute!)
First I took her through the safety rules, and then we did a sit-down and went over the parts of each firearm and their function. I taught her the proper grip and stance and sight picture, and finally got her to the point where she was ready to go out on the firing line and fire an actual live round. And we started with one round in the pistol, then another, and then another, until she was comfortable enough to load and fire six.
Alas, she never got comfortable with even that little .38, calling it "too loud" and "too smoky" and she didn't like the recoil of even my powder puff light loads. The pistol went back in the case before even half a box of ammo was fired.
I could tell that she wanted to call it a day there, but she didn't want to look like a quitter after driving an hour and a half out to my place for this, so I suggested lunch right after she tried the .22. She agreed to that, and I figured that it's be a token ten rounds or so and then we'd be gone. Already she's said that she didn't like the look of the M&P 22. But she agreed to give it a try.
"This could be dangerous..." she said.
"What do you mean?" I asked her.
"I think I like this one," she replied, grinning.
Next we went out for lunch and we talked guns, in particular, the politics of gun control and the myths vs. reality. And a few hours after she left, I got a text from her telling me that she now wants to shoot in the upcoming Appleseed shoot at the range.
I may not have created the next Jessie Duff here, but if nothing else, I think that I at least pulled her back from the likes of Bloomberg and his astroturf lackey, Shannon Watts.
Oh--and did I mention "cute"?
And just because it might irk someone in B.O.'s administration:
Model M&P15-22 Rifle (Standard)
$499.00 * *Suggested Retail, Dealer Sets Actual Pricing
.Capacity: 25 Rounds
.Action: Blow Back Semi-Auto
.Overall Length: 33.75" Extended, 30.5" Collapsed
.Stock: 6 Position CAR Stock
.Sight Radius: 15.5"
.Barrel Length: 16"
.Barrel Twist: 1 in 15"
.Weight (No Mag.): 5.5 lbs.
.Trigger Pull: 7 lbs. (approx.)
.Upper & Lower Material: Polymer
.Barrel Material: Carbon Steel
.Finish: Matte Black
.Front Sight: Adj. A2 Post
.Rear Sight: Adj. Dual Aperture