This story is from a reader who was kind enough to share his story with us!
I grew up with guns being a forbidden thing. A mystery. My grandfather had a few, but I was never taught to shoot and I knew better than to touch his. He’s been gone 25 years now, and I wish I had one of his weapons to connect with his memory better.
In 1991, I was working in Houston, who was on her way to 608 homicides. People were getting shot on their own front porches. In their homes. When their cars broke down. I was 21, and making what seemed like decent money, so I did what research I could in the pre-internet days, asked a bunch of questions of the guys at the gun shops, and chose a used Taurus PT92AF, partly because it looked cool, and the price was right at $225.
An hour after I bought my Taurus, I was at the range by myself. I loaded one round into the mag, cycled the action, pulled the trigger, and it went bang. There was even a hole on the target! Nowhere near the rings, but on the paper! I was in business.
What a rush! And, with no real instruction. I was very pleased with myself. Scared that I’d screw up, but happy that I’d figured it out.
He went on to describe the time he took his mom to the range for the first time…
Mom’s 67 now. She became interested in shooting as the years went by, and kept saying she wanted to buy a pistol for protection, but would never go through with it despite my encouragement. Typical analysis paralysis; a fear of spending hundreds on something she would end up hating. Finally, I gave her my Taurus (that I’d had for 20 years at that point) to shut her up – I mean because I was a good son.
A week or so later, we went to the range. It was a little comical with her trying to take instruction while insisting on wearing both cans and foamies (“You only get one set of ears!” *sigh*). Some shouting, charades, and a little luck got us through the first session. She was a natural! She gets frustrated that her stamina ends the session after about 100 rounds, and she has some trouble loading the mags without a cheater, but for a novice, she’s great (see attached; not her first target, but maybe her 3rd or 4th a month or so later, at 7 yards). She takes instruction well, and is really interested in getting to be better and more consistent.
Sure enough, three months later and she’s eyeing other guns. Are the sights better on that one? What’s the capacity? If she gets a lighter gun, can she shoot longer? What’s the effect on accuracy?
We rent a Gen4 Glock 26 at the range one day, and she’s in love. I mention that the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation offers a discount with 2-year membership, and she calls me the next day. She’s sent in her $60 to GSSF and is awaiting her membership packet, and could I tell her about the different kinds of sights available.
Dafuq? Mom? The woman who kept trying to load rounds into the mags backwards half the time a few weeks ago? Ordering a new baby Glock?!? And not happy with the stock sights? Huh?!
I’ve created a monster.
Two weeks later, and we’re at the law-enforcement-friendly gun shop that honors the GSSF coupon. Yes, she’d like fiber-optic / tritium sights while we wait, please, and would he install the mag extensions as well?
Rock on, Mom!
It’s a small thing, but bonding with mom at the range, talking about guns, cleaning them together, is great. It’s made us closer.
One of the questions I asked was if there is anything else that would motivate the readers to learn to shoot, give them something to think about, or put a smile on their face and the author of this story added his final comments….
Mom is warming up to the idea of going to a GSSF event and competing. At 67. She’s a better shot with the Glock and its upgraded sights than she was with the Taurus. I’d absolutely love it if she shot competitively.
Oh, and Dad doesn’t know about her new hobby yet. He might not approve, so it’s best to not say anything.
If you have a good story to share related to shooting please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are someone just starting out, these kind of stories remind us that everyone started somewhere and the best thing to do is get out there and try – just like the author’s mom – you might be a natural!