The below post was written by a friend of our blog, Ryan. He was taught to shoot by his grandmother. Not only did she teach him to shoot, but she taught him about good character and life with gun related metaphors. She sounds like a wise woman, Ryan. Thank you for telling your story!
My life has guns in it because of one soul, my Grandma. In truth, we are/were the Black Sheep of the family. She loved guns and all things marksmanship, I was always fascinated by it, and everyone else declared it’s evil. Since my dad was more interested in cars than his son, my grandma taught me all I needed to know and remember about being someone of character, and each metaphor was somehow intertwined with guns and the old west era.
I know from everyone who knew her before she passed when I was in 7th Grade that she was a crack-shot none of them could beat. For me, the ideals she taught me that are embedded in me are especially two involving guns, one with a Colt Revolver and another an M1911. She told me the old saying, “God made man, Sam Colt made them equal,” but she said it means something different in fact than how so many take it. She explained with how people take it, it should say, “God made man, Sam Colt proved we’re equal.” But she told me it means simply this, nothing is guaranteed. She explained that at any moment we can leave this plane by divine, mortal, or natural means.
She warned me to take nothing for granted, know that anyone can be consumed by hate to end a person in one foolish move, and that our bodies aren’t designed to last forever. The other thing she taught me is that, there are those who will do what others cannot. There are those who are willing, when there is no other options, all signs to engage and defend are go, and they will do what others can never do to defend what is most dear to them, no matter the sacrifice to their own being. Those were two of the main three things she referenced to guns about life to me, but each day I go out shooting, whether I let my 1911, .357 Mag, .270, AR-15, Mosin-Nagant, .243, .22, 9mm, or .17HMR send lead downrange, each day of practice I hear her voice. If I jerk the trigger and miss I hear her say, “Slow and steady minds and hearts pull through in most events.”
I always find a metaphor, tidbit, or a life lesson she told me come back to my mind when a bullet flies downrange. She showed me that, for my mind at least, things learned in marksmanship are easier to apply to life in all forms. Simple lessons such as patience, calm mind under pressure, control of emotions, eyes on your goal and being aware of the world around you would have never fully come to my understanding at the age of 22 if I didn’t shoot pistols and long range rifles.