Another Shooter is Born
QJ was rather amazed that he could just buy ammunition, a question of whether it was for a handgun or a rifle, a few bucks, and we were on our way to familiarizing him with the pistol he would shoot in the morning. QJ felt the need to learn to use a gun for self defense. We had talked about him getting a CCW permit, and set that, along with effective skills and marksmanship with a firearm as his goal.
Last night I thought about how strange it was that QJ did not know his rights guaranteed by the Constitution. He is a good and productive American. He had served, a proud Air Force man. He had defended the ideals enshrined in the US Constitution. Yet he had not taken advantage of them himself. He simply was unaware that he could.
We met at McDonalds this morning, and discussed his goals and the Four Rules again over egg mcmuffins and hash browns. We also discussed the safety rules governing the range. I had stuffed my stainless Ruger MKII in the range bag, and I planned to put QJ on my usual program of learning to shoot.
I started QJ out at seven yards, and at first he was very stiff. He wanted desperately to do things right, to not violate any range rule. His head was swarming with thoughts. But as he shot, and watched other people shoot, he became more comfortable and loosened up. Then he had an epiphany. He realized that he must align the top of the sights as well as place the front sight in the notch of the rear. Suddenly, he was in the black, then blasting a ragged hole, and he was hooked.
He was obviously feeling more empowered. During a cold range break I suggested that QJ might want to place a 22 pistol that I knew about at Neil's Pawn Shop on layaway. "That way you can come back and shoot on your own time, you won't need me," I told him.
"Sure, I'll buy it if it's a good deal, but I want to keep it at your house," he responded.
"I don't want it in my house until I have the papers to be legal," he stated firmly.
"Q, you are not a felon or a nutcase. You are a free man. This is a free state in a free country. You don't need to have 'papers' to own a gun and keep it in your home," I informed him.
"Really. This is your birthright QJ, you are an American. There are some politicians who would take away your right to own a gun if they could, but you can help gun owners keep them out of office and preserve these rights for everyone if you wish."
We shot some more, reinforcing the basics. Finally QJ was ready. "We will have to go by the ATM," he said.
We walked into Neil's Pawn Shop together, and we asked to see the Browning Buckmark under the counter. It was in like new condition, although the plastic box was missing. Neil was wanting $219 for it. "New shooter discount?" I asked. Neil smirked. He knew the price was fair. QJ placed the pistol on lay away, and we talked a bit more in the parking lot. QJ was still trying to mentally grasp what had just happened. The wheels in his head were spinning at breakneck speed, gaining traction in freedom and leaving the shackles of imagined oppression behind.
Welcome to the free world Q, it is now up to you to help us keep it free.