Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Taking Inventory

So I went to the range again today, bringing along my "reading material" and a new shooter.

I try to take at least ten new shooters shooting every year. I also try to bring along as many others who have shot but are not yet "in the habit." These are not set in stone numbers but just general guidelines.

This year, I have taken shooting:

1 x Mexican (this evening / new shooter)
1 x Israeli (this evening and the week before last / shot twice before - once while conscripted and once for fun)
1 x Ghanaian (this month / new shooter)
1 x General Euro Mix (OK, he is a Portugese citizen from Germany with Latvian heritage / shot several times before / first time with me and usually since / yeah... I got him "into the habit")
1 x Pole (last month / new shooter)
1 x Washatonian (Washatesian? / shot a few times before / originally from Florida)
1 x Chinese (Taiwanese actually / few months ago / new shooter)
2 x Finns (husband and wife / few months ago / he shot rifles when he was a teen)
1 x Dane (a few months ago / shot .22's a few times when he was a boy)
2 x Israelis (boyfriend and girlfriend / not counted with the other Israeli because that may have been last December / I cannot remember / both shot either an Uzi or M-16 while conscripted and she had also shot some unknown pistol)

Of course I have brought my older daughter with me shooting several times but she is neither a new shooter nor anywhere near old enough to go shooting by herself (ergo "habit" need not apply).

The Ghanaian was really unique. We spent three hours at the range that night. The Israeli, the GenEurMix, and my Washington shooting buddy where all there too. We started him and the Israeli on a .22LR pistol (Kimber .22/.45 conversion then switched to a Ruger Mk. II). They then shot my 9mm, my buddy's .40, his MAC-10, and his .44 Magnum. We were making so much noise and had spent so much, the range brought out a .500 Magnum and gave a round to each of us. He shot it too. Having never shot before that evening, he went from a .22LR to a .500 Magnum within three hours. He is "chomping at the bit" to go again.

I wrote about the Pole a few weeks ago. That was the only time I have ever really been scared around firearms. The fact that they were loaded, less than two feet away, in the hands of a novice, and pointed at my face had a lot to do with that.

I have pretty much met my quota for the year and given that I have planned to do a lot less travel after August, the "foreigners" will have to wait.

Our homeschool group, however, has asked for someone to coach a trap shooting and rifle team. My wife volunteered me before I even knew about it.

Looks like I will be taking many more before 2008.


Weetabix said...

Way to go!

How do you find so many people to take? I'd like to take new shooters shooting, but I'm frequently not sure how to find out whether they're shooters or not. I'm concerned that people might react oddly if I just walk up & say, "So. You like guns?"

How do you do it?

Shawn McManus said...

Thanks. I work in telecommunications among a bunch of multi-national companies.

As far as shooting goes... I don't think there is any one way I go about inviting others along.

Some people ask, "If you are from Texas, where is your shotgun?" (Literally, I've been asked that question multiple times.)

Once in Finland, the conversation with the hotel's restaurant waitress went thus:

W: "So if you're from Texas, where is your truck?"

Me: "Back on the ranch."

W: "Where is your cowboy hat and boots?"

Me: "Back in the room."

W: "What about your shotgun?"

Me: "Locked in the hotel safe."

W: "I don't know how to respond to that."

Sometimes I talk politics with co-workers during lunch or dinner (travel affords such opportunities) and when the talk turns to guns I just invite them shooting.

Sometimes, if I am already going, I just invite them shooting.

Depending on where I am, it is easier than other places. Try to find a decent public range in NYC, much less check a firearm there.

Weetabix said...

I'll just have to look harder for opportunities. My job doesn't get me into contact with many people, and I just don't feel a great need to socialize, so I don't much.

Shooting is fun, though. I think I have my dad started back up.

Shawn McManus said...

Last year I got my step-dad into shooting. He fought in Vietnam (helicopter pilot) but never found use for firearms outside of the military.

He'd told me that in his "57 years, he never needed one."

I explained that if you need one and don't have it, you don't usually talk about it afterwards.