I bet if we poll the audience, a large percentage of LEO couples have gone on a gun range date or two (or three, or four…thousand). For obvious reasons, police and military families have more firearms in their homes and are more likely to go shooting as hobby and as training.
Growing up, we lived way out in the county, and often would go (safely) shooting outside. It wasn’t until way into my adulthood that I ever stepped foot in a range.
And it was a bit intimidating. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say ranges can be a little overwhelming sometimes. They always seem to be full of guys who “really know what they’re doing” and I often feel like I have a flag sticking up saying “I’m an amateur!”
But the thing is-the nicest, most helpful people I have ever met are ones that are at the range. All those feelings of insecurity are completely unsupported, because both range masters and shooters have never been anything but kind to me. Which brings me to my few takeaways:
Be confident. You have just as much right to be there as anyone else! Don’t feel “less than” just because you might not be as experienced as another shooter. Or, don’t feel “less than” because you’re a female! There’s a ton of badass women out there-represent!
Have fun. I mean…that’s kind of the point of doing a fun activity with your officer, right? Shooting is an important skill to learn in order to protect yourself and your family, and also a fun experience to have with your spouse.
Be open. My officer has been shooting most of his life and is a bit of a gun nut. He isn’t at the range for advice or assistance, but to hone his skills. I, also, am comfortable with weapons and accurate in my shots, but have a much lower skill set. When the range master offers bits of advice and assurance you can either be offended or grateful. I choose to look at help and tips as kind and useful. If you’re not there for anything other than target practice, politely say so, and they’ll leave you be. If you have questions, ask, and you’ll walk away with all kinds of new knowledge.
And of course…be safe. Follow the golden rules of gun safety. Take the extra time to check your precautions. Ask if you have questions or are having trouble.
How often do y’all go to the range? Are gun dates a favorite for your officer?