Ellie's Training Adventure - New Shooter

Jul 13 2021

Growing up, the only time I shot a firearm was on a friend’s ranch when I was young -- and it was a BB gun. However, my dad and grandpa were determined to turn me into a sharpshooter by teaching me everything about training and hitting the target. So while the adults shot their “real” guns and I shot my pink BB gun, everyone cheered each other on as we practiced. It was fun and exciting.

As a nine-year-old, my only experience and need for a gun was for sport. But now that I’m older, I see the value they give as protection. In addition, I understand the importance of knowing exactly how the weapon works and how to handle it. Although my dad has wanted me to take firearm training/safety lessons for a while, I was reluctant until my internship at Shoot Smart. However, after seeing the facilities and meeting the trainers, it was easy to begin my training adventure.

I’ll be honest. Signing up for the New Shooter Class was a little intimidating. Learning to handle a gun and not look like an idiot in front of strangers was outside my comfort zone. I didn’t know how to aim, much less how to hold a firearm or any of the other safety considerations that went along with handling one. Something I learned immediately was how inaccurate cop shows and action movies portrayed the use of firearms. Upon understanding this, I realized two things: I do not have any practical experience. Second, the information that I thought I knew from movies and TV shows was incredibly misleading.

Among other important things, we learned the Seven Shooting Fundamentals during our two-and-a-half-hour class. Andrew Bailey was engaging and methodical, going through every step and making sure that all his students could keep up. I was a terrible student! I couldn’t do the things that should have been the easiest; I kept forgetting how to load the ammo and rack the firearm. But Andrew was patient and encouraging, giving quick direction so I could catch up to the others. By the time we started shooting the targets, I was excited and nervous. I wanted to hit the bullseye. But mostly, I just didn’t want to miss the piece of paper. We stood about nine feet away, but it was still challenging for this newbie.

My biggest takeaway is that while you learn all the basics in the New Shooter Class and shoot by the end of the night, there is still much practice needed before you can feel comfortable using your firearm. That’s why the New Shooter Class is such a great place to start. It gives you the first step in gun safety and confidence.

Join me next week as I continue my gun training adventure and take the On Target Shooting Class. I hope I can hit the target more accurately than I did in the last class!

By Ellie Everett, Marketing Intern.
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