So I had to experience one of my pet peeves this weekend at the range – men making women shoot a gun that’s too much for them. It was a dad this time, with his teenage daughter and son. I don’t think dad had any ill intent, but that’s the way it was turning out for poor darling daughter. I didn’t initially see the gun dad was shooting, but he and son shot first and it was a powerful bang, then they tried to get the daughter to shoot. Of course, this tiny little teenage girl didn’t want to shoot that big gun, especially since this was obviously the first time she had ever shot a gun; much less the fact that they were shooting at 25 yards, so she couldn’t even see if she hit the target or not.
After much prodding and cajoling by dad and brother, little missy actually gave it a try and promptly put the gun down, backed out of the stall, and announced that she wasn’t going to do it again. Dad and son guffawed over it, and tried to get her to go again, but daughter insisted it was not for her. Ugh! I hate it when that happens.
I had had enough by this time, so I walked over with my little .22 revolver that we shoot just for fun, and asked daughter if she would like to try mine. She immediately said no, but I convinced her to walk downrange with me – where she could actually see the target – and give it a try. At first, I think she felt like I was patronizing her and trying to get her to shoot a kid gun; and unfortunately, she had been so traumatized by her first experience that even the ease of shooting a .22 at close range didn’t change her mind. She hit the target a few times and was surprised at the lack of kick, but wasn’t interested in more.
Dad said he had been trying to get her to WANT to shoot with them. I bit my tongue and just told her how much I love shooting and that it really is fun when you use the right gun for you, and when you start at a closer range so that you can get some success before moving back.
They were already packed up and in the car when dad came back over to me and sincerely thanked me for helping his daughter and taking time with her.
Again, I really don’t think he meant to turn her off from shooting, and that cannon might have been all he had for her to shoot with; but I think the outing was counterproductive. It’s not the case with every female, but when you have a woman that is resistant to shooting to begin with, it would be worth the time and effort to find a lower caliber gun for her to try as a first experience.
I don’t know if darling daughter will shoot again or not. I heard her say that she will just stick to her horses. Hopefully, one day she will try it again – but this time with something that won’t knock her on her rear when she shoots.