My sister in law is a somewhat rabid devotee of the DNC, and she is fairly liberal in her ways. She is very anti gun/pro-gun control. While she admits that she doesn't know much about firearms, she is still set in her beliefs that they are "bad".
A year or so ago, my brother, who doesn't own any firearms, asked if I would take the time to teach his daughter about gun safety and to teach her to shoot.....I asked if he had discussed this with his wife.
So I broached the subject with my sister in law. Explained that I would be happy to teach, but not unless I had her blessing....She wasn't happy that her husband had suggested it, but was happy that I wouldn't do anything against her wishes. (hey, I may disagree with their decisions, but I am not gonna step on their toes as parents)
Imagine my surprise when a month or so ago she asked if I would teach their son, as the NRA course is qualification for a Merit Badge in the boy scouts.
Of course, I said yes.
As they live three hours away, it took a bit of scheduling, especially as I suggested that my brother come and take the course with his son. (he works in the restaurant business and his schedule seldom coincides with mine...)
Yesterday was the day.
We did the full rifle course. I had gotten the course materials to them a few weeks ago, and they were fully prepared.
Class time was, for a young boy, somewhat boring, but he paid attention and asked very intelligent questions and we went over the material.
Hours later, we went to the outdoor range for shooting.
Started off with a youth length single shot .22 bolt action that was one of the range classroom rifles ( I had taken it and given it a cleaning and tuning beforehand...this was, after all, my nephew).
The look of pure joy he had after the first 5 shots was only eclipsed a few shots later when he got his first bullseye. Then a few shots later when he got another.... then another. We went through shooting from kneeling, standing, sitting, prone. Worked on trigger squeeze, holding sight and follow through.
We moved the targets to the 25 yard range from the 21 foot range and began again.
It took a bit more work, but he began hitting at 25 yards.
We moved to the 50 yard range. Did well there too.
Then I opened up a rifle case from the back of the pickup. He LOVED shooting the Marlin lever action (still in .22). Then another rifle, and another until he had tried all 6.
Then the AR-15 with the .22 upper on it. Wow. He really liked that.
Then the 10-22 with a 4 power scope. The stock was a bit long for him, but he was THRILLED when he got 4 out of 5 not only in the X ring but all touching at 50 yards. (oh, to have 10 year old eyes again!)
Then we began shooting at steel plates. He liked the fact that he could hear the "ring" and know immediately when he hit.
A few hundred rounds later, he was hitting about 80 percent with any rifle. He went 20 for 20 with the AR at 50 yards on 3" plates at least once. He knocked over a few bowling pins too. His dad was having a ball with my Ruger pistol. (There may or may not have been a few other pistols of various calibers involved but I can't talk about that)
650+ (of .22) rounds later, he and dad were tired, sunburned, and happy.
I'm not sure if he had more fun that I did, but for all three of us, it was a damned fine day.
I think if/when his parents tell me it is OK, he has a rifle coming for a Christmas present...hopefully soon.
Now I gotta get them to let me teach my niece.