Monday, December 8, 2014

Range Time Equality

In the beginning every target looks the same. 

After reading an amusing article on Sass, Brass & Bullets I took some time to think about the stereotypes that she discussed. When talking about going to the range or firearms in general, the view from the outside is completely different than that which we, as enthusiasts, experience. In fact, it is pretty much the complete opposite of the judgmental views that many people have of the sport and of us as individuals. So I wanted to take this time to talk a little about what my experiences have been like with the sport.

It is interesting to me when I go to the range, look around, and see the different people walking off the firing line as well as those in each lane. While there are many people with tunnel vision out there who would like to paint a picture that encapsulates every gun owner out there, that is simply an impossible task. Heck, just in the people I know personally, there is a tremendous variety of those who enjoy the shooting sports. It doesn’t matter what race, gender, orientation, social standing, financial stature, or background, there is a wide variety of people on the line at any given time enjoying the same right afforded to all of us.

On the range, some people may have the nicer firearm, but that doesn’t matter. Just like the aforementioned diversity doesn’t matter. It all comes down to putting holes in paper or shots on target, everything else doesn’t mean crap. And many times we take the time to learn from one another, we look out for each other, and we admire the talent that some people have (I am certainly not one of those being sought after for tips).

We all go to the line, focus, and block out the rest of the world with a basic relaxing task that we all enjoy. Granted there are some people that go to the range and shouldn’t but, the majority of the time, those of us that respect firearms and truly enjoy the sport are there to either guide or ‘kindly correct’ them. This is not a sport where ignorance and stupidity are tolerated. Sure you can have a little fun or, within certain parameters, ‘kid around’ but this is all with safety and respect in the forefront of our minds.

The main thing to remember is that the stereotypes that are bandied about by the anti-gun, anti-equality, people out there are simply untrue in just about every sense. I have enjoyed having great conversations with a wide variety of people on a number of different topics all stemming from our common interest in firearms. At the same time, it is a great way to share time with friends within the social atmosphere of the range.

Firearms have always been the great equalizer but most people have lost sight of the fact enjoyment of the craftsmanship, skill, and talent that can be found at the range is also a tremendous means of equality. Those that truly enjoy and appreciate the shooting sports understand this and many of us go to the range seeing talent on the trigger not the differences in the person behind the butt stock. In the end, if you want to find utopia, go to the range.