We’ve all learned a lot from other people - our parents, grandparents, friends, mentors, instructors, and others. There are experiences that stand out in our minds as life-changing, heartwarming, or passion-inducing (good or bad).
There are so many I wouldn’t know where to start. My best advice I ever received came from my step grandfather.
The best example of work ethic was my step-dad.
Both were great examples of how to treat others.
Both taught me how to handle firearms. Shooting was a combination of them and my drill sergeant in the army.
My grandfather, while not a good man and is no longer amongst us, was my driving passion for firearms and the military. I always thought guns were cool long before I understood the world of firearms and how much there is to learn . He started me on a BB gun and shooting pennies off thumb tacks at no more than 15 feet I’d say. He also took me to the range for the first time.
I had another man, who was basically my adopted grandfather from a former church of mine, got me into reloading (working on getting the equipment for it atm) and he took me shooting for the second time in my life (I hadn’t been shooting in maybe… 6 years? ). It was about when I was 17 (when my adopted grandfather, Moe, started me into guns) I really started learning about cartridges and firearms.
I then have some people from a second church I went to who helped somewhat guide me when I started my CCW journey but not nearly enough unfortunately.
And finally I have my CCW instructor for bringing me to where I am at now as far as skill. Sometime after I joined the USCCA and became a member and started delving into the laws and self defense. But if it weren’t for me dear mother and my adopted grandfather telling me I should take a class… I never would’ve gotten proper training (which was like a mix of USCCA and his own style ig). My mother wanted me to truly be prepared and then my grandfather wanted me to be safe. But my mother showed me the company and the class.
My Dad. He could explain how a 1911 worked to 3 year old me (we lived on a Army Base), and didn’t mind explaining it again and again and again. He had the patience to let me look through the rifle scope for 15 minutes before I would pull the trigger, I still like scopes. Spending his free time in the garage or backyard while I shot my Daisy Cub BB gun. Coming up with the deal that if I could bring him a target that I put 5 .22 shots into and he could cover them with a quarter he would buy the next brick… Trusting me with a .22 pistol in my tackle box. Pheasant hunting and 16 gauge shotguns. I miss him every day.
My experience is not to honor someone. It was to protect myself from someone. Because of that someone I have had a lifelong journey to protect myself from that person. I studied the law as it pertains to self defense, I have trained in unarmed self defense, I have studied lethal and non lethal means of self defense. I joined the military and soaked up all of the knowledge, training, and skills that I could.
When I got married, I now had more to lose, so I became more diligent, then I had an amazing, accomplished, intelligent, and beautiful daughter. I grew more diligent. That’s my self defense journey. YMMV.
My grandpa is the one who I honor or we called him “Opa” which is German for Grandpa because he met my “Oma” while in Germany before Vietnam.
It all began by pointing a plastic toy cap gun at my older sister at age 6 or 7 MAYBE 8!
You should know my OMA did all the whoopings on my behind when we acted out so, I was rather shocked when Opa who was a calm cool collective man got up and wore my behind out.
As horrible as this sounds, it was the beginning of my firearms knowledge because the next day we were shooting.
There are so many wonderful times with my grandpa but most deepest of those while in a deer stand or duck blind.
He is not longer here but, I think everytime I handle a firearm safely…it honors him.
Butch is a good friend and training officer for JCSO. He has been training my church teal for several years. He is a great guy and a great instructor. He has recently gone through an ordeal with cancer and has been unable to help with our training.
I was talking to him earlier this week and he told me that he thought he was fit enough to get back on the range training. It made my YEAR! I was really choked up when he told me how excited he was to get back to it because he thought he “had lost his reason for being.”