I’ve been a software trainer and technical writer for nearly 18 years. Before that, I was the employee who was eager to learn new techniques and share them with colleagues. My dad was a photography instructor in the Navy. So, perhaps I inherited a teaching gene.
Last Fall, I acted on a long-time inclination and sought out firearms training. I wanted to get a concealed carry permit, and thought I should be well-informed before I took the leap of buying a gun. While I expected to be a bit nervous (and I was), I was also excited to learn something utterly new. Fortunately, I picked a very good instructor, whose manner made me immediately comfortable. Once he walked me through the mechanics of safely handling revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, any nervousness evaporated.
When he took me to the indoor gun range, it was love at first shot. Let me explain: target shooting is not an act of aggression. It’s the satisfaction of achieving precision with a mechanical device. I’ve felt the same way when piloting a race car at speed, back when I was in SCCA (Sports Car Club of America). I’ve experienced the same thrill when I turned the last bolt on an engine, then turned the ignition key to bring it to life. Soon, I was going to the range at least once a week, often more. It’s a fantastic stress reliever!
When some of my women friends found out I was shooting, they asked if they could tag along. Their well-meaning husbands had bought guns for them to carry, but they’d never shot them. Soon, I fell naturally into instructor mode, showing them what I’d learned, and helping them get comfortable with their guns (and incidentally helping them figure out that their husbands’ choices might not be what they really wanted). I found myself devouring books, magazines, and YouTube videos in a drive to improve my shooting so I could pass on what I was learning.
Learning New Skills
I took (and passed) the GLOCK Certified Armorer’s Course so I could maintain my own pistols. It was gratifying to get my hands dirty taking such a well-conceived mechanical device apart and putting it back together (no parts left over!) It reminded me of the first Volkswagen engine I built: seeing how cleverly parts were designed, and how they all worked together, was very satisfying to the logical, mechanical side of my thinking.
I decided that I should formalize my role as an instructor, so I began pursuing the necessary series of NRA-sanctioned courses. And now, I’m proud to say, I’m officially an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor!
While my main livelihood will no doubt still be software training, I’m soon going to deploy a site under the Target: Libertas banner you see above. The concept is that defending one’s personal liberty is a desirable target, and I want to enable more people to be safe, responsible, sane gun owners, so they will be empowered to protect their own liberty and the safety of their loved ones. I especially want to concentrate on teaching women to safely defend themselves—and maybe discover the joy of shooting, too.