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Thread: Teach Young People to Shoot

  1. #1
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    Teach Young People to Shoot

    Teaching implies that the teacher knows something about the subject being taught. If you had to write a lesson plan- to list out the fundamentals of safely handling a rifle, to list the steps to take a steady position, to fire a shot, to achieve a proper sight picture, to adjust your sights, to analyze your shot groupings, to use a sling...

    How well could you teach these subjects to your kids, nieces, nephews? Well, if you could use a refresher course in rifle marksmanship fundamentals, I highly recommend an Appleseed Rifle Marksmanship Clinic. You don't need to have these topics mastered in order to attend- but you will leave capable of teaching them to your kids. In fact, it's common for whole families to attend, and all skill levels are welcome. Rifles and ammunition are handled under controlled conditions and under staff supervision; safety is paramount, layered, and emphasized.

    Appleseed Clinics take place over a weekend. Not only will you learn how to shoot a rifle, but American Revolutionary War history is retold, and this contextualizes arms ownership, rifle skill, and the founders' sacrifices compellingly. Our arms keeping and bearing heritage was dearly bought, and is our right to enjoy and pass along.

    Kids shoot for free at Appleseed Clinics, so do ladies, active duty military, and elected officials. Those folks pay only range fees. All other shooters pay around $70 for two days, plus range fees. Shooters need up to 250 rounds per shooter per day, so 22 rimfire is a great choice. Most events have .22 rifles they can loan you, if you make arrangements with the shoot organizer ahead of time. That way, you simply bring a brick of .22 ammo and you're set.

    If you want to set up a target rifle for your Appleseed shoot, and your family's range practice, see the Appleseed forum topic on the Liberty Training RIfle. Basically, that's a Ruger 10-22 with M16 style sights, 1 1/4 sling swivels, GI Garand loop sling, extended mag release and automatic bolt release. Details on THR also, in this thread, post # 7:
    http://www.thehighroad.us/showthread.php?t=404255

    The Appleseed curriculum teaches you how to take solid field positions, use a loop sling, and exploit the accuracy potential of the rifle you own, not to mention sharing something of your American heritage in the process. It's one of the most fun, challenging, and moving experiences your family will undertake.

    Schedule and recommended preparation/gear here:
    www.appleseedinfo.org

  2. #2
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    Don't forget about possibly becoming an NRA-certified instructor.

    As a certified instructor, I (so far) have not charged anyone I've taught more than the cost to cover the NRA student package (that is, I've charged nothing for my time or ammo--I DO make students clean the guns they borrow from me for class ).

    Why cahrge next to nothing? Because I've confined myself to teaching family and friends.

    That started naturally many years ago, before I was NRA-certified: when friends discovered that I shoot (or nieces and nephews got older), and were interested, they'd ask to go shooting. It slowly dawned on me that I probably better be sure I was teaching the right things. So I found a training counsellor and got the cert.

    Interestingly, it had another benefit: when Mass. started requiring a safety course for firearms licensing, I found that all I had to do was send in a copy of my NRA credentials (and a check--of course) and presto! I was now a Mass. State Police-certified instructor!

    You tell people around here that your NRA-certified, and that sometimes doesn't register--some folks only "know" the NRA as the big, bad gun lobby. (I do a little teaching on that point as well.)

    But, if you mention you're certified by the MSP, and all of a sudden, parents want to bring their kids over to look at your collection (well, not really--but they certianly get "okay" with your having guns a lot quicker).

    If you want to instruct kids, PLEASE DO! But if you take the trouble to get certified as an instructor by some credible organization (to me, the NRA is the best), I think parents are more receptive.

    As a parent myself, I tend to think that certification probably means competence, and competence DOES mean safety. And safety is what I'd want from a firearms instructor, first, last and always.

  3. #3
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    Loosedhorse, I'm taking my NRA training for rifle and shotgun instructor, and range safety officer in March through our local Boy Scout Council. Handgun certification classes will be later in the year, and I'm taking that as well. What you're doing is what I'm considering as well, so thanks for your input.

    I might also add, I'm a volunteer hunter education instructor, and while that doesn't so much teach youth to shoot, it does give them strong fundamentals in firearms safety, so that's something for people desiring to work with youth to consider as well.

    Appleseed is a great program from what I've seen, and something I really ought to check out as well for some additional skill building.

  4. #4
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    I'm a volunteer hunter education instructor, and while that doesn't so much teach youth to shoot, it does give them strong fundamentals in firearms safety
    It also, I suspect, teaches ethics and basic outdoor safety/survival/orienteering--important stuff!

    I will be checking into Appleseed more thoroughly as well, thanks to Francis Marion.

    Qui docet discit.

  5. #5
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    Having participated in my first appleseed shoot earlier this year (didn't make rifleman, though) I would agree this is a great tool in your teaching arsenal.
    "Be good and you will be lonesome."
    - Mark Twain
    "Be lonesome and you will be free"
    - Jimmy Buffett

  6. #6
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    Teaching new shooters is a blast.
    The look on their faces is worth not pulling a trigger at the range.

    AFS
    'Qui tacet consentit': To remain silent is to consent.

  7. #7
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    I enjoy taking my sons shooting with me. My eldest is now off on active duty. My younger (age 15) has been shooting with me for some time but I think it's time to get another perspective other than his overbearing Dad. Thus I've signed him up for a Marksmanship course with my local club. Give him something healthy and productive to do over the summer break. Hopefully it will have a lifelong positive impact.

  8. #8
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    You know you can always tell when any demographic group is in decline by the age of its members. It holds true for churches and the same applies to the shooting sports. If you have children; get 'em involved or at least exposed. My sons may never become world class practitioners of Eastern Martial Arts but that doesn't matter. I still exposed them to it my making it a a distinct part of their general education. The same applies to their shooting skills. If you have young'uns; get 'em involved. If not, or your kids have grown find a youngster. Their out there and just dieing for somebody like you to invite them. Trust me. You'll be doing a good thing.

  9. #9
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    Air Force Shooter, I agree.... when I have one of my famous range shooting picnic days, I have family coming from Phoenix, Flagstaff and elsewhere to spend a day at the range... not everyone shoots, and a few don't shoot a lot... but my nephew's youngest son, 12, is now more than ready to start shooting our local IDPA matches.... I love seeing the look on their faces when they get o shoot a little bit of everything I own!

  10. #10
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    Seeds planted will bear fruit-sooner or later.

    I have a friend that likes to have Mom out shooting cause when Mom shoots everyone shoots-including the dog. AND Mom votes.

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