Some of these individuals have a background that included guns, while others have never even held a pistol and are intimidated by the experience.
The reasons for owning and learning about guns vary widely. Some people do it simply because they can.
They may realize that the USA is one of the freest countries in the world when it comes to firearm ownership, and they want to take advantage of that.
Other people want to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Then there are individuals who want to protect themselves and those they love. Others have a passion for guns and enjoy collecting them.
Often, firearms enthusiasts view shooting as a sport — something that challenges them to improve. They find it engaging, and shooting brings them into a circle of people they enjoy spending time with.
Individuals new to firearms are often shy about guns and may have had traumatic experiences related to them. If you are familiar with firearms and know one of these people, you should help them if they show an interest in learning more about guns.
Quite often, people don’t want to impose, and will refrain from asking for guidance directly. If you already know the person, you are in a unique position. As someone they already know and trust, you can help ease the initial embarrassment they might feel over knowing nothing about guns.
If you are looking for mentors, remember that most of the time, the people who are into firearms are passionate about them. They love being asked about guns. Some of them will talk your ear off and show you their entire collection, given the chance.
Author Bruce N. Eimer, PH.D. illustrates this perfectly in his article “A Matter of Survival” on USConcealedcarry.com where he writes about a disabled woman who contacted him for gun handling lessons. Here is an excerpt:
“I am repeatedly surprised at what determined people can accomplish. I am repeatedly gratified to share with my clients/students their joy when they succeed in learning to handle the right handgun for them. However, many of these folks need a kind and gentle hand to guide them to the point where they realize that they are not powerless and that they can handle a serious defensive handgun that had at first intimidated them. (Read more about getting people into concealed carry here)”
As a teacher, remember to be patient with newcomers. You don’t know their background and there are many misconceptions surrounding firearms today that often have to be dispelled.
As a student, remember that learning new things is inspiring and exciting. You are certain to meet interesting new people and you are quite likely to pick up a lifelong hobby that you’ll find is rewarding in more ways than one.