Monday, December 01, 2008

New Shooter Chronicles!

Two weeks ago I wrote about a local news organization which decided to 'out' (as in "publish the names and addresses") of CHL (Concealed Handgun License) holders in Benton County, Oregon.

In the strangest of coincidences, a couple of days later I had an unusual (and very private ... Politically Incorrect, y'know?) conversation with a Co-Worker who told me that he had qualified for a CHL five years before, and that he recently (for reasons entirely unconnected with the election of Barack Hussein Obama, for whom he had voted) decided that he would not only renew his CHL but planned to actually BUY A GUN!

That's right.

He had the license, but didn't own a gun. No, I do not know the background story. It would, I'm sure, be interesting; but it it is not germane to the point.

Anyway, this friend and co-worker (I'll call him "Harley") decided that since he had the license, he was seriously thinking about buying a gun to go with it. He asked me if there was a gunshop in town. I told him that the last two gunshops in this town had gone out of business due to lack of interest, but there was a gunshop in a close town where he might find what he needed. In fact, I had bought my last two pistols from them, at a gun show. Unfortunately, although we can often find the best deals at gunshows, the last local one was in September and the next one wasn't scheduled until March. So, he might wander over there and see what they have to offer.

I also mentioned the CHL Expose planned by a local news source (via a local law firm), and suggested that he protect his privacy by going to the links which I would email to him and submit an amended CHL application.

Which I did.

Today, "Harley" and I were (as usual) the last two people to leave the office, and as I walked the office to make sure the lights were off and the doors were locked, I found Harley at his desk, working diligently on esoterice Geek-stuff. After I told him that he was 'in charge', I asked about his progress in upgrading his CHL to 'Private Mode', and he informed me that the links that I had sent him allowed him to establish his CHL application as "a private Self-Defense issue" and therefore not part of Public Records.

When I asked him if he had found a handgun, he told me that he had found a "357 revolver ... you know, a short-barreled revolver that shot a .357 Magnum load, and boy oh boy if it didn't kick like a mule!"

We talked a bit about practicing with the .38 Special load to become accustomed to the way the revolver works, and then about using the Magnum load for familiarization, and to keep as the "standard load" because if he bought the Magnum version for defense, he should keep it in that mode.

We talked also about Practical Pistol ("IPSC"/"USPSA"), Race Guns, Dot Sights ("C-MORE"), point-of-aim vs point-of impact, Defensive Carry vs Competition, and various other arcana having to do with pistol shooting vis-a-vis the need to tailor the pistol to the designated purpose of buying a handgun.

And we finally got down to the nitty gritty:

"When you find the time" I said, "Let me know. I'll take you out to the range and let you get in some practice time with your new pistol. It's important that you know how to shoot it under various conditions, and you need to build confidence in how to handle your new gun safely, and efficiently."

And I left it at that.

Harley may never take me up on the offer, but I suspect that he will. He's a responsible guy, and I don't doubt his determination to master Safe Gun-Handling Skills just as he has mastered many Computer Skills. He is, after all, an Alpha Geek.

I've already told him about a co-worker who spent a couple of Saturday Hours at the range with me "Les and the New Gun"). Some time in the next couple of weeks, or months, we'll stop in the hall of the office, or say goodnight after everyone else has gone home at the end of the day, and we'll make an appointment to spend a Saturday Morning at the range. He'll bring his new Revolver, and I'll bring a few 'other' pistols, and we'll both bring fewer rounds of ammunition than we discover we want to shoot. We'll play with guns, he'll learn a few things and I'll learn a few things, and he will go home with the new-penny bright idea that shooting is fun.

That end of the office space has always been a Liberal Bastion. It will be interesting to watch the burgeoning interest of a man who has just realized that there IS a reason why a rational man would want to own a firearm.

One at a time. That's all we need to defend the Second Amendment.

And Harley has a son. Watch this space; in a year, we'll have two new shooters who not only decide to spend their disposable income on ammunition, but the line to the check-out counter at our local gun shop will be longer by two new shooters.

I love this job.


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