It’s the NRA‘s official mentoring month, which brought-to-mind a recent story shared with me by a former student who I recently had dinner with about the positive power of mentoring…and how it makes society a better, safer place, even when people don’t necessarily take to the shooting sports.
About 8 years ago I taught a home-defense handgun class that included the couple’s daughter, who had just started high school at the time.
She had no previous handgun training or experience, nor was it a topic she was especially interested in. She completed the course, which was structured very similarly to how we would design training programs today (10 lessons in all) but it’s not something she ever followed-up on, wanted to pursue as a hobby, or in which she had any further interest.
Just recently, as a young adult, she was visiting with some friends in a group setting, when the topic turned to firearms and some goofball with a carry permit decided to show everyone his pistol–which he proceeded to do without unloading it and while waving the muzzle around, flagging everyone in the room. (Seriously people–muzzle and trigger finger awareness!)
She hadn’t touched a firearm in 8 years, and has no real interest in pursuing shooting, either as a hobby or otherwise. However, she calmly was able to stand up, ask him to hand her the pistol, make it clear and safe, and delivery a succinct and effective lesson on firearms safety. (Muzzle and trigger finger–again).
Sometimes it’s easy to think that teaching or mentoring is a waste of time if you don’t win a hard-core shooting convert, but this isn’t true. Increasing the knowledge-base of the general population, especially with respect to the core fundamentals of firearms safety is never a waste of time.
It could even save a life someday.