I had a lovely friend in high school, Kirsten Brydum, who was murdered a little over a year ago by a gun shot to the head while out of town in Louisiana. Her catch phrase was, "We're all in this together." She used it loosely and often and it always pertained to everything she did and it always made sense.
I'm an advocate of personal safety. I don't care what your means are. You can be internet savvy and cautious of what you share online. You can take a self-defense class. You can carry pepper spray, a tazer or a pistol. You can avoid dangerous locations. You can put a deadbolt on your door. You can travel in groups. You can do whatever you can in your power to keep safe.
Recently I took a course towards becoming an NRA certified pistol instructor. It was a great class and I look forward to taking more classes for further certifications in rifles and shotguns, as well as range safety officer, reloading and later this month a tactical first aid course. I believe the more you have under your belt, the safer you are, not only in a protection sense, but just in a practical sense. Obviously if I go out shooting with a bunch of people, for me to have a first aid knowledge of what to do if (God forbid) someone get shot is helpful for everyone involved. Lives are at stake.
I've had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful people over this quick trip into the professional shooting world. I've met lots of great instructors who I will be thrilled to be part of their peer group. I have also been exposed to some very nasty people who say that the way some people treat shooting is a farce and no one will take you seriously. To that, I think back upon my friend, Kristen, and I just think, "We're all in this together."
Obviously, some people might be pretty condescending towards us, but the reality of it is, they shouldn't be. We all share the same ideals of personal safety and 2nd Amendment rights. Why should we treat our peers, regardless of sex or skill levels, like they are insignificant? If we share the same beliefs, why would you put someone down? Obviously you'll never teach every person in town. That's too much work for one person. We need to work together. There's no point in putting others down. All the instructors. All the gun shops. All the shooters. We're all in this together. Let's start acting like it. Together, we can accomplish great things. We can help raise awareness. We can work towards protecting our rights.
I'm proud to be a member of the shooting world. I'm proud that I now have the ability to teach and share my love of shooting to others. I am happy that I have met some absolutely wonderful people who currently instruct and others who are taking steps to become instructors. I am truly happy to have the acquaintances I have met. I think all of you are absolutely fabulous people and I think what you're doing is wonderful. I hope everyone does well in their endeavors. Again, I think we're capable of great things, so long as we remember, we're all in this together.