Monday, August 30, 2010
I have been wondering about how to expand the
shooting experience of America. How to get more people out to the ranges to learn how to shoot accurately with safety. The Revolutionary War Veterans Association does a pretty good job at the two day Appleseeds teaching marksmanship skills to being able to shoot 4 Minutes of Angle - which is twenty inches at five hundred yards, which means if a traffic sign were a proper target you could shoot it out to about seven hundred yards with certainty of hitting it. A traffic sign is not a proper target, I just wanted you to get the size relationship of the shooting skill. Those real manly hunters and shooters and such that do seem to shoot up traffic signs all seem to have to get close (under fifty yards to do it) since they are in rage over not getting that deer they always feel empowered by the destruction. Fools, are almost always with us, weren't they even written about in the Bible?
Now the Appleseed and the RWVA were on Fox and Friends this morning, the bubbly blond was asking the questions. The way she said 'guns' told me all I expected from her side of the conversation, on the RWVA side we now have prepared speeches of good things to say in public and to stress the Historic Heritage points we always make telling the story about April 19th, 1775. The bubbly blond did know the American Revolution was in 1776. So it wasn't a bad exposure to public view, here in the Pacific Time zone one had to be watching the show at 5:35 before coffee and the commute to the Emerald City. But the message is getting out that we do have shooting clinics for rifle around the country, we honor the heritage and would like you to look us up and come out and participate. Visit the RWVA Appleseed site. Recently, we have started to emphasize the third choice of civic action we can participate in because we fought the Revolution over two hundred and thirty-five years ago. I have not been very vocal about the opportunity to build a stronger America, I just want the shooters to become better shots, bring friends and family to another Appleseed and listen to the stories about April 19th, 1775. I am of the belief that presenting them with the opportunity to shoot well, hear the heritage and events will stir them to take the Seventh Step in taking the shot. Six steps in taking the shot are:
sight alignment, sight picture, respiratory pause, focus on the front sight, focus mind on keeping the front sight on target, squeeze, and follow through, call your shot. Yes, I know there are more than six, but the extra are refinements of the major ones. The Seventh Step is getting off the couch, or out of the recliner, and get smart, get involved and build your community. The RWVA likes to have the shooters that qualify Rifleman and earn the patch to step up and take up the IIT (Instructor in Training) orange hat and help work the Appleseed shoots; teaching, demonstrating and being safety officers on the firing line. That isn't for everyone, some people just want to shoot well, and they bring friends - which is still taking that seventh step in expanding the skills. I like the bloggers that have come and then written about the experience, gets a larger audience and maybe another shooter to sign up for a local shoot.
It is almost two years now I have been with the RWVA, a perfect example of someone that could be old enough to be a real veteran of the Revolutionary War (I am not, but I have read about it). And I have been really happy to be part of every Appleseed, large and small, hot days and freezing, dry and windy or wet and miserable - we do it in all kinds of weather, (well we did close for lightning storm in Florida). But as the organization gets larger, some of the expectations of the leadership seem to change. I seem to be stuck on 4 MOA and Honoring the Heritage of 19 April, 1775. I do like keeping it simple. But during those two years I have taught a lot of people how to shoot better, with safety, and told the story of the real heroes from dairy towns like Lexington, and bigger burgs like Concord, just folks one wishes one could have met, or have as neighbors now.
Changes being recommended, shooting the Known Distance portion - to make sure our shooters know that they can hit that traffic sign at seven hundred yards (this is not from RWVA, just from Earl so you know what the effect is). And having the instructors shoot one AQT on Sunday as their reward for working so hard on teaching and safety, and to put that smile back into their heart as they confirm they still have it. These are only my recommendations and thoughts, but it takes the shooters from 25 meters with .22 LR to the broader world of rifle, maybe even High Power. It is so interesting in the life full of flubs and failures to find one can do something to the degree of accuracy of targets out to a thousand yards. Shooting that steel Bison in Vale was a hoot.