Because I wasn’t expecting to teach the guns seminar this spring, I initially didn’t make plans to have the field trip. I worried especially about visiting an outdoor range in January, since the field trip is designed to take place at the beginning of the semester.
But as I was putting together the syllabus over the winter break, I couldn’t escape the feeling that the class wouldn’t be the same without the field trip. So, I contacted the manager of a local indoor range and gun store, Richard Talbert, who has been a guest speaker in my guns seminar both previous semesters.
Richard agreed to host my class at ProShot Range and talk about guns, gun safety, and the gun business, as well as allowing any students who wanted to shoot on the range. So, on February 1st, my students and I made the short drive from Wake Forest to Rural Hall, North Carolina.
Richard began by talking to the students about gun safety, explaining the 4 rules of gun safety and why they matter.
He then discussed the basics of shooting: grip, stance, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger press, recoil, repeat.
After gun safety and shooting basics, Richard answered a long list of questions that my students posed ahead of time about guns and the business of guns, as well as questions they raised in the moment.
90 minutes later, after signing the appropriate releases, 11 of my 15 students took to the gun range. ProShots provided a semi-auto .22, two 9mm semi-autos, a .38 special revolver, and accompanying ammo. One of the range staff, Chris, took the .22 and supervised my 3 students who had never shot before on one lane, while I took the other 8 students and the larger caliber guns.
2 of the 8 students who had some experience shooting hadn’t shot handguns, so altogether 5 of the 11 students were shooting handguns for the first time.
In our debriefing in class this week, the students appreciated the opportunity to shoot, even though the new shooters said it wasn’t something they would necessarily rush out to do again.
I am really glad the field trip came together, and thankful to Richard, Chris, and ProShots range for making it possible.