Helping Someone Down the Path | Voices of the USCCA

holding handgun

We all started somewhere.

How have you helped another person on their path to becoming a responsibly armed citizen? How did another person help you along your own path?


When my son-in-law and his wife moved to Georgia, I began transitioning him into the firearms culture by selling him my Ruger GP100 and taking him to the range. He has since bought his first pistol (a Taurus 845), applied for his Georgia Weapons Permit, taking a basic handgun and shotgun safety courses, and bought a Maverick 12 gauge for the house. Now, he’s begun reloading and can almost outshoot me (but not yet).

— Daryl in Georgia


A woman showed up for a four-hour basic pistol class today. She asked every question. She wanted to do all the administrative drills and seemed to be “on point” all afternoon. She divorced her husband some time ago and fell in with another man. The situation escalated to the point she got a domestic restraining order on him. A piece of paper will not stop someone right here, right now, with intent to cause you harm. I applaud her understanding of this fact and that she spent the time and money today to learn. I am very humbled. I have a lifetime of shooting. What gives me the right to tell anyone about my experiences? She is in fear of this man. At least I can tell her how firearms work.

After four hours in the classroom we go live fire. First for her, a Taurus .22 revolver. Then a Taurus .38 revolver. Then a Glock 9mm. It all became demystified for her today. She became empowered. She knew. She understands how these tools work. I saw her stand up a bit straighter. She actually laughed and made jokes after the live fire exercise. She will be back for the concealed carry class.

— Kelly Eads


From the day I purchased my first rifle, my wife has expressed anti-gun sentiment at every turn. Last week she changed her mind when our three- and four-year-old children convinced her to go to the range with us to shoot our 10/22. By the end of the first hour, she admitted that she was having fun and that guns weren’t that scary anymore. Not only has she asked to go back again, but yesterday we went and purchased a Savage Cub for the kids.

— Kyle Williams


I run frequent introductory pistol classes, and have a web presence which includes my e-mail address. I am very accessible. One day I got a three-word email from a woman: “I HATE GUNS!” I responded asking why. I told her I know that guns are used tragically and I can appreciate where she is coming from, but also stated where guns can be used for good as well as entertainment. We corresponded back and forth a few more times before I offered to let her come and take a class for free. She attended both the classroom and range time, and then demanded to pay. I ran into her at the following gun show. She came up to me squealing with excitement to show off her brand new .22 pistol. She obtained her carry permit and I have also seen her at the range a few times after this practicing with multiple different firearms including a 9mm and .38 Special.

— Bill Clark,


I have been carrying for many years, long before it was “fashionable.” I have now convinced my 77-year-old father-in-law to get his carry permit and we are going shopping this weekend for a pocket pistol.

— Bruce in North Carolina


My Dad introduced me to shooting back in the 1950s. We started out with a .22 rifle, shooting at soda cans, which turned into a competition between my brothers and me. My brothers quit and I won when I got two cans with one shot. Turned out that one of the cans was still full. I hit it on the side and the exploding soda knocked the other can over. I never told my brothers how I did it and it is a mystery to them to this day. I’ve been interested in shooting ever since then, although I’ve never been able to duplicate that feat. I applied for my Texas carry permit as soon as the governor’s signature was dry and I’ve been carrying ever since.

— Stan in Texas


My father took me rabbit hunting in the 1960s. We used an old Savage .22 that I still use. My grandson is now seven years old, and really into guns and knives, so we’ve been shooting as much as possible. His big sisters are just now starting to see that shooting can be fun, so I’m working on them.

— Jeff in Kansas


I grew up with firearms out in the country but my two step-daughters and daughter-in-law were convinced, as part of their “education,” that guns were bad, self-defense worse, and 911 was always the answer. CCM Editor Kathy Jackson’s writing and website ( helped them, and several other female friends see, at least, an alternative in a way that I, as a MAN, could not. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

— John Doe


I guess the best thing I’ve done was take a buddy of mine shooting. He hadn’t shot anything but a .22 rifle when he was a kid. So with the cooperation of our local indoor range Ken got introduced to AR-15 and a Sig 232 in .380. He loved the AR-15 and if the range would let us shoot reloads he could have shot a lot more. The .380 didn’t work so well for him. Being a quadriplegic the little gun didn’t fit his crippled, bent hands very well. The guys at the range reserved a wheelchair accessible lane for us so he didn’t have a problem with the bench being in the way. The sad thing is right about the time I got him into the sport and before I could fit him with a handgun, Obama got elected and the price of ammunition went sky high. With both of us on a fixed income shooting is more than he can afford and I can’t buy for both of us. Maybe this summer I can get him to my outdoor range with a few hundred reloads. I wonder how good the brakes are on his wheelchair?

— Fred in Wyoming


My father and a good friend of his took a couple of us out shooting on some private land many years ago. The men not only showed us how to shoot the rifles, but also shot with us and encouraged us as we shot. They watched us very close and would not let us do anything that was careless or sloppy. The best part may have been helping my father clean his gun after we had finished shooting. He explained all the parts and how each of them worked. This is probably why I still enjoy cleaning my guns and checking the operation after shooting.

I have encouraged several of the people I work with to get their license. One just got his license about a month ago and he is telling the others in the group that they should begin to work on theirs.

— John Smith


Most of my friends are musicians and know about my interest in pistols. I have taken six of them to the range and introduced them to target shooting. We always start with an evening of introduction to pistols at my house and follow it up the next day with some time at the range. Every single one of them has done very well on the range. I may be wrong, but I attribute it to professional classical musicians having extreme attention to detail. We tend to be very [obsessive-compulsive] about our activities and this was no exception!

Two of them kept going and received their CHL. When time permits, we have a musicians’ night at the range—great to shoot with friends. We spread the word and look forward to more of our buddies joining us at the range.

— Steve in Texas


Next Issue’s Question:

If you could give ONE piece of advice to someone just starting to think about concealed carry, what would you tell them? What ONE thing do you wish someone had told you when you were first getting started with concealed carry?

Send your comments to Each entry must use fewer than 75 words, and must be signed either with a complete name or with a first name plus location. Due to volume received, not all submissions can be acknowledged. Entries may be edited for length and clarity.

This article is featured in the following categories:

Published By USCCA

We're here to help you

Prepare and Protect Your Family

  • - Knowledge
  • - Training
  • - Trusted Legal Protection