Before all the quarantines, lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, my husband and I had a very exciting day at the shooting range. No, we didn’t get perfect zero-down targets for an entire IDPA match. No, we didn’t get to buy and try a brand-new firearm. And no, we didn’t meet the President, win the lottery or train with Benghazi warrior Kris Paronto (yet?!?!). Those would all be pretty awesome happenings, but we did experience something rather unusual — and pretty surreal.
What was this grand occurrence? Well … it wasn’t just what happened at the shooting range but more so who was there. You see, as Sean was helping our neighbor (who lives to our left) sight in his rifle, I was helping our neighbor (who lives to our right) sharpen her defensive pistol skills!
So maybe that doesn’t sound like such a big deal to you, but just think about how cool that is — to have the people who flank your home on either side practicing and training with you on the range. Talk about good neighbors!
The funny thing is, this fantastic turn of events wasn’t planned. I honestly wish I could say that I had masterminded the whole thing. I wish I could claim that I had strategically reached out to the people in my cul-de-sac to be sure they had good opportunities to get in some firearms training so we could all feel safer and get on the same page as far as defending our lives and our families go.
But what actually happened was a bit more mundane and probably rather coincidental. One neighbor contacted me months ago, wanting to get in some handgun training. She carries every day, whenever and wherever she can. But she wanted to focus on improving her shooting skills, physically, and improving her defensive skills, mentally. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, our other neighbor reached out to Sean about working on his rifle and getting in some practice while also checking out the range where Sean and I both shoot, teach, train and compete. Well, the stars aligned, I guess, on that fateful day, and off we all went to improve ourselves and our shooting skills!
Even Better Neighbors
I suppose most people would think that being neighborly means being willing to share some eggs or a cup of sugar or maybe helping with someone’s mail or watching their pets when they’re out of town. But apparently, we’ve kicked this up a notch. I believe the gift of knowledge and responsible gun ownership is one of the best gifts imaginable. And while I’ve always loved teaching firearms classes all over the country, I feel especially blessed to offer these classes in and near my hometown in Alabama. In this way, I get to make a difference in my own community with the people I may shop with, drive next to or live nearby.
These are the people I may interact with at a business, at church, at school or just out and about around the town. And it’s amazing to think that I can potentially make a positive impact on the people right around me! Of course, at our unplanned take-neighbors-to-the-range day, we didn’t just help random people from our city or folks who happen to live in our neighborhood. These are people we see all the time … who live on our street, right next door to our family!
I realize that one of Robert Frost’s most famous poems shares the notion that “good fences make good neighbors.” But I’d like to assert that well-armed neighbors make even better ones!
About Beth Alcazar
Beth Alcazar, author of Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals and associate editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, has enjoyed nearly two decades of working and teaching in the firearms industry. Beth is passionate about safe and responsible firearms use and enthusiastic about teaching others. She is certified as an instructor through SIG Sauer Academy, ALICE Institute, DRAW School, TWAW and I.C.E. Training and is a USCCA Certified Instructor and Senior Training Counselor.