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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    New Shooter Competiton Question Comment
    Gregory Morris, 10/29/07 9:00:19 am
    Here's a question for you all: does this count for the Newbie Challenge?

    My name is JT Hayes. I work as a school nurse in southern California. One of my volunteer activities is teaching various skills through the California Cadet Corps (the state version of the federal JROTC program). Each school year the Cadets have an initial range session that includes a safety briefing, range orientation, and the beginnings of shooting instruction.
    Attendance at this training is required to participate in range activities for the remainder of the year. This past weekend, we had 30 junior and high school cadets bivouac at a local range for the weekend. As their rifle coach, I had the honor to introduce 23 "never shot before" newbies to the joys and challenges of small bore rifle shooting on Saturday 27 October.

    The schedule was exceptionally tight this year. I only had one hour on the firing range with each group of 5 or 6 students. In the past, there was time allotted for a safety briefing, etc. for all
    the participants, then 2 hours of shooting for each small group. We covered the 4 safety rules promulgated by Col Jeff Cooper, weapon nomenclature, basic principles of firing an accurate shot, and why the students want to learn to shoot in a lecture format before getting down
    to the fun stuff.
    After adjusting the weapon to fit the shooter, getting into position, and dry-firing, each cadet fired their first 5 rounds, then a cease-fire was called to inspect the targets. The big grins and friendly banter were sure signs of kids having fun. Due to the short time limit, each cadet was limited to 30 rounds -a second group of five shots, target inspection, then fire until the ammo
    is gone. The few cadets that had significant shooting experience coached the newbies to get into the sling and a prone position correctly - after all, Cadet Corps is a leadership training program. Even though there really wasn't time to address the fine points of marksmanship, every target (except one) demonstrated the shooter's understanding of the basics with lots of hits in the black bullseye. There were a few occasions when a sharp reminder of safety rules was necessary - but no more than any group of adult newbies that I have taught.

    The kids were proud of their new knowledge and abilities. All 23 new shooters said they had fun, and want to come back again to the range for more shooting. A few talked about their parent's fear of guns versus the student's desire to own a weapon.

    The next schools to hold a range bivouac are expected to send 60 or so cadets.
    Ought to be fun!


    I guess I didn't say there anything about "volunteer instructors" in the rules, and it wouldn't be fair to change the rules after the competition has started. While I appreciate the work that JT is doing here, it doesn't exactly fit with the spirit of the competition (i.e. spending 1 hour with a group of 6 JROTCs instead of 1-on-1 time with a new shooter.)

    I think I'm going to count it anyway, because it is in Kalifornia, and lord knows, anyone doing firearms training in that unholy land is doing a good thing for our cause. However, in the next iteration of the competition, I think I'll have to set a rule that says if you train 30 people in one sitting, that doesn't count.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

    Re: New Shooter Competiton Question
    Armed Canadian, 10/30/07 10:18:02 am
    What about if you manage to not only get your non-shooter to go, go again but also manage to help them purchase their first firearm?

    It looks like I\'m getting a second range trip for my new shooter and he wants to go to the gun show with me in two weeks to look for a rifle!
    Re: New Shooter Competiton Question
    Gregory Morris, 10/30/07 11:51:04 am
    I thought about that... but that really isn't the point of the competition. I mean, yeah, that is a great thing and all, but it is more important to educate people, even if they never decide to buy a gun.

    Maybe for the next go-round, I'll add "newbie's first gun" as a bonus point.
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