Passed on from generation to generation, shooting is a past time and skill that brings families together.
Over the holiday season this year, I was able to spend some time on the range with my step son. Whenever he is with us, getting to spend that time with him is always so much fun. Watching him improve each time he shoots is such a treat and I love being able to pass the knowledge of shooting that I gained from my father down to him. We managed to work out some time to go the day after Christmas and the day after New Year.
On our first range session after Christmas, I was standing off to the side letting him shoot and watched as a grandfather and his young grandson joined us in the bay. As they moved to the lane they were assigned and started to set up, I couldn’t help but smile at how lucky that kid was to have his grandfather teaching him to shoot.
The grandson (he had to be 5 or 6 years old) had just received a new .22 rifle for Christmas and wanted to shoot it. He noticed I was watching and the little guy was so proud, he brought the rifle over to me to see it.
On our next range session right after the New Year, my step son and I took my grandfather’s old Savage Arms Stevens Model 73 .22 rifle and my Ruger 10/22 Takedown to the range. He tried out the old bolt action rifle for the first time and I couldn’t help but just stare. It really hit me how generations can be brought together just simply by the shooting sports. Not only did I inherit that rifle from my grandfather when he passed, his great-grandson was now shooting it.
From generation to generation, shooting is something that ties our families together. Getting to pass on the knowledge, skill set and passion for a sport that goes back to our ancestors makes you stop and think about how many stories are lost, but certain skill sets have survived.
Taking the time to introduce someone young in your family to a time-honored tradition of shooting and marksmanship almost allows you to be a historian in your family. We are the ones responsible for getting it right the first time. The time spent with someone new is one to be cherished as well. These are times we get to spend sharing and bonding and molding the minds of our future.
When my father taught me how to shoot and first introduced me to guns, I knew I was being given knowledge that came with a great responsibility. I know that my step son feels the same way. He knows that he has been given a great responsibility as well. Not just to respect firearms, but to pass down to his kids and grandkids that knowledge that I have shared with him.
If we don’t take the time to mold the next generation of shooters, we will lose the next generation of shooters. Children and grand children are the future of our sport and hobby. If we don’t take the time to pass this passion along, the hobby that was passed to us from our grandparents will be lost forever.