From Call of Duty — To Sense of Duty


There’s a new phenomena happening at ranges all across this great country. A new breed of shooter is emerging. These “Call of Duty” gamer/common core newbies are starting to flock to our ranges in droves. With curiosity piqued from working joy-sticks and flutter buttons playing simulated shooting video games on large screen TV’s, they have taken the bold step to want to shoot a real gun. Going against the grain of their common core public school roots in which the mere act of chewing a pop-tart into the shape of a gun could and would grant suspension, even at the innocent age of seven, these new trend buckers are fighting the system of indoctrination. Common Core does not mean common sense.

So I give these Gamers credit for not following in the footsteps of their misguided casualty of peers. Somehow they were able to figure out the 2nd Amendment applied to them, bucking the system against all odds, despite what the majority of their teachers told them. Hell, it was this insubordinate spark that ignited what this country was founded upon! And now they are down at the local range, anxious, a bit nervous, not exactly sure what to do. Be a steward of our sport and nurture this spark.

Show them some common sense gun handling.

Teaching kids gun safety — while having some fun too — means mentoring and passing along what you know. It builds the future of what we all love, while creating a generation of safe, grounded young people. Here Tank and his daughter Samantha go afield together on a youth hunt a few years ago — but get in a bit of mugging to keep things even more fun.

Make Some Cards

Familiarity breeds respect. Teach and show them the four cardinal safety rules for safe gun handling. Heck, make up some small cards with the rules on them and pass them out with a smile. “Here, remember these and tell your friends too!”

1: Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
2: Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times.
3: Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
4: Beware of your backdrop. Know what is beyond your target.

Explain how you should never “laser” someone by sweeping the muzzle across anyone while handling a gun. Be friendly, kind and patient. Show some interest. It’s our future. And it just may put some pep in your step showing the path to a willing participant in the greatest outdoor activity there is. Don’t chide these newbies, welcome them with open arms for wanting to be like us. They are our future. Look at it as a sense of duty to propagate our pastime.


These kids are in desperate need of good, stable mentors. Be that guy or gal. And don’t limit it to the range. If that pesky squirt living next door shows some interest in shooting, nurture it. Although speaking to his parents would be a good step in the right direction. Explain to them how you stress safety, safety, safety and common sense gun handling skills. Tell them there’s no taboo involved to shooting.

Hell, invite them along and make a day of it. Teach and expose them all to a day-long shoot-a-thon, followed by a great cookout. It could pay off in more ways than you can imagine. They may have access to uncle Jed’s 600-acre farm for the shoot out/cookout. You never know what can happen by being open-minded when it comes to sharing your knowledge about shooting.

At the worst, you could be bringing a new shooter among the ranks. We all revert back to good training, and he in turn will return the favor tenfold. Think about that. Wanna’ torque off an anti-gunner? Take the time to teach a willing youngster safe gun handling and how to shoot straight. Buy them an NRA subscription. Heck, get them American Handgunner for their birthday. Just be a good representative of our sport — and share the wealth.

The future is depending on it.