Using Air to Introduce Shooting
About once a month my husband and I would go out to dinner with some of his work friends, they all shared common interests such as liking the same shows, movies, and games. Most of them had gone to the range together to shoot on the weekends. One of my husband's friends, John (not his real name), was NOT a fan of firearms. I’m not entirely sure why but I believe that the dislike might have stemmed from his political views.
At one of these dinners, we were placed together at the end of the table because people wanted to see what kind of discussion we’d have. They thought that I would get into an argument with him because he didn’t like guns or support the 2nd Amendment … and I work for Umarex Airguns and shoot competitively. You could see where that might be a touchy subject for us both.
My husband had told me about how one day John was walking his dog in the evening and noticed someone following him. The man had a long trench coat on and took every turn John took. That really bothered him and he made sure to walk the dog earlier in the day from then on. A few weeks later John was playing Xbox Live over the Internet with his friends. While they were playing, John noticed a flash of light. He looked toward the window and the light started sweeping through the room. He told his friends what was going on and they asked if he had any way to protect himself if an intruder came in. All he had was a baseball bat.
When we went to dinner that night I recognized John’s name when he introduced himself. I remembered the stories of what had happened to him and we began to talk, we didn’t argue. Instead, we talked about how he felt in those moments and I suggested he try something different than a Louisville Slugger.
I asked John if he would be comfortable using a tool to protect himself but was not lethal to others. He was intrigued. I pulled out my phone and showed him the HDP 50, a .50 caliber pepper ball pistol. The HDP 50 shoots at 375 FPS and has a six-round internal magazine. The Quick Piercing CO2 System allows you to keep a CO2 cartridge in the gun, then when you need it you just strike the button firmly and you are ready to go.
He was so impressed that he ordered the HDP 50 right then and there. A few weeks later my husband came home and told me that after having the HDP 50 John decided that he wanted to learn how to shoot a firearm and went to the range with some of the guys from work.
This is a success story that I always enjoy sharing. It’s not just a personal success, but a success for our entire industry. Sometimes all it takes is a casual conversation, other times it can be a bit more difficult. Getting people to be comfortable around firearms can be difficult. Some people are very intimidated by firearms but starting with air guns can help ease their worry. I suggest starting with an airsoft gun, because it is quiet and easy to use with zero recoil. Noise and recoil are two factors that cause people to make quick judgments about a firearm.
If you have a friend who wants to learn how to shoot but is either nervous or doesn’t know where to start, I would suggest starting them off with air guns and building them up from there.
The conversation John and I had at dinner that night could have turned into a heated argument very easily. If I would have started off being defensive and pointed out what I thought he was wrong about, he would have done the same to me. That stops all meaningful conversation in its tracks because neither of us would actually be listening to each other. To have a meaningful conversation you need to start it calmly and actually listen to each other, if one person stops listening then so will the other. Just strive to be the best you can be. Be respectful and patient. Not everyone is going to change their thoughts on this subject but maybe - for just a moment - you will get them to hear what you are saying.
By Breanna Garvey
Competitive shooter, wife, and lover of shooting sports and the outdoors.