Life can be challenging! We all have the need to release our stress. The long Montana winters can be kept in balance by the great hunting and fishing. If you don’t enjoy the recreation that is available or find ways to release your stress, life gets tougher. Things are hardest for the kids. Our youth end up getting in trouble when they get bored. They need some opportunities for more stress relief.
We only need to look at the outdoors to find some stress relief. Target shooting is a cheap, safe, and fun way to release stress. President Roosevelt would place portraits of his political adversaries on his White House lawn rifle range. There was something therapeutic about punching holes in paper. His stress was emptied along with his cartridges. Now he could make wise and important decisions without anger.
I taught my wife and kids how to shoot. Whether with pistols, rifles, or shotguns, there is something empowering about pulling a trigger and hitting a target. Your confidence grows with each bulls eye. Life is better when we are on target. If guns are not your “cup of tea”, try archery.
Shooting is not a gender thing. Many of the best shots that I have seen are women. Every new shot is an opportunity for success. To be a great shot, you need to learn “self- control”. This is exactly what most people are looking for in life.
I think this is why “shooter video games” are so popular. Many parents don’t allow kids the opportunity for actual shooting sports. They are afraid of the safety issues. The difference is that with real shooting there are real rules responsibility and safety. Accuracy and shooting skill is important. A true understanding of weaponry is required. When hunting, there are limits and regulations to follow. In a video game, the rules are impersonal and the goal is how many things you kill and how much ammo you have!
Shooting is not for everyone. It is an earned privilege. There may be other reasons when prevention from shooting is a good idea. Mental or behaviorial concerns must be considered and monitored. Find other less lethal ways to release stress.
I am not saying that we should allow for “unsupervised” activities. Shooting is about safety, training, skill and fellowship. The rules, limits, laws and structure around shooting sports teach us many important life skills. Shooting opportunities must be earned and can be taken away just like cars and other privileges. Safety is always paramount. Many anti-gun advocates have never pulled a trigger. They just assume that if there are no guns, all will be safe. History shows this not to be true. Life is about choices and many of us “choose” to be able to protect life.
Prior to World War 2, shooting was part of the school curricula. Rifle ranges were part of Physical Education. This paid off when the US went to war. Our young recruits were great and disciplined marksmen. Guess who won the war? Shooting is a symbol of freedom.
When in a supervised environment, shooting is a wonderful way to relax and spend quality time with family and friends. Each trigger pull allows us to focus on something other than our problems. Success at shooting targets and cans builds our confidence. We refuse to become a victim. Clearer and more focused minds make better choices.
There is something rewarding when we celebrate a can full of holes. For a few moments, we did something safe, well, and fun. No one was hurt, stress was dealt with in a healthy way, and life can go on.
Shoot straight and safe!