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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Why I Teach

Many people that know me in "meatspace" ask me this. They note that I have a full time job, teach part time 2 nights a week ( four hour classes) at the Community College and yet still go teach Basic Pistol and Concealed Carry classes on the weekends. 

The answer is really simple. First understand that you will not get rich doing this (well I won't anyway). The cost of liability insurance, certifications, training, and ancillary costs eat into your profit. Simply put I do not do it for profit, but the "pocket change" is simply an added bonus for doing something I enjoy and more importantly feel is important.

I love teaching new shooters how to responsibly handle a handgun. Some after the first shot on the line have a smile so big it defies description. The talented Blogger Brigid however can describe it: "There is the smell of fresh blueing, the smell of the first handgun I bought. A Colt Python. Finally I held it, taking in the deep blued finish that seemed to hold all reluctant light and breath, feeling the weight in my hand, the scent of cold steel bracing me. Then I simply stepped up and fired it. A single shot, in which a lifetime lay behind me.

I have to understand as I meet people from all walks of life brought together by one common desire that what I have known for years is not common knowledge.  Four decades ago, I picked up a Firearm with my Fathers blessing. 

Have I observed magazines loaded backwards? Sure. I have also observed people cry, shake like mad, vow never to touch a firearm again and leave the range. I have learned much in this endeavor. To me growing up with firearms was a given. I am thankful for that after watching many that have not. I am simply trying to carry the legacy forward. 

The legacy is rich indeed. The first rifle I shot is here:

This is a Winchester Model 290 .22 S, L, LR rifle. I remember licking and sticking S&H green stamps in books to get this rifle. 

It was shipped via USPS to the house! 

The first pistol I carried casually  in my back pocket was this one:

Colt Woodsman Match Target .22. I am appalled that this handgun was cavalierly carried in a back pocket for so many years in one sense, yet appreciate the fact that someone could do it without repercussions long ago. 

I recently had a middle aged student in the Basic Pistol class with a new Ruger LCR. She was an intense student. She has been at the range every Saturday ever since. Adept and serious student on the line, yet funny and personable off of the firing line. She has signed up for the concealed carry class this month. She finally told me the story about how her Mother was killed with a handgun 40 years ago. That is all she said about the matter and I did not pry. She will be back at the range next Saturday.

This is why I teach. I do not have any children to pass my legacy on to. I probably will not have any unless there is a bright star in the east and camel crap in the yard. 

I can however pass my legacy on to people that have come to the conclusion that they alone are responsible for their safety. It is empowering. I am humbled and honored to serve in this way. 


  1. I'll bet you teach an awesome CC class.

    If you want, I'll loan you one of my kids. ;)

  2. @Brooke, I enjoyed his class

    Kelly, I will let you have my kid if you want him. :) He's eager to learn.

  3. I would teach but I'm really bad at teaching. ;-) My legacy is in the same place though.

  4. @ Brooke - I am told so, but I try to balance really serious subject matter with some humor. It is a long day of it. As far as loaning a kid, sure as long as you take them back with you when we are through!

    @ Stopsign- Same for you with the kid!

    @ DirtCrashr- Glad to hear it! I really had to work at being a teacher. Much patience is required and is something I normally do not have a lot of!

  5. Teaching IS it's own reward... Thanks for caring enough to do the 'hard' part!

  6. @ NFO- It truly is and after a decade of teaching tech stuff, I really have a passion for the 'hard' part! Thanks!