Firearms Education & Training Others
There’s so much to know as a gun owner, and some of the best resources at your disposal are other gun owners. The good news is that many of those gun owners are every bit as willing to share their knowledge as you hopefully are to receive it. As you learn from others—along with what you pick up from your own training, self-education, and personal experiences using firearms—you may soon discover that you, once a newbie in the world of firearms, now possess a wealth of knowledge yourself.
So, why not pay it forward? Why not share your knowledge and experience with a gun newbie or two the way other experienced gun owners may have done for you?
The answer is, there’s really no good reason not to. Especially if you want other gun owners to take their responsibilities as seriously as you’re taking yours.
You Have Your Own Unique Story and Perspective
Not everyone becomes a first-time gun owner for the same reason. There’s a myriad of motivations to purchase a firearm—personal protection, home defense, hunting, recreation, competitive shooting, to name but a few. Your story may resonate with someone on the fence about (here comes a pun) pulling the trigger on purchasing a gun. By explaining to a friend, family member, or colleague why you decided to purchase your first firearm, it could help assuage concerns they may have and give them the confidence to join the ranks of the millions who have exercised their Second Amendment rights.
The truth is that guns can be scary to those who don’t know much about them or have spent very little time around firearms. Relaying your reasons for buying a gun and your personal story of gun ownership could help someone you know make the right decision—even if their decision is that they’re not ready to own a gun. This is still a success story because we don’t want owners out there who aren’t all in on the responsibilities that come with gun ownership.
Your Knowledge Could Help First-Time Buyers Make More Informed Decisions
One of the biggest, scariest decisions first-time firearm buyers face is figuring out which firearm to purchase. Not just the type of firearm, as in rifle, shotgun, or pistol, but also which brand, which caliber, which barrel length, etc. There are a lot of decisions to be made all at once by someone who may not have the slightest idea where to even start.
Hopefully they’ve done some research on their own, and, yes, they can always discuss it with a local gun store employee. But a word of advice from someone they know and trust (you, in this scenario) could go a long way in helping them make a better decision on which firearm to acquire. Helping them to buy a firearm that will meet their needs and be a good fit for them.
For example, let’s say a friend of yours wants to buy a handgun for personal protection and they’re considering a smaller caliber. You suggesting that a larger caliber may offer more stopping power could point them in the direction of a handgun that better meets their needs and could save their life one day. Or, say that you know a first-time buyer looking to purchase an AR-15-style rifle. Well, if you own a Daniel Defense rifle and are happy with it—which is a distinct possibility, given you’re on Daniel Defense’s blog—we certainly hope you’d point them in our direction. Word-of-mouth recommendations from actual users are worth their weight in gold. Especially to first-time buyers looking for sound advice.
Share Firearm Resources with Others
If, while doing your own due diligence as a gun owner to become properly educated, informed, and trained you came across helpful resources, why not share them with others? If you took a training course that made a positive impact on you, let other newbies (and even experienced gun owners) know about it. If you’ve been educating yourself on Second Amendment rights and issues by visiting certain websites or reading insightful publications, share them with others. Or, if you’ve actually taken the plunge and joined a Second Amendment organization, tell others why being a member is important to you and what you get out of your membership.
They may not share your views or interests and decide to go a different direction. But, again, when you have no idea where to even start, firsthand reviews on training, resources, and Second Amendment organizations from someone you trust at least provides a starting point.
Pass on Your Knowledge to Others
If you have a gun in your home, at the very least, the other members of that household should possess basic gun safety knowledge. Teach your immediate family and anyone else who will be around your gun(s) the four basic tenets of gun safety. Make sure they understand the seriousness and severity of what could happen if gun safety is not practiced at all times.
If you’re out shooting or hunting with others, particularly newbies, speak up if you see anyone not practicing basic gun safety or being reckless in any way. Don’t just criticize or condemn their behavior; point out the safe way to do it. You don’t have to be severe or condescending. Just point out the error of their way and then demonstrate the correct way to do it in a positive manner.
If someone behaving in an unsafe manner with a firearm takes offense at you trying to correct their behavior, that’s probably not someone you want to spend time around—at least not while they’re handling a firearm. And it’s always better to be confrontational and firm than accidentally wounded or even killed by an unsafe individual with a gun.
Take Others Shooting
There’s no better way to share your enthusiasm for shooting than to take others shooting with you and let them experience it firsthand. There’s also no better opportunity to pass on your knowledge and help a newbie gun owner develop safe habits and fundamental shooting skills than at the range or in a safe shooting area.
By actually demonstrating your skills and knowledge, and then giving other shooters the opportunity to practice what you’ve demonstrated themselves, they can learn the correct way to do things right then and there. You, as their mentor, can also immediately correct any unsafe or unsound behaviors and techniques before they become bad habits that later need breaking.
As a responsible gun owner, you understand just how much there is to know and do to be a safe and proficient firearms user. By serving as a mentor to others and passing along the knowledge you’ve accumulated, the successes you’ve had, and even the failures you’ve experienced on your own firearms journey, you can help mold a whole new generation of conscientious firearms owners. Doing so keeps us all safer and smarter.
The NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation) is a great resource for firearm safety and training videos and written content – for both seasoned veterans and new gun owners alike. Check out their full line-up of safety literature here.