The Replica Prop Forum

The Replica Prop Forum
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Saturday, May 26, 2012

John Ross Stands in for Dear Abby

A friend pointed me to this.

"One of the Internet discussion boards I visit is an exceptionally civil and well-run shooting-oriented board. Recently, a young man posted there, asking for advice. He had met "the girl of his dreams" and in a few days was going to have his first date with her. He was taking her shooting, something she was eager to try and had never done. He did not explain exactly how he’d made the offer, but it was clear he was putting a lot of hope into the upcoming date, and was desperate to have it go well. He listed the guns he had available, and asked which ones he should bring and how he should structure the date at the range.

Most of the advice others gave him was good, as far as it went. They stressed the importance of safety instruction, using light-recoiling guns like .22s, and suggested bringing targets that did something interesting when hit, instead of just punching holes in paper.

These were all valid points, but from the tone of his post, I saw that this man really needed advice focused on a different area. He was obviously a safe shooter and knew to bring light-recoiling arms for a first-timer. His risk was not that the day would go badly if he brought the wrong guns. It was that he would do the kinds of things that men so often do when they decide a woman is "it." I began to think of this guy as "Anxious in Austin" and myself as the Relationship Advice Columnist. Here is my reply, edited a bit for Ross in Range.

Dear Anxious:

If this really is "the girl of your dreams" I have a few suggestions that don't have to do with what guns to bring, as others have given you good input on that score.

1. Maintain an air of quiet competence. People in general dislike motormouthed know-it-alls but are impressed when they see knowledge and skill at work. This is doubly true when the activity in question has the potential for danger if safety concerns are ignored.

Explain, don't lecture, and early on say something like "If I see you doing something dangerous I'm going to stop you immediately. You probably won't, but I'm telling you this now so you won't get upset if I raise my voice. I don't much care about your marksmanship today but I care a great deal about safe gun handling."

2. Do not fawn over her. Pretty girls get this so much they lose all interest in the guys who kiss up to them. New mindset: You are LETTING HER join you in something exciting. I hope the invitation was "I'm going shooting this weekend--it's going to be perfect weather and there's a great range I use. If you'd like to join me I'll pick you up at 8:30, if you've got something to wear that you won't cry about if it gets a little dirt on it" (said with a grin.)"

Click to go RTWT

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Great advice!! During the course of my life I have taken a few friends shooting with me. I concider myself to be a simple kind of person in regards of not been arrogant or "know it all" kind of guy, but I wonder if I ever gave lectures to first timers, specially a female companion :( I once took with me?! If this Austin guy paid as much attn as I now did he shall have a great first date for sure!! Sometimes we focus on making such an impression that we end up missing on the small details, and those are normally the ones that really hit the nail :)