I was fortunate to partake in "A Call to Arms: 2nd Amendment Saturday" hosted by the Williamson County Republican Party at Best of the West Shooting Range in Liberty Hill, Texas on Saturday. It is reassuring to know that our elected officials promote our right to bear arms, and support the local shooting community. The event provided an excellent opportunity for locals clubs and organizations to share their purpose and gather new interest. A wide variety of clubs participated, and attendees seemed to enjoy getting a little taste of everything.
A Girl & A Gun Club hosted the Pistol range, and we found working the Pistol Range challenging and rewarding. It was a joy to teach proper pistol skills to those brand new to shooting, and those who shoot somewhat regularly but never had formal training. The teenagers took safety seriously, and were very receptive to directions; many of them had a natural shooting ability. I hope their experience at the pistol range (and the other event activities) gives them an appreciation and respect for shooting to help keep the shooting community growing in a positive direction.
The ladies were very receptive as well. Typically, a woman is taught to shoot by her husband or boyfriend, and that doesn't always have positive results. Woman-to-woman instruction provides a different perspective in learning to shoot, is typically more relaxed and allows for a better learning environment. The ladies were able to understand proper stance, grip, and sight alignment in a short amount of time, and a few of them learned more advanced techniques such as mastering trigger reset.
I had the honor of personally working with Matt Powell, Mayor of Cedar Park. He already knew how to shoot, but it was a joy to assist him in polishing up a few things. As a resident of Cedar Park for 15 years, it was reassuring to see my city led and represented by a very nice, friendly man who supported my passion for shooting.
I also spent time assisting John Crowder with a CAPS Club IDPA Competition demo stage; the demo stage included shooting from behind cover, a steel pepper popper with a popup target, a magazine change, and other fun features. Safety is always the biggest concern, so a close eye was kept on making sure the muzzles stayed down range, and the fingers stayed off the triggers until ready to shoot. For those that have never been exposed to shooting sports, it appeared a bit overwhelming, but most were brave and tried it out. The buzzer and timer provide that unexpected jolt of adrenaline, and many were surprised at how well they performed given the unfamiliar situation. All participants seemed to thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to try out a competition stage for the very first time.
I was able to visit the Texas Multi-Gun Club, and try out my first taste of 3-gun competition. Multi-gun is the next step I want to try for competition, so I was happy to experience it under relaxed conditions. Pistol has always been my strength, so I was surprised that I performed much better with the rifle, and was very quick with the shotgun. The Texas Multi-gun folks were very friendly and welcoming, so I am sure there will be a 3-gun competition in my near future.
I had to visit the STI bay. STI pistols have such a smooth slide, and are very easy to shoot. I decided to try out the USPSA model, a 1911 style 9mm, in the STI Steel Challenge. I was pleased with the grip, the weight balance, and the accuracy. The safety was easy to flip off, and the gun felt comfortable and natural in my hand. I was ecstatic to shoot the course accurately in 3.85 seconds, which at the time beat the time of the day. The feel was very different from my go-to Springfield XDm 3.8", so I was surprised at how good it felt to shoot....there just may be an STI in my gun safe soon!
Overall the event provided a variety of opportunities for attendees; other organizations providing demonstrations included Cowboy Action Shooting, conventional rifle, trap, concealed handgun course of fire, and a variety of exotic weapons. The highlight for me was that this event was created, sponsored, and supported by our elected officials and their associated offices. It was wonderful seeing many officials at the range, trying out the various styles and stages; I feel reassured that they truly defend my 2nd Amendment rights.