For twenty-five years I have wanted to learn firearms safety. It isn’t that I’ve had no exposure to shotguns and rifles but I’ve always relied on my husband to assist in those times of “something’s gone wrong”. Time after time, it has crossed my mind…I should register for the Canadian Firearms Safety Course; and time after time, it dissipates quickly with the demands of raising a family, working and the general duties of life. This time though, I actually followed through.
My alarm rings that familiar 5:30 chime and I search the covers looking for my phone to acknowledge the startling introduction to my morning. The routine starts out the same as every weekday morning but this is a Saturday. A Saturday that starts to shift the focus to “ME”.
Today, I am not placing me on a shelf. I have registered and like all things worth doing it requires some effort. It requires eight hours of my free time. I reflect. A minor commitment, considering 25 years have lapsed since I first pondered it. It requires an early morning rise versus those sought after weekend mornings of slippers and coffee wrapped in the warmth of a knit blanket staring at my Christmas tree. Why is the first step the most trying. We overcome many things along our journey but that commitment to one’s self, desires and betterment is passed by as quickly as a fleeting daily thought.
Even at 45 I am excited to learn. It is an enthusiasm that rekindles the joy of being a child again. No expectations but absorb, learn and try. I am amazed at the diversity in the classroom. Individuals who have years of experience and just have never followed through. The younger generation used to this rapidly changing world with wide eyes in anticipation, questioning all things. God, I love this generation and learn daily from them.
A two-part exam completes the course. A written portion and hands on portion demonstrating your new knowledge and the basics of gun safety. In front of me lays a semi-automatic rifle, a hinge-action shotgun, a pump action shotgun and more. I thrive in a male dominated environment and yet never questioned my reliance for this simple yet important skill. Why did I wait so long to provide myself the skills to competently enjoy this sport? I discuss with other women in the class and find out our stories are quite similar. Love to shoot but for reasons we can’t quite put our finger on we have let time slip to invest in ourselves.
Take the time, stretch outside your comfort and enjoy what the world has to offer. It’s just amazing and waiting for you. Don’t squander the next twenty-five. If you think it, act on it all you’ve got to lose is everything from not following through.
Canada: Canadian Firearm Safety Courses
Unites States: check out the NRA Online Training Course