I was brought up mostly the opposite, especially since my father was a federal law enforcement officer since I was 6 years old. My sister and I were educated on what a gun was, how it worked, and how to handle it safely and make sure it was unloaded. We were told we could see and handle the guns any time we wanted, all we had to do was ask, and we had to wait till my father handed the gun to us. I'm sure it was very annoying for the first week or two, when we were constantly pestering him about it, but the novelty quickly wore off, and it became just something normal we didn't even really care about. Even when we lived in Guatemala and had fully automatic submachine guns, high energy grenades, and other items in the house (not under lock and key, either).Thank you for helping me shoot. It was really special for me.
I was brought up thinking all guns are dangerous and I should stay away from all of them. So, when we all went to the shootingranch (or whatever you call it...) I was quiet nerveous. Never planned to shoot a gun myself, but to stay way back... I remember you coming over, telling me it was my turn. My heartbeat was so loud, I was afraid you could hear it. But you stayed real calm and explaining everything, and despite of what I planned, I didn't freak out, and shoot the gun. Here in Holland no one believed me. [My husband] ok, he's not afraid of anything. But me... I chicken out of everything.. So thank you for helping me through and doing something I never believed I could do.
Philosophically, I believe that taking away the rights of good people does not do much to keep bad people from doing bad things. It seems like most who disagree don't actually disagree with that principle, but rather disagree about guns in particular, even when the numbers are very much against them. Often that's because we are all human, and all animals including humans tend to naturally be afraid and mistrustful of those things we don't know or understand. Those people for whom shooting sports and hunting have never been a part of their lives--indeed who have never shot or even held a gun before--feel like they are not giving up much, so they don't mind taking away rights from other people that they themselves are not using or interested in.
But in America the Bill of Rights in our Constitution is not about hunting or shooting for fun. When the Constitution was written we had just finished fighting a revolutionary war (with guns and cannons and swords, generally equal to those the British military were using against us!) to secure our freedom and independence, and we understood that it was possible that some day in the future we might have to take up arms again in defense of our homes and freedom. We hope we never have to, of course, but when you see people fighting for their freedom against their armed government in Syria, Lybia, and other places, it is a reminder that it's still possible, that nothing in this world is permanent and guaranteed, and that things can change--sometimes suddenly and without much warning, sometimes gradually over time.
So even though I enjoy the shooting sports and hunting, I also like to keep up my skills in the knowledge that the ability to defend yourself may one day be required not just against a couple of bad guys who mean to do you harm or a foreign invading force, but also against my own government.
If I can help a few other people learn to be comfortable with firearms, they will see it is not like in the movies or on TV. They can understand their operation and how difficult it can be to use them effectively and to realize they are neither good nor evil but tools in the hands of people who may have good or evil intentions just like any other fashioned or purpose-specific tool, it makes me feel a little bit better about the world, that hopefully generations to come will be a little better prepared to defend themselves and their freedoms if it becomes necessary and they believe it's worth the cost.