In late May, a request went out to the members of the Coyote Point Rifle and Pistol Club (CPRPC) for volunteers to work as RSOs (Range Safety Officer) at a special firearms training event to be held at the Indoor Pistol Range. The CPRPC has its home at the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Seibel Firearms Training Range, where we use and operate its outdoor rifle range; but the club does not have access to the state-of-the-art indoor pistol range.
The FBI Citizens Academy of San Francisco’s Alumuni Association was invited to by the Sheriff to hold a firearms safety and familiarity course at the facility. Since most of the participants had little or no firearms experience, it was required that there be a 1:1 ratio of RSO’s to students while handling firearms. Thus, on a sunny Saturday in June, I and about 16 other CPRPC members found our selves supervising about 20 FBISFCAA members at the range.
The FBISFCAA members spent the first few hours in a facility classroom taking a Basic Pistol course from a Firearms Instructor. Then in groups of 14 they entered the Pistol Range and were paired up with a CPRPC RSO who supervised them. The FBISFCAA supplied their own ammunitions and each student got to fire 10 rounds each from a pistol and/or revolver on the bench. All of the students performed well and everybody left with a big smile on their face and greater respect for firearms safety.
One thing that struck me was how many of these students had very little or no experience with firearms until today. And many of them were older than me and I’m not youngster. That just reinforces the fact that since the 1960’s average American have had less and less first-hand experience with firearms. Along with the erosion of civility and our sense of civic duty, this is a trend we have to reverse.
Every year, each responsible shooter should introduce a new shooter to the range and shooting sports. If we don’t, the general public will distrust firearms and firearms owners more and more. Humans an an instinctive fear of the unknown. If we have a right to bear arms, then we also have a responsibility to use them wisely and show others how to do so.
If you’re interested in learning more about the FBI and the Citizen’s Academy, check out their website. They have chapters all over the country: https://fbisfcaaa.org/
If you’re Bay Area resident and local shooter and would like to join the Coyote Point Rifle and Pistol Club learning more on the website: http://coyotepointrpc.org/membership