There’s magic in mothers and daughters shooting together.
Within the shooting community, lots of girls have fond memories of afternoons spent on the range with daddy, but there are some things that dad can’t teach.
Women and men see the world differently.
Sure, the basic skill of marksmanship can be taught equally well by either sex, but there’s really no substitute for mom’s wisdom and guidance.
If you’re a regular follower of this blog or you’ve visited our physical store, you know that Gadsden Guns has some women behind the scenes. This blog is run by a mother-daughter team, so when we talk about mothers and daughters shooting together, it’s from experience.
It’s been said that the family that shoots together stays together, but that’s not true.
And you don’t want it to be.
If you have children, they’re eventually going to grow up, move out, and live on their own. You want that to happen, don’t you?
Here’s the thing:
While your children are living at home, it’s your job as a parent to teach them how to grow up.
Part of that job is teaching them that the world is not always a safe and secure place, then giving them the skills to handle it when things don’t go smoothly. Self defense is one of those skills.
As a young woman who has been raised, grown up, and moved out, I can attest to the fact that your parents will keep challenging you and teaching you even after you’re an “adult,” but as someone who moved quite a long distance from my parents, I’m also acutely aware of the fact that there are some things you simply must handle yourself.
I’m so glad my mom taught me how to shoot.
Of course my dad took me shooting sometimes, and my brother helped, too.
Of course there were other instructors and role models in my life that helped me develop skill with firearms.
But there’s nothing quite like mothers and daughters shooting together.
Mom (many of you know her as Pat, or just “the lady at the gun counter”) didn’t just teach me how to shoot a gun.
She taught me why.
She also taught me how to avoid situations where I might have to use a gun.
She taught me how to be aware of risky situations, and how to mentally prepare for those situations that simply can’t be avoided.
And those lessons were learned both on and off the range, with a gun in my hand or no guns in the room at all.
I could have learned to shoot from just about anybody, but nobody else but Mom would have done it with love, honesty, and care.
She wasn’t there to teach me how to use a gun. She was there to prepare me to face the real, dangerous world…because sometimes the world isn’t nice or fair, and I need to be able to deal with it.
I’m very fortunate to have a mother who is also a total badass and a shooting instructor, among other things, but not everyone has that advantage.
You don’t need to be a shooting instructor (or a badass) to take your daughter to the range.
Imagine spending an afternoon with your daughter learning to shoot together, knowing that you’re both developing a skill that makes you even more capable, independent, and confident.
Can you picture the way you’ll feel knowing that you’ve helped her better prepare for the real world?
And after you’re done at the range, while you’re sitting across the table from one another at one of your favorite restaurants, both of you still smelling faintly like gunpowder, imagine the conversation and connection you’ll have! Taking on a challenge together is one of the most effective ways to get even closer in your mother-daughter relationship.
Here are some things to think about:
- You can take a women’s shooting course. There are organizations in some areas that offer ladies-only shooting events so that women can come learn in a low-pressure, attentive, and comfortable environment. Look for ranges that offer Ladies’ Day events, and check with pro-gun organizations in your state to find them.
- You can hire a private instructor for the day. If there aren’t any classes available near you, you might consider hiring an instructor. There are lots of female shooting instructors that would LOVE to see more mothers and daughters shooting together, but there’s nothing wrong with hiring a male instructor, either.
- You can put together your own mother-daughter shooting day. For those of you with shooting experience, or even just the budget to hire several instructors, you can organize your own ladies day at the range! Shooting can be a fun, challenging, and enriching group activity – just make sure everyone knows the safety rules.
Your kids don’t have to be full-grown before you start teaching them proper firearms handling skills, either. There’s no correct age for a child to get started shooting, and you can start teaching safety and responsibility YEARS before they actually fire a gun for the first time. It’s your judgement call as a parent, but here’s a resource to help you determine if your kids are ready to start shooting yet.
Also, be prepared for a little bit of attention while you’re out. Men love to see women with guns, despite the macho-male stereotypes. You’ll probably end up in some friendly conversations about your piece at the very least, and there will almost always be someone who volunteers to help you if you look even a little bit confused.
For Mother’s Day this weekend, we encourage daughters to give their mothers the gifts they really want – quality time with you.
And mothers, you’re giving something to yourselves, too – the confidence that no matter what life throws at her, your daughter is going to be okay.
As the daughter who received that gift from Mom…thanks, MommyPoo. I sure do love you.