My fiance, who I began dating two years ago, is from New York, and was initially mildly antigun, and was definitely anti-concealed carry. Her mother was even more so. Her mother would tell me stories about how one of their friends carried a concealed weapon, and how ridiculous and paranoid it was in this day and age, what with all of the police here to protect us, all the while ignorant of the fact that I was carrying a firearm at the time.
Eventually, they discovered my position on carry. There wan’t too much fuss, because they had already known me for some time, and they knew that I wasn’t prone to paranoia or violence. Two years later, we reached a breakthrough:
Yesterday my fiance and her mother, both from New York and both (formerly) moderately antigun, attended a firearm safety course in preparation for applying for their Florida Concealed Weapons permits. The course was billed as “taught by women, for women, with a focus on women’s issues with firearms.” At $100 a person, it wasn’t the cheapest course, but after looking around, I thought it was the best. All ammo and targets were provided, but there was an extra charge of a dollar for eye and ear protection.
According to them, the class began with a review of how crime affects women, and the laws behind firearms in Florida. Then they reviewed firearm basic terms, function, and safety. One woman began crying out of fear, and the instructors handled it well. After lunch, they went to the range, where they spent four hours firing 3 different semi-automatics and 3 different revolvers. They began with a 22 auto, and also fired .38 revolvers, a .380ACP, and 9mm handguns. My fiance’s favorite of the ones they tried was a brand that I had never heard of before. The instructor told them that they can retake the course once for only $10, if they do so within the next year. I thought it was a good deal.
I paid for the course, and now gun rights have two more people who won’t be voting antigun. It was the best $200 I have ever spent on gun rights. If every shooter did that for just one person, that $100 we each spend would double the number of progun people in the US, and the antigunners would virtually disappear.
As for my fiance, she has already made an appointment at the district office to get her CCW permit.
This is how we win: one shooter, one voter, one range trip at a time.