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American Handgunner May/June 2012 Digital Edition - Page 40
REALITYCHECK TM first-personthoughtsonsurViVingintherealworld h e id i s m it h clintsmith fter being married to Clint for 13 An actual wedding years — and this can be said of cake for an actual any couple together for a long couple who train time — you learn there plenty are at thunder ranch “I do’s” you perform well together. together. See Then there are the activities you guys … maybe could categorize in the area of “I there really don’t,” you never try to accomplish is hope! in the same room. For Clint and I, the list is down to one activity: hanging pictures. This is very definitely something we don’t think even counseling could help. I can “eye it” to make it level; he has to measure it and get the little bubble-level thing out. I can figure out where the stud is by knocking on the wall; he has to get the stud finder with the red beeping light. I want them a little higher on the wall, he wants them a little lower. Our solution to this is easy: we don’t hang pictures together. We can laugh about the “I don’t” stuff when it comes to everyday activities, but when it comes to training with fire- I Do’s AnD I Don’ts: In trAInIng? A arms; it’s something you simply have to overcome. Get over it, and change it from an “I don’t” to an “I do” — and do it now. Having two people in the same house who don’t train together is like the two of you going on a cross-country trip in your car and only one of you wearing a seat belt. Someone is going to get hurt if things go wrong, and when you’re not on the same page about the defense of yourselves and family, then you’re literally asking for tragedy. Some of you reading this (I’m assuming it will be mostly husbands) might be saying things like, “Oh, I would love to have my wife be into guns, but she wants nothing to do with it.” I completely understand, but as Clint says, “You got her to marry you, so you can be smooth enough to get her to have a basic knowledge of the firearms in your home too.” All-Ladies Classes O the very person most likely to be with you when the chips are down is your wife — shouldn’t you make training an “I do” part of your relationship? ne of the helpful ways you can get her into shooting is by sending her to a class all on her own, and, better yet, send her with one of her girlfriends. There are many all-lady classes around the country. I have been teaching them since the early 1990s, well before Clint and I got married. My mom and I spent years teaching one of the very first all-female programs in the country. It was not a man-hating class; it was about getting ladies in the door and being around others of like-interest — new to guns. Questions such as, “How does this gun work?” and, “If I’m going to use one, I need to do it the right way, so can you show me?” were always on their minds. After the initial get them through the door part, you have to make it top priority to get this newfound practice and training right up there with other vows like “In sickness and health” and “In the hour of our reloads.” Most of us will try something if we enjoy it, and shooting can be the same way. ne of the very first all-lady classes we taught at Thunder Ranch Texas had a female student who actually changed the way our staff thought about this type of class. At the start, some felt there was only a limited need for this type of class — easy to say when you have spouses already into the “I do” gun portion of the marriage. We taught a student who came to classes by himself for years. He was a wonderful man, whose one and only goal was to someday get his wife into guns. The first all-lady class was the key for him. His wife showed up for her first but tHiS iS Fun o class, and she didn’t smile or speak for two days. We were all feeling just horrid; this was not going to work out for either of them, and we had ruined the chance to get her into guns. On the lunch break of the last day of class, she came marching into my office and asked me to stand up. Once I stood, she wrapped her arms around me and with tears in her eyes said, “I get it now. He didn’t come to Thunder Ranch to get away from me, he came here because this is fun!” In the following years, she came on her own a couple times, but after that they only came together, making training a priority in their marriage. As that couple learned, in the end, making time to train together is one of the best things you can do for your relationship. Also, it’s one of the few things truly affecting the “until death do us part” agreement, if you have something go wrong and end up in a fight for your lives. Make training an “I do,” and do it now. Not only will you not regret it, you just might live happily ever after because of it. * 40 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MAY/JUNE2012