Beretta Blog

Passing the Torch: Freedom to Fire Part 2

Posted by matteo recanatini on Apr 24, 2012 12:30:00 AM

By Austin Selph –Guest Contributor
(Part 2 of 4)
As I mentioned in part one of the Freedom to Fire series, I didn’t grow up with guns in my household (a tragedy, to say the least). Luckily I had some outside influences in the form of extended family and friends to help push me in the right direction.
Generally (and hopefully), most people don’t just stumble upon a firearm and try to “figure things out.” At some point in time, the majority of us have had a specific person or group of people to mentor us in to the world of firearms.
So, let’s talk about being a mentor. This is the guy or gal who teaches you the dos and don’ts of what being a gun owner and operator is all about. Almost every gun owner had a mentor at some point, and most have or are in the process of passing along their tips, tricks, and experience to someone else.
So here’s my story:
I grew up in the concrete jungle of suburban Dallas. Believe it or not, the cul-de-sac is not the most appropriate location for a kid trying to squeeze off a few rounds. Go figure! My parents weren’t gun owners and the few friends I knew, who grew up with guns, didn’t have parents willing to put a firearm in my hands. Can you say rough life?
My mentor, cousin Jeff
Then, one fateful day, my family took a trip to Arkansas to visit a few extended family members. This is where my journey begins. My cousin Jeff (well, second cousin if we’re getting technical) took me out to some family land to do some shooting. I truly felt the freedom that comes with a single pull of the trigger. It was an experience like none other that left me hungry for more. Since then I have taken every opportunity to hit the range or get in the deer stand, even when other activities should probably take priority!
Over the last 15 years, Jeff has mentored me in areas of gun safety and protocol and continues to pass on the multi-generational firearm and hunting experience that his father passed on to him.
The mentor/mentee relationship builds a lifelong bond through a passion for firearms. It almost sounds silly to say that guns bring people together but, trust me, it works!
And... one question: who mentored you? Or who are you mentoring? Remember your skills are only one generation away from extinction if you don’t pass it on. Find someone to mentor!
Austin Selph is a guest contributor for the Beretta Blog. He can be reached on Twitter or Facebook.
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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not represent those of Beretta.

Topics: Firearms Safety, Hunting