U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- Are we brave enough to learn about ourselves? My usual trip to the shooting range is to stand at a bench and slowly shoot at a stationary paper target a few yards away.

I don’t think we learn very much from doing that. If you walked down the firing line and asked most of us, we’d say we are practicing for self-defense. I don’t believe it. I think we stand in a line and shoot at paper precisely so we won’t feel embarrassed by our performance. Our self-image is so sensitive that we can’t suffer disappointment. In addition, we don’t know what we don’t know, so we tend to overestimate our skills and underestimate what we could learn.

Children fail all the time, but it seems we’ve lost that skill as adults. I went shooting with a friend, and the experience drove home that particular lesson.

Let’s call my friend R. The first thing R and I did was walk toward the targets we’d set up at the end of the range. R has carried his handgun for years. The targets were as ordinary as I could make them. They were blank pieces of light colored office paper stapled onto larger pieces of brown cardboard.

As we were walking, I asked R to shoot at the targets whenever he wanted to. I said, “Those targets on the left are your family. That target on the right is a bad guy who is pointing a gun at them. Walk forward until you can shoot the bad guy.”

R did, and he missed. My friend reminded me of these obvious lessons.

  • The real world doesn’t come with a flashing sign that tells us when to draw our pistol and shoot. You knew that, but we seldom exercise the decision to

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