It is hard to explain the love a father has for his children. I believe it is a unique kind of love that goes beyond any other. It is hard to define to those that have not experienced it. To those that have, it is the kind of love that makes a man willing to do anything and give up everything for his child’s well-being…at least that is what it is for me and I know it was the same for my own dad.
The fatherly desire to protect and defend your children is inherent and not something that can be taught. My own father realized that he would not be able to always protect me from what the world would have in store; and so took the steps to educate me. From an early age he taught me to fight (boxing was the preferred form for him) then as I grew older he introduced me to archery, making it a point to teach the history of both “sports.” Eventually we got to firearms with shooting air guns, air pistols, .22 rifles, and shotguns and I was hooked!
Although these activities were focused on safe family fun time together, the underlying reason was life lessons, such as firearms knowledge, the importance of history in regards to personal protection and learning skills that may someday preserve a life. Even though I was required to learn and understand the HISTORY of the firearms themselves, the shooting aspect quickly became my favorite father-son activity.
These shooting activities taught me lessons on physics, logic, personal responsibility, sportsmanship, safety, the moral code of using firearms, and the necessity of using firearms for both defense and for acquiring meat for the table – so much more than just throwing bullets at paper or clay targets!
My dad (a Brit born in Eqypt who spent most of his adult life in Italy and England) would often remind me of how lucky the AMERICAN people are to have a Constitution that guarantees each freeman the right to bear arms, to protect himself and his loved ones. This is a freedom that is GONE in most other places around the world; it is a UNIQUELY American freedom. It is a privilege that our founding FATHERS fought and died for so that we may be free – to bear arms, defend ourselves and enjoy the varied firearms related activities available to us.
If you are a dad, why not take this opportunity to pass these important life lessons down to your children? Teach them the lessons of firearms safety, self-preservation, sportsmanship, and history …all while having fun. Target shooting with your family at the range should be more than just “target” shooting.
If you have a dad that is passionate about the shooting sports, (even if it’s not your thing) take an interest. Maybe, just maybe you will learn something more than just “gun” stuff.
FFT wishes you all, a happy, safe and healthy Father’s Day!
Lead Instructor, Florida Firearms Training