Although I grew up with guns and was shooting BB guns by the time I was 8 or 9, I just recently started learning about concealed carry and handguns. And there is one thing about the whole brass life and the gun community that really intimidates me and almost makes me want to stand in the back of the crowd.
I know some pretty knowledgeable gun people. People who have had years of shooting experience. I follow some very popular tactical trainers on Instagram. I watch range drills and gun reviews on YouTube. And almost every time, they’ll use a term and I’m lost. I can piece most of it together, but there is so much gun lingo, terms, and numbers. And don’t get me started on all the different gun names, manufactures, and models (although I’m beginning to recognize a few now). Honestly I know I wouldn’t be able to hold, let alone mentally keep up in a conversation with some of them. Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong in the gun world because I’ll never know enough. It can be so embarrassing to ask what others might think is a stupid question.
But here’s the good news and the reason I continue to stay involved. Just like anything else, its all a process of learning. Yes, it is intimidating with all there is to learn. But don’t let your lack of knowledge or experience keep you from getting started. Don’t nod your head and pretend you know it all when you don’t. Ask questions. If you want to get into shooting or concealed carry, start by learning the basics. Take a course. Find a solid source of information that you can access anytime (such as The Well-Armed Woman and CCW Guardian) and be intentional about learning. Learn how to shoot properly. Find a gun you like, that fits your needs and that you are comfortable handling. Then practice with it. You don’t have to know all the terms or know about all the different guns out there before you begin shooting. Be confident with YOUR gun and know how to use it safely and responsibly. And continue in the process of learning.