Joyce and Julia and I all came away from Gunsite feeling that this was the best family experience we had ever shared, and that feeling has clearly continued for all of us in the time that has passed.
When the horrendous news came out of Colorado about the theater massacre and a torrent of stories started to break, my daughters’ reactions made me proud. They were outraged and upset at the senseless violence of an evil and deranged man, but they were also puzzled that no one in the theater fought back. When I told them that although Colorado was a shall-issue CCW state the movie theater was posted as a ‘gun free zone’ they could not get over the stupidity of that situation, and Joyce (my older girl) felt that the movie theater was therefore in part to blame for what had happened. When subsequent ‘news’ stories began hitting the airwaves with the latest proposals of the ‘gun control’ advocates, they would spontaneously offer their critiques of these proposals based on their newly developed understanding of self-defense. It it not enough to describe this as heart warming. Rather, I would say that the maturity of thinking and level of self-awareness that my daughters took from the Gunsite experience was far beyond what I had hoped for, and much more than I was promised by the GTC.
The experience that I had with my children at Gunsite this summer was are better than I could possibly have hoped. I am sure that there are many children who are not yet ready for that experience at the age of 13 – believe me, I too had my doubts before the course started – and, unfortunately, I am sure that there are many adults that will never be ready for it. But I am also convinced that this is the sort of experience that too few young people have available to them, and I am quite sure that our country and our culture would be better served if more adolescents and adults were able to have the Gunsite 250 experience.