I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine the other day. For the most part we have very similar ideas on firearms and gun control, though he leans a bit more towards some of the legislation proposed recently. His girl friend is a High School teacher, so I think that probably plays a role in some of his feelings. I'm sure he worries about her with all these stories in the news about school shootings.
Anyway, he's in the military and was toying with the idea of getting a pistol for his girlfriend for while he is deployed. I'm sure it is as much for his peace of mind as for hers.
I offered to take them to the range and let them try out a few of my pistols. She had never handled one before (was kind of scared of them), so this seemed like a good chance to show her the basics and try out a couple, see what she liked. I brought my Smith & Wesson MP-22, Glock 17, and my Ruger Blackhawk .357.
Having never shot a pistol, she obviously liked how easy the .22 was to handle. After a bit of practice with the .22 we got her moved up to the 9mm. She was alright with the 9mm, put a few magazines through it, but she wasn't quite as enthusiastic about it as the .22. We even got her to try the Blackhawk once, but the gun itself was so heavy that she quickly went back to the other two. She handled the recoil just fine, it was the actual, physical weight of the revolver. That was fine, him and I had plenty of fun with the Blackhawk. He's a revolver guy too.
Afterwards, he was still puzzling over whether or not get her a pistol. I offered my two cents. I told him first off that he should get two pistols, one for him, one for her. The way pistol purchases go in Hawaii, it's a lot of back and forth between the police station and the gun store. If you are even toying with the idea of buying two pistols, you buy them at the same time and it halves the trips to the police station. Secondly, if he thinks it might be a good idea to get him and hers pistols, he should do it now. There is a minimum two week waiting period for all pistol purchases in Hawaii. I told him that a home defense firearm is kind of like insurance, you don't ever want to use it, but if you need it, you need it now and not in two weeks.
Also, if he gets it now then they will have plenty of time to get her well practiced before he leaves. Obviously, having a pistol for home defense doesn't do her any good if she she isn't comfortable and accurate with it.
We all had fun at the range, so whether or not they decide to become gun owners, at the very least she had an opportunity to learn about firearm safety, got to shoot a variety of pistols, and have some fun.