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Pembroke family NRA day a success

Posted by bdutton

Posted on 08:14, Friday, October 2

Pembroke family NRA day a success

Pembroke - At the Old Colony Sportsmen’s Association, George Wilson hopes to put all the negative connotations aside about guns.

In fact, he refuses to address them as “weapons.”

“They are firearms,” he said, standing by the shooting range where a host of young residents lined up to learn how to shoot various firearms. “We need a more positive image of the shooting sports. Shooting sports are a tremendous activity that you can do all your life. What other sport can you participate in for your entire life?”

Wilson took a step back and walked up and down the row of guns where kids as young as 13 were being taught how to aim and fire rifles.

He paused to inform shooters that the targets needed to be set-up, as members of the club ran out onto the range and spray painted circular targets with bright orange spray paint.

When they returned, one volunteer handed Wilson an emptied orange canister. Wilson looked at the volunteer and made sure everyone was off the range.

The volunteer gave Wilson the thumbs-up for firing.

“Everybody back? Lets light ‘em up!” he said with a chest full of air, loud enough for the entire line of shooters to hear him.

YOUTUBE VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch..._embedded

Wilson was hosting the 25th annual National Rifle Association Sponsored Family Day for the Junior Rifle Program.

The purpose of the activity, he said, was to generate memberships with families and youngsters in town, while promoting a positive image of the shooting sports and teaching safety rules and regulation when using firearms.

“This is a family event designed to introduce young people to our club and the shooting sports. We open up the whole club and the activities allow people to partake and we have a safety instruction to go along with it,” he said.

In the 25 years that he has hosted, more than 75 kids have registered to participate in the activity, not including the parents that accompany them.

And never once has he had any problems.

“Families have been very receptive,” he said over the constant booming and cracking from guns going off on the range. “We have contributed to this town and we try to be a good neighbor at all times and we have a great club. It’s a shooting club not a social club.”

Wilson has been a member of the club for 35 years and is certified in safety training as well as a certified State Police instructor and NRA instructor.

The day included archery, tomahawk and knife throwing, black powder musket shooting, rifle shooting, handgun shooting for people older than 13, free hats and shirts, a free lunch for the kids, and of course safety instruction and prize giveaways.

The steady drizzle of rain and damp conditions didn’t hold residents back from participating, as lines twirled down the wooden cabin used where people shot from and more than 35 volunteers gave lessons in aiming, loading, safety and firing.

But the most important lesson to be learned last Sunday, according to Wilson, was that “firearms” are as much a sport as any other.

“Everyone is instructing in the real deal. This is not a video game,” he said. “Unfortunately the video game has a lot of the wrong end results, but we have a positive end result — with targets and accuracy. Our message is this; we are improving to shoot better but we are never involved in combat. These are not weapons, they are firearms.”