I was very interested to read Breda’s coverage of her Appleseed experience here, here and here.Â Bitter and I have collectively introduced quite a number of people into the shooting world, so I think have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t.Â The good thing about Appleseed is that they are trying to recruit people into shooting, and teaching marksmanship.Â Both are very worthwhile endeavors.Â The bad part about Appleseed is they are selling shooting in a way that is more than likely going to scare of newbie shooters:
We were told to go downrange, put up our target and load up our magazines. The first target of an Appleseed shoot is highly symbolic – the initial 13 rounds serve as a reminder of the original American colonies and the red (as in redcoat) silhouettes allude to how riflemen won our freedom during the Revolutionary War.
Are they learning to shoot, or being indoctrinated into a cult?Â I mean, yeah, I understand what they are trying to do here, which is connect the history of this country to the rifleman.Â That’s understandable.Â But thirteen shots at the lobsterbacks?Â Eh… that’s a hard sell for someone just starting out.Â I generally frown on the use of silhouette targets for newbie shooters.Â Newbie shooters should be learning two things — first is that shooting is a lot of fun, and second is the fundamentals of competently and safely shooting a firearm.Â We can save the history lessons for later.
With a few kind words, I had been given a glimmer of hope – but an Appleseed is like that. The instructors are encouraging, knowledgeable and remarkably patient. Their love for rifleshooting translates into hours of consistent positivity and tireless assistance, even for someone as inexperienced as me.
It seems like the folks involved in this Appleseed event were good instructors, and it sounds like it was good instruction.Â But why follow with this:
The instructors at an Appleseed attempt to teach you to shoot accurately enough to score “expert” on the Army Qualification Course. Until you can do that, you’re considered a “Cook,” unprepared and unqualified to carry a rifle on the firing line of freedom.
Way to encourage new shooters guy!Â Keep practicing, or you’re just a lowly cook?Â If you teach people that shooting is a lot of fun, they will keep practicing, and they will get better.Â You’re only job is to teach the fundamentals, correct mistakes, and send the shooter off with a feeling that if they practice those, they’ll have a lot of fun, and will turn themselves into better shooters.Â Appleseed is a great idea, but I’m not sure I like the packaging.Â I would concentrate more on having a good time, and encouraging new shooters.Â We can connect them to the history of our shooting culture once we actually get them into it.