III% United Patriots of VA Use Free Gun Class to Expand 2A Rights

Hold a free NRA Basic Pistol class for new shooters.
Hold a free NRA Basic Pistol class for new shooters.

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- I was contacted by Bob Watkins of III% United Patriots of Virginia (3UPVA) to see if I would be willing to donate my time to hold a free NRA Basic Pistol class for new shooters.

His premise was simple. By holding this class for free, we could bring in people who usually wouldn't shoot, and wouldn't spend money on a shooting class. He believed if we could demystify firearms that maybe we could convert people to the pro-Second Amendment side of the debate.

I am a firm believer that getting people to shoot for the first time is one of the best ways to get people on board with the Second Amendment. I decided I would help him out and teach the class. What better way to spend a Saturday morning and afternoon than shooting and teaching others how to shoot.

Bob rented out a classroom space where the class would take place. We had about ten people show up to take the course. A quick survey found out that only two have ever shot a gun before. One was just there because her husband dragged her there because he wanted a gun. She wasn't on board with getting a gun, and neither of them has ever shot a firearm.

One was just there because her husband dragged her there because he wanted a gun. She wasn't on board with getting a gun, and neither of them has ever shot a firearm.
One was just there because her husband dragged her there because he wanted a gun. She wasn't on board with getting a gun, and neither of them has ever shot a firearm.

Before we even got into the NRA portion of the class, I let the guys from 3UPVA explain the purpose of the Second Amendment. There was about three of them that gave their take on why the Second Amendment is vital in a modern society. I think this take works a little better than just going over the historical merits of the Amendment.

By showing how the Second Amendment works in the modern world engages the thought process and taught the class how it is still relevant today. It was like being in church and hearing people giving testimony of their faith in their lives. There were historical references sprinkled in, but the members of 3UP used those to strengthen their stance for a modern need for gun rights.

I was inspired to share the story of my mother using a gun to fend off a home invader when I was a baby. That event was what made me such an ardent gun rights advocate. I wasn't planning on sharing the story, but I felt inspired to share it with the class. Keep in mind not everyone in the room was pro-gun.

We moved onto the learning the process. One thing I noticed with a free class is the people there were a little more intimidated by guns than the people I usually teach. After working with them, they started feeling a little more comfortable around firearms.

One thing I noticed with a free class is the people there were a little more intimidated by guns than the people I usually teach.
One thing I noticed with a free class is the people there were a little more intimidated by guns than the people I usually teach.

We did the standard NRA class training. During the breaks, I used the time to talk to the students in a lot less formal conversation about gun rights. During this time, we went over the procedures on how to buy a gun.

Most did not know about the steps that it took to buy a gun. They also were not aware that the same rules applied to dealers in a gun store applied to them at gun shows. It also seems that they thought that gun sales on the internet were entirely unregulated.

One of the most shocking thing to these new shooters was the arbitrary rules of the NFA. They couldn't figure out what made an 18-inch shotgun more dangerous than a 16-inch rifle. Also, Hollywood brainwashed them into thinking silencers made a gun totally silent. I explained that wasn't the case at all.

After the class, we headed out to the Range 82 in Midland, VA. Lee, the owner of Range 82, was totally on board with the plan to teach new shooters how to shoot to convert them into Second Amendment defenders. He is a staunch Second Amendment supporter and loved the idea.

At first, I could see how nervous that the new shooters were at the range. Back in the classroom, they felt relaxed practicing the skills they learned. Here, it was for real.

Instead of starting them out on a 9mm. I broke out my Smith & Wesson M&P 22c. I picked the most anti-gun person there that was dragged by her husband to a gun class. I figured she would be the biggest challenge I would have to convert.

 I broke out my Smith & Wesson M&P 22c. I picked the most anti-gun person there that was dragged by her husband to a gun class. I figured she would be the biggest challenge I would have to convert.
I broke out my Smith & Wesson M&P 22c. I picked the most anti-gun person there that was dragged by her husband to a gun class. I figured she would be the biggest challenge I would have to convert.

I walked her through loading the .22LR and putting the gun into battery. We worked on her grip and sight alignment. I walked her slowly through squeezing the trigger, and then it happened.

The gun went bang. The nervousness that was evident in the expression on her face disappeared and a huge smiled replaced the nervous look. Another round went off, then another. Every time her confidence grew.

She looked at me and said, “I like this!” She returned to firing.

One by one the students went through firing the .22LR handgun. One by one I could see them grow more confident with every shot. The object that was so scary in their minds was now demystified. They started to realize that guns are tools and not some evil killing machines.

One by one the students went through firing the .22LR handgun. One by one I could see them grow moOne by one the students went through firing the .22LR handgun. One by one I could see them grow more confident with every shot.
One by one the students went through firing the .22LR handgun. One by one I could see them grow more confident with every shot.

Every time we took a break to replace a target, or for me to explain something I would throw in their little pieces of information that the nightly news isn't teaching them. Whether it was how often gun saves lives or the origin of the term “Assault Weapon,” I wanted to pull back the curtain of the corrupt anti-gun media.

We moved up to the 9mm pistols. Being new shooters, most thought that the 9mm guns were going to have a massive kick. I could see them flinch a little bit before even pulling the trigger. I explained that they need to let the recoil be a surprise.

Their aim started to improve. More than that though, they were more comfortable handling a gun. They were still practicing all aspects of gun safety that was drilled into them all day, but they also were not as intimidated by the firearms. I left them with a strong respect for the gun.

We moved onto revolvers. Our “anti-gunner” absolutely fell in love with revolvers (and the Glock 19). Although at this point I couldn't call her an anti-gunner anymore. She was now on board with her husband getting a gun.

More than just letting her husband get a gun, she wanted her own gun. She was just trying to decide between a Glock 19 and a revolver. Her eyes were now open, and she is even seeking out more training classes.

Bob's idea worked. 3UPVA wants to hold a free class once every three months in Northern Virginia and are looking to expand it to other parts of The Commonwealth.
Bob's idea worked. 3UPVA wants to hold a free class once every three months in Northern Virginia and are looking to expand it to other parts of The Commonwealth.

Bob's idea worked. 3UPVA wants to hold a free class once every three months in Northern Virginia and are looking to expand it to other parts of The Commonwealth. I think it worked so brilliantly here I would like to see other groups try it in their states.

For about $300 in ammo the return investment is well worth it.

3UPVA website is http://www.3upva.com
Range 82 website is http://ww.w.range82.com


About John CrumpJohn Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.

  • 8 thoughts on “III% United Patriots of VA Use Free Gun Class to Expand 2A Rights

    1. “It also seems that they thought that gun sales on the internet were entirely unregulated.”

      Gee, I wonder why they would think that way?

      Could it be, perhaps, the purposeful campaign on misinformation perpetrated by the left, anti-gun groups, and their puppet media?

    2. I think this was a magnificent way to get new folks into the ‘fun’ part of our sport. My personal thanx to all that made this happen. The $$$ rewards to our sport will repay the efforts many times over, as well as the mental rewards, I’m sure the converts will discuss how surprised at just how fun and easy it was, and will probably prompt other anti’s or undecided’s to maybe give it a try.
      A building is built one brick at a time.

    3. As a militant 3%er and 2A absolutist, I cant tell you how much I enjoyed reading this and seeing my fellow 3%er and fellow NRA member put their “money where their mouths are”. Nice way to step up. I fear there are only limited ways we will ever win this “War of Leftist Aggression”. As I get a little older, I find myself advocating for a “winner take all, once and for all” engagement, to abbreviate Thomas Paine, “so my child may know peace”. But the selfless methods displayed in this story are wonderful to see. Truth is, you can go to any range in America and see experienced shooters always offering to help new ones. But this is different in that more than half the battle is getting these folks to the range in the first place. BRAVO!!!

      1. @Son of Lib, A once and for all is a lack of patients. We have to play the long game… a hundred years or more.
        Once and for all is also an illusion because nothing is for all time. Each generation must be taught to teach the next generation.
        A once and for all engagement is won by whomever has the most logistics. The only way to do that is get the libtard/progtard/commutards to revolt while a conservative administration is in power, and we have the federal logistical tail. Then we can “help”.

    4. I grew up in a little town in Northern Virginia named Dumfries. Besides being Virginia’s oldest incorporated town and formerly the largest shipping port on the east coast there was little else there. At 9 my buddy and I were in the woods target practicing with his pair of Marlin .22’s. In Boy Scouts my Scoutmaster was a prominent Marine and had the internal pull to take our troop out to Weapons Batillion in Quantico frequently to shoot at the indoor range. At 12 and 13 years old I didn’t realize how incredibly good I had it to be taught rifle marksmanship skills one on one with a Marine sniper. Being from a small town (even though we were only 25 miles of DC) I had no idea some people were “anti gun” until I was well out of high school. Everyone I knew either liked firearms or at least never spoke badly about them, even if they weren’t “their thing”. My mom would fit in that category, she has never shot a gun in her 81 years but she is far from being an “anti”, she just says they “aren’t for her”.

      It is a shame that our country has vilified weapons using a false a narrative instead of educating people on what amazing tools they truly are and then letting them form their own opinion. The media (on all subjects) is no longer news, it is a propaganda machine a la Joseph Goebbels. Example… Walter Cronkite was a flaming liberal… but we didn’t find that out until he retired from CBS. Why? Because he reported the news, the facts and let you forge your own opinion. Now they force feed you only the info they want you have, the opinion has already been made for you. “35,000 people killed every year by guns”… let’s leave out the details to make people afraid of guns.

      The cross section John had in his class is common, especially the woman who started the day as an “anti”. She had been brainwashed by the media and the only way to “heal” those people is to take them shooting. If you have an “anti” friend, invite them to go shooting, if they say “no” reply “maybe next time”. Have you ever had a deeply religious friend or co-worker who always invited you to church? If they stayed on you long enough what happened? You went one time just to shut them up, right? Same premise but one good day at the range and they will be doing what the wife did in this story, trying to decide which gun she wants to buy. We know how addictive shooting is, now they need to find out. For all that is good DON’T tell them how addictive it is just let them learn that on their own :-). Don’t forget that May is take a friend shooting month… oh, so is June, and July, and August…

      1. You are right talking to people and getting them to the range is about all it takes, because then they discover shooting is fun. I have taught a number of family, friends and co-workers firearm safety and how to shoot. They always leave happy. Recently one of the employees at the range said I must be a good teacher, since everyone always enjoys their range time. I believe it’s just that shooting is fun.

        1. @Heed that is an excellent point! In the battle for hearts and minds, we have “fun” on our side. What replacement does the gun ban crowd offer? Nothing.

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