Anne was skeptical women in their 50s (or in their 60s, as we both are) could take on firearms as a new skill — so I offered to take her to the local range for a short introduction to handguns.

We covered firearms safety first and then familiarization with my .22-caliber semi-auto. She learned about correct grip, stance and sight picture. It was a burden-free experience for her: She didn’t have to worry about a firearm, ammo, targets or eye/ear protection — everything was taken care of.

During the live-fire portion, I took the first shots on our paper target (about 7 yards away) to take any of the mystery out of how it would be accessed. Anne then took about 50 shots, getting better each time to hone in on the center of the target, which was a large cardboard bull’s-eye.

Before she could get tired, or overwhelmed, we were done for the day. I gave her a gun safety sheet to take home along with the NSSF website in case she wanted to learn more about where she could continue taking lessons near her year-round home in Detroit.

An important point: Always (!) give new firearms students resources to use down the road. It’s part of the domino effect for you to teach someone a new skill and then encourage him or her to pursue the next steps.