Regardless of why we shoot, be it for competition, hunting, personal-defense skill building or something else, the vast majority of us got into the shooting sports because they are fun. And, in many cases, our introduction was some sort of a family event. Sometimes, as the years go by, we forget the fun factor in that equation.
When was the last time you took the kids out for a safe, family-oriented plinking session? Besides having a little informal competition, this is a great way to instill safe gun-handling techniques and the responsibility that goes with them.
It is also important to remember that we learn best and quickest when that learning session is built around a fun event. Not long ago, I took my family out for just such a session at our local range. We shot plastic jugs full of water and pulverized some charcoal briquettes we'd scattered in front of the backstop and finished up by shooting at some steel plates 50 yards away. It was a great time to hone our shooting skills. More importantly, it gave us an opportunity to talk with the kids about safety and the responsibility everyone has—even the kids—when guns are kept in the home. Oh, and we learned that it is just as important to clean up the mess when we were finished.
So it doesn't hurt one bit to occasionally put aside our serious practice and spend a day at the range, just having fun. Best of all, summer vacation is a great time to get the whole family involved. So dust off that .22 rifle, gather up some suitable targets and spend a little quality time with the family. Just keep it safe and keep it fun.