The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
'Zack right, he is!
Although I did start 'later' in life, I wasn't a bit daunted, just really psyched.
The daunting came a bit later after I'd been exposed to all the 'helpful' range personnel who made it their business to daunt and intimidate; for example, to attempt to correct the grip I was comfortable, safe and accurate with because it wasn't technically correct....according to them. Or the woman who announced to the room at large that I was 'limpwristing', when it turned out the extractor was bad.
As far as other shooters at the ranges go, I've seen nothing but kindness and generosity.
I'm a 1911 owner but not pushy about it. Guns are an individual preference; what's right for me may not be for thee.
So right. I was raised around firearms and I love them!! I would be lost without my Rugers. I love them...and I am into long distance rifles, as well.
I have come across some people like you have. Pisses me off. At the range, I've had the pleasure of shooters that were very sweet, and shooters who were too cocky for their own good. A man next to me wanted "to make things interesting". He use his .45 and I use mine...whoever shot the best...won the wager...if he won, he got to take me to breakfast...if I won, I would tell him what I wanted afterward.
I won. My request was that he leave me alone so I could shoot in peace...you should have seen the look on his face when I whispered that in his ear.
I had a similar problem when I was first learning to shoot. My now-husband was teaching me, and in the earliest phases I was having a really hard time keeping everything straight in my head- this is how to load, this is where the safety is, this is how you have to hold it, this is how you have to breathe...
The problem was that I was learning basic gun safety at the same time, and every time I slipped at all on it, my teacher would treat me as he had treated his ROTC rifle team- he'd BARK a "STOP!" into my ear. Which would make me jump out of my skin and immediately forget absolutely everything I had been trying to juggle in my head. (I have a ridiculous startle response to unexpected loud noises when I'm trying to concentrate. It's been used to high comedy in other contexts, but it wasn't so funny then.)
When he asked me why my enthusiasm seemed to be waning more and more from session to session, I made the mistake of telling him exactly that and not elaborating with "how you can make this easier on me".
Meaning well, he took it to his veteran shooters' crowd as a question. Their response was an overwhelming outpouring of "Oh now little lady, you just have to understand that your husband LOVES you and that's why he's saying all those mean things to you so you don't get hurt. Darlin'."
I was so revolted by the level of condescension I damn near walked away from the whole thing on the spot.
After a discussion (he wasn't pleased either), he merely went from a shout to a firm tone that didn't startle me so much and I got over that learning curve quickly- much more so now that it was more fun than nerve-jangling.
I learned to shoot and to hunt when I was four years old. I was keeping down the jackrabbit population on our farm using a Remington Model 12 from a moving tractor before I was allowed to run a lawnmower.
I have never understood fear of guns.
I was raised in a gun-less household, though my mom's dad and brother grew-up hunting in Nebraska and Utah. For many, many, years he believed his father ended his own life with a gun and so had a great distaste and contempt for them, and becoming a minister he also became a proponent of Ghandi-type pacifism. Turns out a few years back, researching geneology they went through the old County documents, the discovered his dad had hung himself. Still no change but at 82 I don't expect that.
He = my Dad.