There’s a First Time for Everything
Guest post written by Sergio Ramirez, Marketing Communications Assistant
Friends always pressure you into trying new things—from mudding to cliff diving—by saying, “there’s a first time for everything.” While growing up in East Texas, I would hear friends and colleagues talk about “going to the range with dad” or “are we going hunting this weekend?” I was asked to attend, but my family was against me being near firearms. This didn’t make much sense to me because I had been playing Call of Duty for years, so why was it a big deal? Was it because my parents were the typical strict parents or were they scared something would happen? Even when I turned 18, I still was not allowed to attend a day at the range with my friends.
In 2014, I moved out to attend the University of Texas at Arlington, where I met friends very much interested in practicing their Second Amendment right. While in my fraternity we would host alumni events at Alpine Shooting Range where we would shoot clay targets & paper. However, unfortunately, I personally could not attend these events since my schedule conflicted.
Three and a half years down the road, after being hired at Sellmark Corporation, I was offered the opportunity to attend an introduction to the AR-15 class. This was something that I could not pass up. Sure enough, there’s a first time for everything! In this case, learning the basics and pulling the trigger for the first time. Our course was taught at Defender Outdoors in Fort Worth, Texas and built for individuals like myself who want to learn about AR-15s. The course focused on introducing the history and working components of the AR-15, along with the breakdown and basic maintenance.
I learned four basic parts of the firearm—the upper receiver, lower receiver, stock and barrel. Of course, there is more to learn about this firearm and something I look forward to doing in the near future, but it is always a good idea to learn the basic fundamentals. Learning the names of certain parts was interesting, like the upper receiver, barrel, lower receiver along with the gas block and gas tube.
Safety should always be the number one priority when handling a firearm. Never point the firearm at somebody, even if it’s just a joke. We also learned how to position the AR when shooting. I always thought that you had to lean into the sight, but I was told to place the stock under your clavicle for a quick target acquisition.
After the intro training, the fun part began. We went into the range area, grabbed our ear and eye protection while waiting for further instructions. We were taught how to place the magazine into the firearm and to load the first round by pulling the charging handle. From there, we were allowed to raise our firearm to our chest area, while waiting for our signal, OPEN FIRE. All four of us started to pull the trigger while aiming at our target. Once we were done, we ceased fire and stepped away from our station, leaving the firearm on the table.
It was exciting to shoot for the first time and I honestly didn’t expect the adrenaline rush. I am excited to continue to support the Second Amendment and am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend this course. In the coming weeks, I will be learning more about the platform while building my own AR in the process. Stay tuned for more of my journey as I continue to better my skills.