Hillsdale College’s Spring 2023 Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program (WHIP) class recently had the opportunity to tour the National Rifle Association’s shooting range in Fairfax County, VA. As a part of their WHIP programming experience, they have many opportunities to visit and learn from the vast resources available in and around our nation’s capitol.
Students were greeted by Henry, an experienced shooter who liked to remind them of his name by pointing to his gun case: “HENRY. Made in America and Priced Right.” The quick-draw’s humor was as dry as his powder—until it came to proper firearms handling. That was no laughing matter.
Students were given hands-on safety training for a variety of firearms, from lever-actions and revolvers to semi-automatic rifles. Boiled down to the barest essentials, these were the rules: (1) Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. (2) Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. (3) Keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
But once the ground rules were laid out, Henry livened up. Students were introduced to the rest of the range faculty, and a smorgasbord was opened up to them -everything from the Henry Model H001T (lever-action) and the Century Arms C39V2 (semi-automatic) rifles, to Ruger’s GP100 .357 Magnum revolver.
“I have been shooting with my family since I was a kid,” said Emily Jones, a junior from Kansas, “and I have always loved it. Having the opportunity to go to the range with my classmates and friends was an amazing experience.”
When asked if she would do it again, Emily gave a ringing endorsement: “Great range, excellent staff, and a fun environment! 100% would recommend.”