I want to first start by thanking all my subscribers, followers, and group members on YouTube for your encouragement.
Specifically for YouTube, I originally started this channel as a drop box of montages for Young Guns shooting programs I had organized.
As Young Guns evolved into 3-Gun, I decided to upload my Action Shooting video’s as well videos with general information I had learnt through practice, acquisition and failure.
However, earlier this year, I had a hard time coping with my 3rd daughter’s health problems.
She is a developmentally disabled child, probably autistic, and she had severe and painful auto-immune reactions.
There are few things as heartbreaking as a very young disabled child who is in constant, chronic pain, and her suffering put me into a state of crisis.
This crisis sent me into a downward spiral to the point I had contemplated quitting shooting altogether.
For most of the season that is what I did.
Towards the end of the season, my wife and I were able to stabilize my daughter’s health, but she is still developmentally disabled and it is extremely challenging to care for her and our other 3 daughters.
I realized through my shooting sabbatical several principles from my fellow Albertan and Canadian, Dr. Jordan Peterson.
First, that the character needed to endure hardship, tragedy and suffering without resorting to malevolence, bitterness and nihilism is developed through the pursuit of meaning.
Meaning is found in the voluntary adoption of responsibility.
For me, directing and managing shooting programs are responsibilities from which I find meaning.
During the difficult times this year, I found that the absence of that meaning lead to a decline of my character which didn’t help me deal with my daughter’s illness.
In the vacuum of meaning, I was just angry, bitter and resentful.
On the other hand, shooting and teaching people to shoot raises my confidence and self esteem, and gives me a sense of purpose.
All of those virtues have helped me better endure the tragedy of my daughter’s illness.
I am a father, and a father is supposed to be confident, competent, and in control of his emotions.
He needs to be strong and capable because the reality of parenting is there are constant struggles, hardships and sacrifices that will test your limits in ways no other experience will.
There are good endearing moments that make up for the difficult time, but those moments tend to be the exception, not the rule.
This is especially the case parenting special needs children.
Most importantly for me as father is projecting with confidence to my daughters that I am powerful, confident, and capable but also loving, benevolent and kind, and that is what shooting enables me to get my state of mind right to do so.
It takes an uncharacteristic strength of character to shoot well. Moreover, competitive fair play in shooting sports helps imbue a sense of humility to temper the temptation to manifest that strength in a tyrannical, abusive, fashion.
Shooting makes you a better, stronger person, which is why I am so passionate about it.
With 4 children, including a special needs child, I HAVE to be the best, strongest person I can be.
Before I sign off, I’m going to highlight that I have started a Patreon account for anyone who is interested in supporting me.
I’m not looking to make a living off of this, but it is a very large drain on my mental, physical and financial resources to run and direct all the shooting programs I do.
It takes between 12-15 hours to plan for, organize and execute one of my Young Guns youth shooting programs.
Most of that time, I need to hire help for my wife to help take care of our special needs child and that is a fairly substantial out of pocket expense.
I don’t mind committing my own time and talent to promote youth shooting, but my wife’s treasure and my special needs girl’s time with me are a bit more contentious.
If you are able to, support me financially, I greatly appreciate it.
If not, you can support me by subscribing on YouTube, following on Instagram, joining the “Young Guns Calgary” and “3-Gun Calgary” groups on Facebook, or following my blog at 3gunCalgary.com.
I appreciate all the support I can get.
I promise I have a lot of great plans both for Young Guns and 3-gun in the years to come.
I look forward to seeing you all on the range!