At Shoot Point Blank ranges, we are proud of the community we’ve built—a community of people with different backgrounds and lifestyles who nevertheless share a common interest in firearms and in Living Confidently.
What does Living Confidently mean? Every member of the community has his or her own unique definition and their own story to tell!
That definition may include traditions of family and service, personal independence, the love of an exciting sport, and much more – in a wide range of exciting combinations. In this feature, we share the stories of our associates. We hope you’ll accept our invitation to join the community and create your own story of Living Confidently!
Say hello to Joshua Benson, an NRA-certified instructor from our Memphis store and this is his story of Living Confidently.
I grew up in Forest Grove, Oregon, which is located about halfway between Portland and the west coast. After high school I went to community college and worked for General Motors in their call center. In 2004 I moved across the country to Memphis, Tennessee to pursue an education in music. I grew up playing violin, viola, and cello and then went to college to major in guitar.
I’ve also been shooting my entire life. My Dad is an NRA instructor, and was Chief RSO and on the board at Tri County Gun Club in Sherwood Oregon. I mainly shot rifle growing up, because I didn’t have the strength to shoot handguns. This was because I got polio from the vaccine when I was just 3-months old, which affected my arms and legs and severely affected my right side. I have very little use of my right arm and must use a wheelchair to get around.
I turned 21 when I got to Memphis, so I decided to get my first handgun (Springfield XD9) and a carry permit to go with it. Tom Givens is one of the most respected firearms instructors in the country and he helped me adapt my techniques to shoot handguns. I trained with him for 2 years and in 2006 passed his instructor development course and became a Tennessee State Certified Instructor.
I then spent the better part of my twenties traveling and learning under different instructors including Massad Ayoob, Jim Cirillo, John Farnham and Gabe Suarez. While you may not know these men, I’d like to acknowledge and thank them for helping me develop my skills and lay the groundwork for everything I do today. Because of my hard work with them, I’ve been able to enjoy a wide variety of shooting sports. My favorites are Trap, Cowboy Action, 3 Gun, Precision Rifle, IDPA, IPSC, and Steel Challenge.
My advice to anyone facing challenges like my own is to get as much input from as many people as possible. Everyone has a different perspective. No matter what your situation is there is a solution for any problem you may encounter and no one person has all the answers. Depending on your situation you may also just have to practice more, like I did. I spent a year and a half preparing for the tests I would have to pass in Tom’s instructor course. All the practice paid off though when I passed the FBI SWAT handgun qualifier with a 96% one-handed.
What I really enjoy the most about Shoot Point Blank is the atmosphere. It isn’t the typical gun store atmosphere that we’re all very familiar with, so we end up with a diverse clientele. The ability to share all the knowledge that I’ve acquired over the years in a comfortable environment is invaluable to me.
We’re proud to have Joshua on our staff at Shoot Point Blank and believe he’s the perfect example of overcoming obstacles to become the person you want to be – living confidently.
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