We had a really great experience today. A group of 18 Chinese businessmen visited our department and shot guns on our range. Our Economic Development Director (now retired) Laurie Renaud, asked me about this when the visit was being planned way back in the spring. I was a little concerned because I didn’t want to feed into stereotypes they might have about American police as a result of watching American movies and TV. But Steve, their coordinator, assured me that they just wanted to have the experience of shooting a gun while they are here in the US. Guns are very rare in China, I understand.
So we arranged for them to have a shooting experience under the watchful eye of a range officer, 4 at a time. Safety is always first when handling firearms. Each had an opportunity to fire a pistol, a shotgun and a rifle. The assisting range officers were Lt. Gagnon, Lt. Miarka, Officers Brandon Hollenbeck and Matt Halligan. Deputy Director Hardesty helped with getting everyone in the bullet resistant vests, eye and ear protection. We had 4 on the shooting line at a time while everyone else could watch through a window in the rangemaster’s office.
Judging by the smiles and laughter among among the officers and our guests, I’d say we all had a good time. Policing is done so differently in the world–particularly in the non democratic world that I wondered what they think of us when they compare us with their local police. Most spoke only a little English and I spoke no Chinese so we had no opportunity for an in-depth discussion.
In any case it was great fun.