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Facing Arizona: ‘Shooting with the family’ is a fulfilling experience

(Thomas Yoxall / Sure Shot Photography)

Editor’s note: Facing Arizona is a series that will appear on KTAR.com and social media  — follow KTAR News on Instagram and Facebook for updates — highlighting unique and everyday people across our state and give you a glimpse into their lives.

Hello everyone. My name is Aralynn McReynolds, I am 72 years old, and I am an Arizona native. I was raised in Scottsdale and attended Scottsdale High School, which no longer exists.

One day, I went to watch my son Christopher compete in a competitive shooting match. When the match was completed, I walked right over to him and said, “You know what Christopher, I can do this!” Fortunately for me, my son understood what I was saying and handed me a gun.

This experience would be the first time I had shot a gun. Now, I started out with iron sights, and it was hell on wheels. I have never worked so hard in my life like I did learning to manage that gun. As luck would have it, I have an amazing group of people that I shoot with, and they helped me transition to a more suitable match rig.

I have been shooting now for two and a half years, and I love it! I am having the time of my life! I recently began traveling for some of my matches. I have been to Oregon, Lake Havasu, Yuma, Tucson, Payson and Tucson. We, as a state, are so fortunate to have so many places to shoot. Far more than any other state I would suspect.

For me, on a personal level, it was so important to master this skill. To be outside, active, exercising and enjoying myself, it is incredibly satisfying. It took me a year to be comfortable shooting the way I do now. I refer to the matches as “shooting with the family.” I can be competing, and surrounded by world champions and you’d never know it. No one has the attitude of “I am better than you.” It is always “we are glad you are here.” Everyone is very supportive of one another.

I won’t lie, I always want to do well, and when I first started, it was a bit embarrassing. I would practice, practice, practice, on the range, dry firing, and other match shooter were eager to help. I have never experienced this type of camaraderie within a group. It’s a family affair to be sure, and there is nothing else that compares to it. I have never felt so secure and fulfilled doing anything else in my life. —Aralynn

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