Go To Gun School!

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Can you spot what’s wrong with the picture above?

After returning from Florida after my first experience in firing a gun, I decided to attend a firearms class to learn how to keep myself safe.  After all, I’d rather be in the local police blotter for shooting a home invader and not accidentally shooting myself, my kid or my cats.  I personally knew of two gun ranges near where I lived and took the time to drop in and speak with some of salespeople to inquire about various firearms available, their gun range policy and whatNRA certified instructors taught on site and were up to teaching a firearms novice such as myself.

The person who wound up being my instructor  I chose because he took a good amount of time and vested interest in finding out from me exactly why I wanted to learn how to use a firearm.  It was also a plus he was an ‘in house’ instructor and part-owner of this particular gun range. In addition, he emphasized just how important ‘book’ knowledge about firearms is before even firing off a round. My instructor was a physics major in college, a veteran and a former Blackwater firearms instructor.

During the class instruction time I got a brief history of firearms, ‘instruction’ firearms to get used to holding a weapon, why an active safety is a tragic accident waiting to happen, dry-firing, the different caliber of weapons available and the ‘mentality’ of having to fire a weapon.  I did like that my instructor asked if I had children at home and went over several options for keeping my firearm secured and away from curious hands. I had so many questions and he had so many detailed answers that I didn’t get a chance to have some range time as part of the class that day.  

So, where should you start looking to find a firearms class? A good place to start is calling your local police department.  You can also check out the NRA website or even ask at  sporting goods stores or even WalMart stores that stil sell firearms.  While looking, please keep in mind that just because a gun range offers classes, doesn’t mean it’s right for you.   A few ranges I went to had outsourced their instructors. Some didn’t answer phone calls, some didn’t answer emails.  Those you definitely do NOT want.  If they can’t be bothered to contact you back what makes you think they’re worth your time and hard-earned money as a instructor?

After all of that ‘instruction’, I came away with three cardinal rules for myself with regards to firearms:

1.     The best safety is your finger–keep it OFF the trigger

2.     Assume the chamber is ALWAYS loaded

3.     When in doubt, the chamber is ALWAYS loaded

So, do you see what’s wrong in the picture? If you still don’t—don’t worry—GO TO GUN SCHOOL!

You don’t want to be ‘that’ chick.


Trish Williams

Trish Williams is a former engineering major, who resides in Philadelphia. Trish is an avid reader, advocate for STEM education in schools, and a firearms enthusiast. She hopes to relocate to the coastal South for warmer weather and conservative political surroundings.

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