On Saturday, my husband, my brother, and I took a handgun safety course. David and I bought a gun last year for home protection and I was very excited to learn more about my gun and basic gun safety. This class is a requirement for obtaining a concealed carry permit, but I haven't decided if I will in fact apply for one; the purpose of the class was to be a safe and informed gun owner.
The class was great. The morning was the "classroom" portion, which consisted of learning about the types of handguns, safety rules, basics of shooting (i.e. stance), laws pertaining to carrying handguns, etc. I wasn't really looking forward to spending my Saturday in the classroom, but it was fascinating. The time went by so fast and I wasn't bored for a second.
The afternoon was on the shooting range. The instructor took us through the basics, from shooting a gun for the first time (there were some people there that had never fired a gun before), reloading, and some basic drills that simulated some situations we may encounter (home invasion, shooting one handed if I were to be hurt or holding a child/flashlight/phone). Of course, safety was a main focus and the instructor was very adamant about always pointing the gun downrange and keeping your finger on the frame of the gun until ready to fire. I feel much more confident with my gun now and with my ability to use it in an emergency situation. I will need to practice often to keep that level of confidence up and get even more familiar with our gun so I can protect my family if need be. In the event that I ever have to use it, shooting needs to be second nature because it will be an incredibly high stress situation.
Most importantly, I had so much fun! I grew up in a "gun family", but when I became a teenager, I was too busy to go shooting with my dad anymore. It's been years since I've been shooting and I forgot just how fun it is. It's so challenging to push yourself to shoot accurately and to simulate high stress situations in which your accuracy may mean the difference between life and death for yourself and your loved ones.
My dad is an avid hunter. He's also a huge advocate of handguns for home safety. My brother and I grew up with guns and gun safety. From a young age, we were taught the power of guns and knew that they were serious business. They were never an object of curiosity or "forbidden fruit". David and I hope to have the same approach with our children. We will use the utmost safety measures to keep our little ones away from guns. But when they are old enough, they will be taught how to use a gun, we will take them shooting, we will teach them gun safety and self defense. They will learn that guns are not to be feared, but that they are tools that can be used in certain situations and with certain safety measures.
**Disclaimer: This post is not an argument for or against gun control, handguns, etc. I'm not interested in opening that debate, so if you comment to that effect, your comment will be deleted.