Thread: Ed in the news (again)...
Reporter’s Notebook: Responsible gun ownership is key to NRA basic training course
Wednesday, May. 19 by Jana Wagoner
The idea of a responsible American exercising his or her second amendment right to bear arms has never scared or threatened me.
As someone whose job is to write about crime on a regular basis, I’m very supportive of law-abiding citizens who want to do any and everything possible to protect themselves.
But I recently learned that the first step to protecting yourself from violent criminals is not going out and buying a gun.
The first step is education. That’s why I found a recent National Rifle Association Basic Pistol Shooting course I took at G3 Security Group Inc. in Sterling to be very beneficial.
I know that not everyone is a fan of the NRA. There are differing interpretations of the second amendment, and not all states agree that they have to let people carry firearms in public.
But, when it comes down to it, the NRA isn’t just political. In fact, the first chapter in the book we received for the course is all about safety.
And I think that’s something we can all agree on. Anyone who wants to own a firearm should know how to handle and store it safely.
This is where those of us who are responsible differ from a majority of criminals out there.
Criminals don’t care if they handle their guns safely or if they obtain them legally, because they’re not intending to use them for legal purposes.
In the case of the law-abiding citizen who wants to own a gun, the only possible purposes are legal – for shooting sports and for self defense.
That’s why a basic pistol course is essential for anyone who is contemplating buying a gun.
When I walked into the classroom portion of the course, I didn’t know the proper way to handle a gun, so I wasn’t really comfortable picking one up.
The course instructors Greg Stone, who owns G3 Security Group, and Ed Levine quickly put me at ease though.
The NRA mandates that there be no loaded guns in a classroom setting. That way, you get to learn how to handle a gun safely without the threat of an accidental discharge.
When you follow the NRA’s three basic rules – always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot and always keep the gun unloaded until you’re ready to use it – there’s no chance for a tragic accident.
After learning about different types of handguns, how they work and the ammunition that they use, your knowledge translates into comfort.
I passed a multiple choice test at the end of the classroom instruction and moved on to my live fire instruction.
I admit, having never shot a handgun before, I was a little nervous heading to the Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly.
But once again, Stone quickly put me at ease. For each round or group of rounds I shot, he demonstrated what to do, focusing mainly on safely handling the firearm.
While at first, the two-hand grip I had to place on the 9 mm Glock felt uncomfortable, I quickly got accustomed to it.
My actual first shot surprised me. I thought the gun would kick back a lot and be hard to handle, but I was able to handle it pretty well and keep it under control. I’m not a sharpshooter yet, but I think with practice, I could get pretty accurate.
Like the instructors told us during class, it’s about muscle memory. If you go to the range and practice enough, and prepare for your shot the same way each and every time, you’re going to be comfortable.
And being comfortable with the firearm you’re carrying or storing in your house for protection is the key to the safety of you and your family.
Now, I don’t know that I’m going to start carrying a gun.
Yes, there are times at night when I’m walking to my car alone and I feel unsafe, but I need a lot more range practice before I’m comfortable enough to actually protect myself with the gun. Right now, a taser is a more appropriate option for me.
But, the education I’ve received has me much more comfortable should I ever need to use a handgun to protect my home.
For more information on G3 Security Group, log on to http://www.g3securitygroup.com.
For more information on the right to bear arms, log on to the NRA website at http://www.nra.org or the Virginia Citizens Defense League website at http://www.vcdl.org.
Jana Wagoner is the Times-Mirror’s public safety reporter.
"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"
-- George Washington
I think she was a very fair reporter.
VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
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For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)