Letter: Inexperienced gun owners can benefit from quality training

Posted

Concern for personal and family safety in trying times has convinced many (some previously anti-firearms) to buy guns. These are largely new, inexperienced gun owners. Many gun shop owners report long lines and shortages of ammunition. Owning a firearm is a major responsibility. I am concerned that these new owners will not take the time and expense to learn how to use, maintain and store their new acquisition properly.

That lack of responsible knowledge and actions exposes them to errors which can be life changing. If you are or know someone who is a new gun owner or can benefit from quality training, please strongly encourage them to seek it out and, after training, then practice to maintain a perishable skill. The concealed weapons permit requirements do not provide the basic education needed for safe usage as it is focused on CWP requirements. One local business that will provide quality education is Ricochet Range located on U.S. 15 South where U.S. 15 and Guignard Drive intersect. (Note, I have no connection whatsoever with Ricochet or TWAW) Their opening has been delayed by the coronavirus, but training should be a first priority when they do open. Women new to shooting would benefit from contacting Debbie Brown at The Well Armed Woman, a shooting group focused on women. As a footnote, my 35 years of NRA firearms instructing showed me that women are easier to teach and often the best shooter in a class.

Reality dictates that we each must be our own first responder. I have great respect for those who are in law enforcement and the risks they accept, but they cannot be everywhere when needed. It is sometimes said “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” Those of us accepting responsibility for our safety have a duty to be educated and practiced.

RALPH BAKER

Sumter