Jumping into the gun range for the first time

By Jessica Broverman, Editor

For a long time I was very on the fence about using a gun as a citizen. I was never under the notion that we would be safer without guns, but I did have the understanding that guns are dangerous. It wasn’t until I shot a gun for the first time that I finally understood what shooting really meant for gun owners.

I recently took a law commencement class at West Liberty with instructor Jeffrey A. Murray. His Contemporary Law Enforcement course is required for my minor so I didn’t think twice about signing up for it. Once I arrived on the first day, I knew I was in for a lot more than just taking notes. I soon learned how to hand cuff people, how to properly use restraints and how to use a baton.

I knew that we were going to go to a gun range and shoot soon and that had me a little worried, but also very excited. Being brought up in a home where guns are extremely frowned upon, it made me skeptical of the whole experience. What if something goes wrong? In actuality, I was over thinking the whole situation. Once I shot my first round, I felt strong and in control.

Just buying the bullets made me feel empowered. I remembered word for word what type of bullets I’d need for class. After all, I didn’t want to look uneducated going up to a counter at Cabela’s and not knowing what I was talking about. Right after I said, “Excuse me. Do you have any standard 22 long rifle rounds in stock,” everyone turned to look at me. It felt good to be a woman and shatter the idea that ladies aren’t as conducive as men in the gun department.

Once I got to the gun range, it gave me time to think about what I was about to do. An alumnus of WLU and former student of Murray’s, Tara Adamczyk said, “The scariest part for me was when I pulled the trigger the first time and realized that was all it took to kill someone.” After putting on my protective gear, aiming at my target and firing, I was hooked. My liberal parent’s ideals about gun control went right out the window along with my fear of hearing gun shots.

People who shoot others in an effort to kill were not taught how to handle a gun. They were not taught how to handle a firearm or how to respect its power. Even if you tilt your gun slightly to where it shouldn’t be in this class, you are immediately corrected. Though there are cases where this statement does not correspond to everyone, in a general sense education can prevent more deaths than we realize.

Before taking Contemporary Law Enforcement, I was afraid of guns. I was scared to have them in the same house that I was in. Now, after learning about them and understanding that it is something that gun owners take seriously, I actually want my own. I have a long way to go before I feel comfortable having my own gun, but that fact that I enjoy shooting one, proves to me that you shouldn’t put something down just because it scares you.

You too can educate yourself about gun control and firearms by taking West Liberty’s Contemporary Law Enforcement course. If you do not qualify to take the class, you may also visit the Moundsville Rifle and Pistol Club. For more information, you may contact Jeffrey A. Murray here .