(LA) Learning gun safety: Sheriff’s instruction covers legal concerns


PDA

Drizzt
February 4, 2003, 06:14 PM
Learning gun safety
Sheriff’s instruction covers legal concerns

Marsha Sills
February 4, 2003

LAFAYETTE — With a pull of a finger, they pushed out bullets. The noise reverberated into the next pasture. The cows watched from a distance, and the instructors kept close. Racing hearts and wracked nerves followed.

“I’m still nervous,” said Cheryl Prejean, patting her chest after stepping away from the firing line. “I need to gain composure. The feeling is almost not natural, which (makes sense) because we’re not made to shoot each other.”

Prejean fired her late mother’s .357 Magnum on Saturday for the first time. She and her 17-year-old daughter, Cherie, attended the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office’s three-day gun safety course with 13 other women.

Most women admitted they would never have considered a gun for protection until the beating death of Lafayette’s Trineisha Dené Colomb was linked to a serial killer who is believed to have slain at least three women in Baton Rouge.

“It’s a shame that it took a serial killer for some of us to come,” said Cindy Crossley. After the serial killer was linked to Colomb, Crossley’s husband bought weapons for her and their 20-year-old daughter. “We take it for granted; we see it on TV and don’t think it will happen to us.”

The course’s mission is to teach gun owners, and those considering making a purchase, the legal, emotional and safety issues involved with ownership. The students spent the final day at the Sheriff’s Office’s firing range applying what instructors Mike Rackliffe, Doug Daly and Tommy Bourque taught them in the classroom.

Under state law, deadly force is justifiable if there is a threat of great bodily harm or death, or when someone illegally enters a residence, vehicle or business. The person must also have the opportunity to inflict the harm. It only applies during the offense, not after.During the class, instructors reminded students that when they fire a weapon, it is to stop the aggression, not kill. Most attacks occur within three yards or closer, Rackliffe said.

The students stood seven yards away from paper targets of an outline of a human head and torso. The letter “P,” in the upper center section of the torso, marked the “perfect” target. And a faint white line marked the center of the torso. During the class, instructors taught students to aim at the torso or the largest surface available to them.

Instructor Doug Daly reminded them, “Even if you shoot outside the center mass, you’ve pretty much ruined his day.”

After firing her first round, the power that came from the end of the weapon was too much for Jennifer Chevalier to handle. She said she attended the class because she’s tired of a serial killer making her feel “like a prisoner in her own home.”

Like a few of the other women in the class, Chevalier had never fired a weapon before Saturday. After her first round, her heart raced and nervous sweat dripped from her body. She considered not taking her second turn at the line, but changed her mind.

“I knew it was something I needed to do,” she said. “I prayed to God for me to focus on why I’m doing this. It’s for me. It’s for my safety and I relaxed a little. It got easier and now I feel confident. I am going to be a gun owner.”

The day at the range is an opportunity for students to get a feel for the power of a gun, Rackliffe said. In the past, he said he’s had to tell students that they should reconsider purchasing a weapon.

“In the class they learn what they’re capable of and what they’re not,” Rackliffe said.

Guns held a negative stigma for Tammy North. She told other women in a class a story about her husband bringing home hunting rifles. She told him she did not want them in her house. After firing a weapon Saturday, North overcame her fear.

She said her first shot was a shocker. She didn’t expect the slight kick to her arms from the discharge. Holes scattered within the center outline of the target, but by her second round at the line, North hit the target in the middle of the chest and yelped, “Holy cow! I hit the “P!”

Will she buy a gun? “Yes. I never thought I’d say that.”

http://vh80299.vh8.infi.net/news/html/F921CC42-C660-4D98-92BD-A43C72F8141D.shtml

If you enjoyed reading about "(LA) Learning gun safety: Sheriff’s instruction covers legal concerns" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Standing Wolf
February 4, 2003, 09:22 PM
I like to see law enforcement officers take action to protect citizens.

Croyance
February 5, 2003, 02:26 PM
“I’m still nervous,” said Cheryl Prejean, patting her chest after stepping away from the firing line. “I need to gain composure. The feeling is almost not natural, which (makes sense) because we’re not made to shoot each other.” How much of this is from media implanted preconceptions?
Are comments like After firing her first round, the power that came from the end of the weapon was too much for Jennifer Chevalier to handle. She said she attended the class because she’s tired of a serial killer making her feel “like a prisoner in her own home.” meant to help scare away other women?
I'm glad the class is there to help women get comfortable with firearms, but save the drama.

If you enjoyed reading about "(LA) Learning gun safety: Sheriff’s instruction covers legal concerns" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!