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Guns Save Life trains central IL residents in self-defense, gun-safety

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Drizzt, Jun 18, 2005.

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  1. Drizzt

    Drizzt Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Moscow on the Colorado, TX
    Guns Save Life trains central IL residents in self-defense, gun-safety

    Thursday, June 16, 2005

    - Leo Buchignani

    BLOOMINGTON - “Never give up in a gun battle. If you give up before it’s over, I can almost guarantee he’ll walk up and put one in your head because you had the temerity to fight back.”

    This was just one of the many pieces of advice instructor John Boch gave students during a $135 weekend concealed carry course May 21-22 at Darnall’s Range in Bloomington.

    Participants learned gun safety, shooting technique, gun law, jam clearing and deadly force encounter strategy. At the end of the course many filled out paperwork for a Florida concealed carry permit, which is good in half the country but not in Illinois.

    Attendee Randy Fugett of Plainfield, IL said he heard about the course through his sister and brother-in-law, who took it a couple months ago. He decided to bring his wife and two children along too. “The course was really informative,” said Rachel Fugett, 16. “It was really fun,” added Matt Fugett, 13. “Rachel and Matt just got their FOID cards,” Randy said.

    Marcia and Jim Licquia, retired Champaign residents, also attended. Jim said he joined Guns Save Life recently and saw an ad for the course in GunNews. “We’re both new to firearms,” he said. “We were both very interested in home defense aspects, and figured we’d do it responsibly.”

    “These classes have been going on for years, although they’ve become more common in the last ten years,” Boch said. “We do four to six per year. We have been holding them regularly at Darnall’s since early 2002.”

    “What’s the first rule in a gun fight,” instructor and Guns Save Life President Frank Wright asked students. “Bring a gun! If the gun fails, run away,” he said.

    Students spent range time learning how to clear weapon jams. “We’re making bad things happen and seeing how to fix them,” Wright told students.

    In a later drill, students were forced to load in the dark and shoot a moving target by flashlight. This simulated the tense conditions one might find when confronting a real intruder.

    But Boch recommended students not shoot unless they are absolutely sure, because a gun battle almost certainly leads to arrest and expensive legal fees. He emphasized strategies like awareness and putting distance between yourself and potential threats. “The best way to win a deadly force confrontation is not to have one,” Boch said.

    When an armed citizen does confront a criminal, often “they get bug-eyed and they run like hell,” Boch said. He related the story of one criminal who, when challenged, ran off a second story balcony and through a screen door on his way out.

    In case you do have to shoot someone, Boch gave some very specific instructions. “Ask the scared people around you to check to see if anyone else is hurt,” Boch said. “This empowers them and makes them think of you as the good guy.”

    Next, Boch said, tell the nearest four reliable people to call for the ambulance, police and backup. “Because you said that magical word backup, they think, ‘He’s a cop, he’s off duty,’” Boch said. At all times, keep your eyes on the bad guy. When the police arrive, explain the situation, show them the evidence, then call that 2nd Amendment lawyer you’ve got ready.

    Instructor Terry Showalter, who until recently worked at American Guns and Ammo in Mesa, Arizona, said teaching is his favorite part of the firearms industry. “Some of my most memorable experiences when I was a kid were listening to someone who knew what they were talking about,” Showalter said.

    During jam-clearing, Showalter demonstrated a forceful emergency clear several times. Afterwards, I noticed him casually wrap a bandanna around the torn heel of his hand.

    Carzella Pritchett said a friend recommended the course to her because she had just bought a little farm. “He thought it would be nice if I could protect myself from the wild animals,” she said.

    “I have a .38 revolver and used to be a police officer 25 years ago,” Pritchett said. “I didn’t ever think I would enjoy this as much as I did. It was a wonderful class with lots of diversity and up-to-date information that’s useful now.”

    “There are probably a dozen or two ‘NRA’ classes annually throughout Illinois besides ours, and many more ‘advanced’ classes, primarily run by Midwest Training Group and ‘the Site,’” Boch said. The advanced classes are often much more expensive, costing from $300 to $1500 depending on their length, Boch said.


    Now, why didn't any of my instructors look like this?
  2. Stickjockey

    Stickjockey Member

    Apr 18, 2003
    Happy Valley, Oregon
    Because then you wouldn't be paying any attention to the subject matter. :evil:
  3. Mauserguy

    Mauserguy Member

    Jan 13, 2005
    Orange County California
    I have got to get out and take that class. Huba huba....
  4. ZeroX

    ZeroX Member

    May 30, 2004
    Bloomington, IN
    Man, that's a fine-looking picture.
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