Students try out “position 2” in dry fire for the very first time.

For the second year in a row, Guns Save Life has organized a free gun safety class for those working in education. GSL Defense Training provides the instructors and coursework while the DeWitt County (IL) Sportsman’s Club provided a great venue.

Once again this year, we had almost 40 participants who learned safe gun handling practices. More importantly, they learned how guns are for living, not for killing.

Open to anyone working in any capacity in schools, the class came about from seeing similar successes in other states. By taking school employees out of their comfort zones and immersing them in a two-day, hands-on class with lots of live fire under the watchful eyes of experienced instructors, we saw their nervousness of guns disappear. In its place, we saw increasing confidence and empowerment develop among participants.

One 38-year-old female educator wrote this of her experience.

“You kept the training moving well and made it fun. …You made me feel confident carrying. [I] was unsure of ‘conceal carry.’ This course made me feel that I can do it and be a bad ass at it if necessary.”

And course evaluations like that one are exactly why the three organizations team up to offer this to education professionals from across Illinois at no charge.

Participants spent two long days learning gun safety as part of the GSL Defense Training “Essential Carry” Illinois Concealed Carry course. Students also learned about legal considerations, learned the fundamentals of grip, stance and defensive marksmanship during dry-firing.

The instructors all volunteered their time for a worthy cause.

Then students practiced what they had learned during live-fire drills, shooting just shy of 250 rounds over the two days. They even learned gun cleaning, which one woman found difficult as she had a friend or family member who suffered a fatal gun cleaning accident.

Another 72-year-old female participant wrote:

“I have never shot a gun and I was treated like I would pass the class with no problem. Everyone was wonderful and so helpful to this older lady who just likes shopping.”

She’s no longer part of the “I’ve never shot a gun” contingent. And that 72-year-old woman will be a whole lot less susceptible to demagogues who would use fear of the unknown to get her to oppose firearm civil rights for her fellow Americans.

Another 41-year-old female teacher wrote this:

“Very knowledgeable team, great real-life stories, very accommodating, very organized and lots of [instructors] available for questions and assistance. Thank you for offering this class to instructors! What a wonderful way to promote guns as NOT evil. I learned a lot and have more confidence around guns & ammo.”

Indeed. Guns don’t kill. People do. And she, like the others, learned that the only thing that reliably stops bad people with evil in their hearts is a good guy with a gun.

Several other central Illinois firearms instructors came out to help the GSL Defense Training team over the weekend. These included Tim Weir, Dave Randolph, Norm Parsley and others. Thanks to each and every one of them for their help as well!

Like last year, we saw a wonderful transformation in these educators.  We might have even made a sheepdog or three.