I'm having problems navigating their website for some reason, and can't find it to paste here. It was by a reporter named Erica Meltzer and had her going to one of those "citzen police academies", that local police offer to educate the public about what they do. She describes going to the Arlington Heights police dept. range and firing a gun for the first time. It wasn't too bad.......for the Herald.
If someone can find this article titled: "A reporter overcomes her fear of handguns" online, it would be good to share.
A reporter overcomes her fear of handguns
By Erica Meltzer
Daily Herald Correspondent
Posted Monday, August 29, 2005
I did not grow up around guns. I am not comfortable with guns.
I think I might have shot a BB gun once at camp. In junior high, a friend put a cap gun up to my head and fired. It was a few hours before I could hear again.
If that was what a cap gun could do, I wanted nothing to do with the real thing, much less have one in my house.
Two years ago, our home was broken into. In the poisonous mix of violation and fear that we felt in the wake of the break-in, my husband borrowed a gun from a friend.
We thought it would make us feel safer.
But looking at the impassive piece of metal, it seemed a dangerous and unpredictable animal.
I didn’t want to pick it up, convinced, in some part of me beyond the reach of logic and my husband’s repeated assurances the safety was on, that if I touched it, it would go off.
He gave it back the next day. I made him give it back the next day.
And yet, I always have known that my fear was linked to my ignorance of guns. And along with my repulsion there was a desire to know more.
A woman who shoots guns. That’s cool, right?
I was intimidated to go to a firing range, unsure whether guns could be rented. I didn’t want to expose myself to mockery.
So when I heard that the citizen police academy in Arlington Heights was offering a chance to shoot guns, I was eager.
The evening started with a presentation by detective Phil Lorenz about the basic workings of the gun and the first rule of safe gun handling: Assume all guns are always loaded.
We signed the requisite waivers, and we read the requisite rules. The “Safety with Firearms” handout starts with this comforting thought: “No mechanical device has a will of its own and guns never ‘go off’ unless somebody causes them to do so. Guns are safe. It is people who are dangerous.”
All right: Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. So, because I’m not going to kill anyone, I’ll be fine with the gun, right?
Then it continues: “The wound caused by a bullet can easily be fatal. This means that you should not expect the luxury of learning by experience. Your first mistake may well be your last.”
But you don’t need to ever make a mistake, the handout continues.
Just follow these four rules: Assume all guns are loaded; never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy; don’t put your finger on the trigger until it’s time; and be sure of your target.
OK, I’m done with the reading. It’s time for shooting.
We head down to the range in the basement of the Arlington Heights Police Department.
Smith & Wesson donated four guns, two 9 mm semiautomatic handguns and two .38-caliber revolvers.
I’ll shoot first with the .38-caliber revolver. It is a very basic gun, a real gun’s gun.
Sgt. Jeff DuFloth walks me through it. First I practice a little unloaded. I feel the weight of it my hand, adjust my grip and sight down the range.
The first time I pull the trigger, I can’t even get it all the way back. I have small hands and I have to slide my grip up on the gun a good bit to get the leverage I need. I pull the trigger a few times, and I start to feel more comfortable.
A mechanical device with no will of its own. Sure, I can do this.
Then I load the gun. The mechanical device is now more dangerous. It’s just sitting there on the counter, but my heart beats a little faster and my stomach constricts.
The targets are 15 feet away from us on the range. Lorenz, from the control booth, tells us that when he turns the targets to face us, we can start shooting.
I take up the gun, careful to account for all my fingers, still scared that it might just “go off.” I aim down the barrel of the gun, looking for the sight to line up with the groove that runs down the top of the gun. Someone else on the line shoots first and the noise, even through my ear protection, makes me jump. I aim again, and pull the trigger.
It kicks back, but not as much as I expected. And it’s loud, but no louder than the other shots exploding around me.
What really surprises me, even though I had been warned, is the flash from the gun as the powder ignites and the bullet is propelled toward the target, which, by the way, I didn’t hit.
My shot went through the paper over the man-shaped target’s left shoulder. Which in real life would have meant I shot the grandmother standing behind him.
I shoot again and miss again. Then I realize what I’m doing wrong, adjust my aim and start nailing the guy in the ribs. Shots three, four, five and six get him square in the torso.
It’s shocking each time that controlled explosion goes off so close to my face, but I’m a little more excited and little less scared.
That’s right. You can’t mess with me.
Then we trade guns and I get to try my hand at the semi-automatic.
Again, I take a few dry shots. The trigger is ridiculously easy to pull. I load the magazine with just six bullets, though it can hold 14. It’s the same drill. Then the target turns to face us; start shooting.
I manage to get my man, again in the abdomen, five out of six times, but I never feel right with this gun.
It’s just too easy to shoot. Without the solid stiffness of the revolver, I feel out of control. I can’t seem to sight the thing. The two white dots on the rear sight and the one white dot on the front sight that needs to be in the middle keep blurring in front of me, and I’m shocked I’m hitting the target at all.
Give me back the revolver.
Too soon, I’ve shot my 12 rounds and I’m done. I could have kept going. There is a thrill to it that makes it easy to see the appeal. So much power in something that fits in your hand.
A marvel of human ingenuity, to craft and shape these weapons. The basic technology has been around for hundreds of years, but it still has the power to awe.
Of course, that’s what makes it scary, as well.
I collect my target and I feel … proud. I got him. Right in the gut. Of course, as long as it took me to do it, he would have got me. Right in the gut. What would that have felt like?
Thanks LdyGunner! It is a pretty good article, and describes the typical fears, and reactions to those fears, of a person, unfamiliar with guns, first spending time learning firearm safety, and then how to shoot.
That's a really good article for the sheeple to read. Kinda un demonizes it for people that are just inherintly scared of guns.
Howzabout we invite the same reporter to Buffalo
Actually - I've had reporters show up to every single one of my women's events. I'm sure if you decided to hold a shoot under the ruberic of "Bringing Awareness of the Sporting Use of the AR-15" or some such thing and sent out a press-release that you would get one.
The anti's have their press-release writing skills down better than we do, and they send out more of them, so they get more coverage; usually reporters don't get around to talking to our side until after they have already talked to the anti's and they have to come find us for quotes by which time the idea for the story and the presentation thereof is already pretty well formed.
I asked the last reporter that came out about this and she said they are always getting press-releases from anti-gun groups and anti-gun legislators but very rarely get a press relase from pro-gun groups, so she jumped at the chance when she saw there was a pro-gun event going on not because she was pro-gun, but because they never see that sort of thing coming through in the press-releases so it makes for interesting copy.
Is there a link for this article? I cannot seem to find it at their website.
Nevermind, found it www.dailyherald.com/search/searchstory.asp?id=88044
I am truly shocked that this article was in the Herald. However, I am glad to see that it was very well written and not slanted.