The recent shooting of a burglar by a Loganville woman has raised awareness, not just in the local area, but nationwide, of the benefits of owning a gun for protection. More importantly, however, is knowing how to use it. But the increase in mass shootings also has everyone rethinking the importance of responsible gun ownership and the federal government is currently looking at how to tackle the problem.
Justin Garner, owner of A.M.A.I. Karate in Loganville and Det. Wes Massey of the Loganville Police Department have partnered to offer local residents a gun safety and rapid fire tactical training course.
“Dec. Massey and I have been working on this for over a year now,” Garner said. “The class on Jan. 26 and 27 is the second time we are offering this class."
Massey, who has a black belt in karate, is a member of A.M.A.I. said he was prompted to join Garner in the venture after finding people taking karate had a lot of questions about gun safety and just how far people could legally go to defend themselves and their property.
“Part of the curriculum on defense is against knives and guns and students started asking questions, Massey said. “People just don’t have all the information. There’s a lot of urban legend and bad information and people need to get the proper information and know when and how they can protect themselves.”
Massey said the class, which takes place on a Saturday and a Sunday, is broken into two 8-hour sessions.
“The first day is in the classroom at A.M.A.I. with a Powerpoint presentation and at the end the student has to take a test,” Massey said. “The second day is eight hours on the range – how to draw the weapon, the fundamentals of shooting, target presentation, reload, target transition. “I’ve been a cop for over years and this offers the same things we learned. It is called Basic Pistol, but there’s not a whole lot of pistol about the class. It brings you all the way to telling the threat to stop and how to take cover. You don’t shoot in one place.”
Garner said in the previous class they had an equal split of men and women, but in the wake of the Loganville shooting on Jan. 4 that involved a woman alone at home with the children, gun owners are reporting an increase in women purchasing weapons. Massey said he wished more men would make an effort to get some formalized gun training as well though.
“People should seek some formalized gun training at least one in their life,” Massey said, adding that even members of law enforcement were required to have ongoing training.
“Watching Youtube is not formalized training reading a book is not formalized training, watching a DVD is not formalized training, but this is,” Massey said.
Included in the training is the following:
- Seven fundamentals of shooting.
- How to properly draw a pistol
- Double Taps, failure drills
- Shooting Drills, shoot move and communicate
- Georgia laws pertaining to the use of deadly force.
The range shooting part of the course will take place at Trading Place Pawn Indoor Range in Monroe. Garner said the course also includes responsible gun ownership information, how to store a weapon, etc.
The student should have a semi auto pistol such as a H & K, Smith & Wesson, Glock, Colt, Beretta, Sig Sauer or any similar variant chambered in 9mm, 40 S & W, .357., or .45 caliber. The class is not for a revolver.
Included in the training is trauma casualty care.
“Basically if you’re shot you can self aid or if someone else is shot you can render aid until the authorities arrive,” Massey said.
Garner said they are also looking at holding a gun safety class for children.
“My take on children and guns is that it’s a lot like martial arts,” Garner said. “If you’re scared or nervous about teaching children to punch and kick because you’re scared they’ll go to school and kick and punch, we’ve found that it’s in fact the exact opposite,” Garner said. “They have a higher respect for what they do and they tend to safeguard that knowledge. I believe it is the same with guns and firearms. If they learn about them they will understand that the barrel of the gun is extremely dangerous and it is even more so when a bullet is in it. The more educated you become about these things, whether its martial arts or firearms, the more respect you have for them."
“For 2013 we’re developing a child safety class – a free class,” Massey said. “I’ve had to educate children in the course of my duties – go to schools and teach them if you find a gun, leave it along and tell an adult. That’s the golden rule I teach in my class. If you find a gun, leave it alone and don’t touch it – find a police officer or an adult. You just don’t know what condition it is in.”
The cost of the class is $200, but there is a 50 percent reduction for groups of 3 or more. There is no charge for the firing range except for the cost of the ammunition. There will be equipment for rent if someone does not yet have one of his or her own.
If you are interested in attending this class call 678-986-6791 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.