guns save life teacher course
Their first try at "Position 2" during dry fire Saturday morning. Image by J. Schwarm courtesy GSL Defense Training / Guns Save Life
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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.

Image by J Schwarm. Courtesy GSL Defense Training / Guns Save Life

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.

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  1. It would be nice if this type of introductory training were available to people nation-wide, irregardless of occupation. Knowledge is power, and learning that those previously thought ” nasty firearms ” were a person’s best defense in some situations, would help reduce the anti-gun hysteria.

    I know that some gun shops with an on-site range do sometimes offer something similar, and I think more of them should. It would improve their bottom line; by the possible sale of a firearm to the individual taking the class, and also boost ammunition, etc. sales.

    • “It would be nice if this type of introductory training were available to people nation-wide, irregardless of occupation.” .Well, actually it is- take your friends, colleagues, relatives, church friends, workplace acquaintances, etc, etc, shooting yourself. Mentor on your own and don’t try to make a big deal out of anything. Pretty simple- I’ve been advocating this around here for more than a year. If we don’t invest our own time and efforts in our passion we shouldn’t be surprised to see it dwindle, left to its own devices.

      • Craig, I think it’s great that you do take others out and show them how much fun shooting can be.

        The one thing that I would suggest is an advantage to shooting in a learning group situation is; to the possible different types of firearms and calibers that possibly would be in the group, as opposed to whatever you have available.

        Keep up the good work….we need lots more people like you.

    • It use to be. At home, and at middle and high schools. Then something happened in the ’60’s and the world changed for the worse.

  2. The lack of correct information is the true danger. The Swiss make familiarity with firearms mandatory. To my knowledge, they have less firearms issues per capata than any other country. Knowledge prevents accidents and could even generate respect for the tool. And that’s what guns are…a tool. The Swiss might be a good example to follow.

  3. I’m not sure showing their faces is a good idea. Likely to get them “doxed” or otherwise targeted by the marxists in the gov’t “education” industry.

    • So, to get our message out we are supposed to hide in the closet?

      Nah, I don’t think so. I’m not going to let leftists intimidate me into silence.

      You’ll have to make up your mind if you are willing to let them do that to you.

      • John as a state employee I can say you are wrong for the right reasons (and the reverse for neiowa). Unfortunately most public sector unions let alone teachers unions are rabidly anti gun as well as petty, vindictive and vicious to any member that doesn’t toe the line. Hopefully all teachers shown have tenure and as much promotion as they wanted in their careers as this likely would be held against them wherever possible. Only up end is if the union goes all in it does open a possibility of a class action in a potentially friendly court.

    • What kind of world are we living in, that we even have to consider possible downfall like that for learning to use a gun. Sad times.

  4. Glad to know there is more shooter education taking place, but, the training set-up would appear to need better control and the media optics are wrong.

    Even if dry-firing on a cold range, the crowded conga-line set-up is not safe and there appears to be a low instructor-to-student ratio (just by what is shown in the photo). A number of shooters lack eye protection and ear protection. The variety of carry options being used by shooters as part of a supervised, multi-student class is also problematic, from a safety perspective.

    Safety first, and optics matter. Media optics.

    • It’s only a problem if you make it one. It’s dry fire, and try not to judge an entire training scenario over the course of one picture. The leftists love it when you do that.

    • I love internet experts opining from the couch.

      Dry fire segment. Only (“only”) about 15 experienced instructors on that line of 38 people. Dry firing as we worked with them on grip, stance, etc. Different folks bring different gear and we work with what they brought so long as they aren’t pointing at their soft body parts (or those of their neighbors or the instructors) to draw and re-holster. Absolutely nothing unsafe about that line.

      Bill, you’ve got one foot well outside of your lane, buddy. And the other on a banana peel. When was the last time you wore muffs and glasses to dry fire?

      • So do I. When I went to a training course to qualify for my Utah license that reciprocates with several other states, this is exactly the kind of experts we had sitting in the back row. The know-nothing-at-alls. The guy running the course was outstanding, but it didn’t matter. Always have to have nitpicking hammerheads. So he wasn’t holding the blue gun with the barrel pointing straight down, it was tilted up 1 degree. Out of respect for the course instructor, I didn’t turn around and tell them to STFU. Although I’m sure I would’ve received a standing ovation if I did based on talking to others after the course was finished.


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