It was a full house last weekend at a class designed to teach women self-defense. An estimated 32 million Americans are affected by an act of violence each year. Shirley Shick, Treasurer, Sycamore Valley Conservation Education Foundation, said she wanted to assist women in becoming more comfortable with firearms.
“I felt it was more important for women to learn all the fundamentals of the firearm,” said Shick. “It’s a piece of equipment and women need to know how to operate it successfully.”
A firearm familiarization course held Saturday in Freedom, Indiana teaches women the fundamentals of using a firearm so they can defend themselves if necessary.
The class began about ten years ago, stressing the ideas of the responsibility and gun ownership. For many women the class gave them the confidence to pick up firearms for the first time. This was the case for Jamie Bales, a participant from Bloomington. “Thus far we’ve learned how to safely handle a gun, to me that’s most intimidating picking up a gun and worrying is there a chamber in there or various types of ammunition,” said Bales.
The women took turns shooting rifles, hand guns and semi-automatic weapons with the instructors giving feedback throughout the process. Another participant from Bloomington, Judy Abell, said the instruction was a vital part of the learning process for her. “I think that it’s a priceless piece of information to have because, now I can defend myself.”
Women who attended the event traveled from as far as Vincennes to take the course.