More People Taking Classes at Local Gun School
By: Crystal Britt
By: Crystal Britt
CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, Mo. - In just a matter of moments you could become the victim of a burglary or violent crime. It's happening everyday, to some people...in their own homes. What if that happens to you, or your family? Could you defend what is most precious to you?
More and more people are learning how to take up arms. We know from local gun shops that gun sales are up, but it's more than just that. Some men and women want to know for sure that if the absolute worst happens, they're prepared. Many folks say in today's economy that concern is even greater.
Kathy Ohlmutz of Cape Girardeau is among a training class of eight people taking aim.
"To protect me and my family," said Ohlmutz.
"There's a big burden of responsibility with carrying a firearm," said Christopher Moore, the lead instructor and owner of Point Blank.
He recommends the class for all levels, from the most experienced to the beginner.
"People just want to right to defend themselves," said Moore.
That's why they're here, to learn what it takes for the what ifs in life.
"It's something we could do together, but I want her to get it more than me," said Jerry Tibbs.
Husband and wife students Jerry and Susan Tibbs traveled from Silva in Wayne County to take the class. Jerry farms, and hopes to soon open a bail bonds business.
"The economy, the way it is, you never know who got laid off and is going to try and get your money," said Tibbs.
Susan grew up around guns, but isn't sure she could handle one under pressure.
"In the past six months I've been broken down on the side of the road with my daughters in the car and a friend of theirs," she said. "You just never know who's going to come by at ten o'clock at night. I want to protect me and my kids."
Instructors started offering firearms training at Point Blank eight years ago. With the passing of the Concealed Carry Law, they went full time.
"We have seen, this year especially, a very steep increase in the training," said Moore.
Reason number one: the economy.
"You never know, the way money is now, people may approach you and try to take your money," said Kathy Ohlmutz.
"This month alone for December we're looking at training approximately 100-120 students, that's up from our normal of about 40 students a month for training," Moore said.
It's a very intense ten hour class. Part of the time is spent in the classroom learning about safety, the law and weapon maintenance. The other part is spent out on the gun range.
The students come from all parts of the state, and all walks of life. The class consisted of a mechanic, a truck driver, a farmer, a house wife, a high school principal and more. There were five men and three women.
"I don't want to be one of the statistics out there," said Kathy Ohlmutz.
"Get over that stereotype of the weak woman," said Susan Tibbs.
They're learning where they are now and what they need to do to get better. They're taught marksmanship, and are expected to apply that skill. It's something they'll be tested on, and must score well to pass. Not everyone at the class plans to carry a gun on a daily basis, many just want the option.
"You never know," said Jerry Tibbs.
"If he's (Jerry) not around, I want to be able to protect the kids," Susan Tibbs said.
"(I want to ) be able to use it and use it correctly if I have to use it," Kathy Ohlmutz said.
Hoping that day never comes, but if it does? "Hopefully something we taught you helps save your life," said Moore.
As part of the requirements for that class the students not only have to qualify on the range, but must pass a written test as well. Just how intense is the training? Heartland News Reporter Crystal Britt got to find out first hand. Find out what she learned and whether she qualified Friday night on Heartland News at 6:00 p.m.