Handgun safety course educates women on firearms

Class teaching women how to safely handle a firearm.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 10:40 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A program in the Heartland is helping educate women on how to safely handle a firearm--while protecting themselves and their loved ones.

Conservation educator Dee-Dee Dockins tells me she wanted to provide a safe space for women to learn how to handle a firearm.

That’s why she created an introduction to handguns course at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center.

Instructors were able to have one-on-one sessions with a group of women, where they learned the basics of safety, operation of handguns, shooting stances and different types of ammunition.

Dockins says for women, this safety training means having more confidence in handling weapons.

“At some point you’re gonna be around one, so you need to be comfortable with it and be safe,” Dockins said. “So you can come out, you can try it--it’s what we want you to do. And then if you don’t like it, at least you’re not as anxious and you’ve done it--you don’t have the fear of the unknown.”

Dockins says there are different reasons for why women want to learn about guns.

Susan Stroder, who participated in the two-day course, explains why it was important for her to attend.

“I wanted to learn more about self-defense,” Stroder said. “I feel like that’s really important this day and age for a woman--especially an older woman--and I actually did have an incident with me and my granddaughter a few years ago that caused me to want to learn self-defense.”

Stroder says after attending the course, she feels more confident and less anxious about holding a handgun.

The Nature Center will host another women’s introduction course to handguns next spring.