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From the Courier Herald online:

Handgun training and self-defense classes see overwhelming response
08/22/07
By STEPHANIE MILLER

The response to the handgun familiarization class being offered to women by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Department and the Dublin Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office has been overwhelming.

“We’re already on our sixth class,†said Laurens Deputy Sid Harrison who is planning the classes. He said each class will have 40 participants and plans are to have the first class Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon with the following classes to be offered the second and third Saturday of each month until everyone who wants to take the class has had an opportunity to do so.

Harrison said as women call into the sheriff’s department to register for the class they are told what “group†they’re in so that when the dates for the classes are announced, the participants will know if that is their class. Group one will take the first class, group two the second class and so on. He said attempts are being made to call every person on the list for class one to advise them a date has been set, but if by chance a person who registered for the first group is not reached and cannot attend the class, they are asked to please call and take their name off the list so another person can be added in.

“They’re still calling,†he said, adding that not everyone who calls in wants to be a participant in the class, but have called in from out of town to thank the sheriff’s office stating that “this is the best thing y’all have ever done.â€

Harrison had even just received an email from a former resident who lives in Atlanta and keeps up with the county through The Courier Herald online who congratulated the sheriff for taking such a step.

He said the class will include two hours of classroom instruction and two hours of handgun training.

“Half of our class is education,†said Harrison, adding a presentation will be done by the Dublin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Craig Fraser’s office on laws and rights pertaining to self-protection and handgun possession as well as other information the DA feels the class should know. Then there will be a “threat awareness†training to help the women learn how to watch and know when danger or a threat is possible. Also, traffic safety will be covered so women will know how to watch for threats while in their vehicles or stopped at a traffic light. There will also be a class on ways to prevent home and property from becoming prey for criminals.

“We’ll teach them how to notice things we as police officers notice all the time and avoid, to stay out of a threatening situation,†said Harrison.

He said although there has been, in recent years, a great amount of controversy over gun use for protection across the nation, it doesn’t seem to have affected the people here.

“They’re just as happy as a lark to have something like this,†he said of the area.

Harrison said he believes all the negative media reports on gun use made people believe that guns were bad and many people no longer even owned a gun. But, guns are not the problem. The problem is in those who possess guns for the wrong purpose, he said. He said Dublin is growing and the small town is “starting to get rejects†here that have caused trouble in other bigger cities who decided to move on to towns like Dublin. He said owning and knowing how to properly operate a gun and take defense measures can save a life or injury to innocent residents.

“People believe it now,†he said of the need for owning and training in weapons use.

The familiarization course is intended to provide beginner information for women interested in the proper use of a handgun. After completing the course, participants should have a basic familiarity with handguns and the ability to load, unload and discharge a handgun.

Lauren Sheriff Bill Harrell stressed that the course will not provide all the instruction and practice needed to become proficient and safe in the use of a firearm. Additional information on where participants can independently seek further firearms instruction in the surrounding area will be provided in the classroom.

Participants who have preregistered with the sheriff’s office are asked to meet at the Georgia State Patrol Post on Southern Pines Road for classroom training before traveling to the sheriff’s firearms range on Landfill Road. All participants are asked to leave their unloaded handguns in their vehicles until accompanied by an instructor. Due to limited seating and safety issues, there will be no space for children or other observers. Participants are asked to bring 50 rounds of ammunition for their handguns. Eye protection, hearing protection and targets will be provided by the sheriff’s department.

Harrison said the participants should also dress comfortably for the da as “it will be hot.†He suggested a T-shirt, shorts or capri-type pants, tennis shoes, and a hat.
 

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I agree fully with Budder and the others. This is the kinda thing we should whole heartedly support. Call or email the Sheriff letting him know we support his plan. We should even provide him with some of John Lotts research showing that gun ownership reduces crime so he can use it in his press conversations and inform his students. That may be one thing GCO might consider developing: a talking points handout.
 

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My brother writes for the Courier Herald. He just told me in an email that this thing has all the women in the newsroom and at his church in a tizzy - but in a good way! They're all signing up, many of whom have never cared for owning a gun before or have just never thought about it. Even the big anti queen he lives near has talked about signing up. :shock:
 

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Dan4010 said:
I agree fully with Budder and the others. This is the kinda thing we should whole heartedly support. Call or email the Sheriff letting him know we support his plan. We should even provide him with some of John Lotts research showing that gun ownership reduces crime so he can use it in his press conversations and inform his students. That may be one thing GCO might consider developing: a talking points handout.
*swoon*

Someone agrees with me about something other than Glocks being toys!

Seriously, though, the Sheriff should be congratualted as many times as possible for holding this class. If he's busy when you call, ask for a deputy and thank him or her! Then call back again and thank the Sheriff.
 

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Not sure if this is true but thought I'd resurrect the old thread while I check it out. At the Macon show this past weekend I spoke with a very pleasant older woman that had LOTS of GFL questions.

During the conversation she advised that she had been signed up for the Dublin classes but that after the first class the whole thing got shut down. Apparently some outside group came in & advised that the range where the Sheriff's office was doing this at was "out of compliance" and was closed; something about being too close to other structures or something.

I've emailed the Sheriff to see if he can provide any corroboration to this rumor. If this is true it sucks.
 
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