Firearm Instructor: Ellen
Firearms were not a part of my life growing up, and while my husband had many guns and enjoyed them, I was busy raising a family and never really thought much one way or the other about guns. In 2008 I was widowed, with four of my children still at home. I felt vulnerable, and several incidents at my house confirmed that feeling. It was time to learn how to defend myself and my family, and since all I really knew about guns was “The bullet comes out here”, I needed some instruction.
I went to New Mexico for a week-long shooting camp, and that was a huge turning point in my life – I discovered that not only were firearms useful for self-defense but they were also fun! The various shooting sports offer so much opportunity for improving one’s shooting skills. I am competitive by nature, even if I am only trying to beat myself and my own last score. Whether I am taking formal instruction, or just talking with a military friend about tactics and experiences, I hope to never stop learning and improving. Teaching others how to safely handle and enjoy firearms is the best job I have ever had, and I love to watch confidence grow and see new shooters realize that firearms can be a valuable and enjoyable addition to their lives.
Firearm Instructor: Nate
Firearms can be very daunting. I’ve met plenty of folks who “grew up around guns” and are still a bit apprehensive of them. Every once in a while someone will tell me that I’m too comfortable around guns. That’s not entirely true; I do like to talk about them, they are ingenious pieces of technology and some of them are actually quite compelling in their appearance. I am however, committed to maintaining a safe and respectful attitude towards them, acknowledging that they are dangerous if not used properly. The important thing to understand about my childhood is that my father, being a police officer, was almost always armed. I never felt unsafe around my father and the firearms he carried because I knew he was one of the good guys. Fast forward to my adulthood and I’ve realized that there are so many misunderstandings about firearms that I’ve grown passionate about helping others who are curious to learn. The two extremes I’ve witnessed are people who are afraid of firearms but curious, and those who are slightly reckless with them. There are many things in the world that can cause injury. My father once effectively removed a thumbnail with a wood splitter. As a carpenter of thirteen years I’ve only once shot myself one with a nail gun. A bit more care in that circumstance to judge the direction of the wood grain would have saved pain, lost time and a $1,200 hospital bill. Knowing the correct things to look for and the correct questions to ask has helped my avoid injuries like those again. I’m very excited to be teaching people how to be proactively safe with their firearms.