Aim and shoot: Students get experience at shooting range

Students involved in the Kirksville Citizens TM Police Academy went out in the field to the shooting range during week 9 of their program and I had the opportunity to get a first hand look on how to properly shoot a gun.

The class started off early, we all met up at the Association of Professional Trainers North Range in Kirksville.

Once there, we got the chance to see what we would be working with: An AR-15 Rifle and a Glock 22 handgun.

And for me, the nerves started to build up.

I TMve actually shot a gun before but its been a couple of years and being at the shooting range my heart is kind of pounding right now and I TMm a little nervous.

For others it was a chance to learn about the different guns.

Well I TMm more comfortable with rifles because I grew up on a farm and I go hunting and so I want to gain more confidence with handguns so I think this is going to be the best part of shooting, said participant Lori Gray.

But before we could shoot the guns, we learned about the proper and safe way to handle a gun.

They need to learn the lethality of guns and rifles and of course the safety aspects of them," said Firearms Instructor, Dr. Burt Young. We also talked about how to properly store the guns and how to maintain them safely.

Not only that, Dr. Young won TMt over his four safety tips.

1. All guns are always loaded. If you treat them like they TMre loaded, you won TMt have a negligent discharge or an accidental discharge. Second, never aim a gun at anything you do not want to destroy. Third, keep your finger off of the trigger until you TMve made a conscious decision to fire the weapon and once the mission is over, take your finger off the trigger. And finally, be aware of your target: is that really the target you want to shoot and be aware of the background, said Dr. Young.

And for many the hands-on experience is what they TMve been looking forward to.

It TMs kind of exciting to get to work with professionals and police officers that are well trained and are here to instruct us and to give us a good hands-on feel of what a weapon can do, said Gray.

Then in groups of four it was time for us to shoot.

After I put on my safety glasses and ear plugs, I was ready to go. First up, the handgun: I didn TMt do too badly; I hit the target 9 out of 10 times.

As for the rifle, well let TMs just say I won TMt be quitting my day job anytime soon.

The experience going through my body right now is complete adrenaline, my heart is pounding, its one of the greatest feelings in the world.

And I wasn TMt the only one feeling it.

Afterward I had an adrenaline rush, but while I was doing it-it was more of an out of body experience, said student Lynn Rose.

~It TMs very gratifying to take an instrument especially a firearm and put it on a target and hit what you aim at, said Dr. Young. It TMs a challenge, it TMs a lot like golf or tennis, the whole win is you, it TMs not beating somebody its shooting the best you can shoot.

So with the class being half guys and half girls I had to ask: who is the better shooter?

Typically women, very impressive because they have no preconceived macho I can shoot this gun, they are there to learn as for guys they are there to strut sometimes and women can be deadly accurate and fast, said Dr. Young.

If you are interested in taking a gun course you can call Dr. Young at 660-665-5674.