Personal Protection and Firearms Familiarity, A Special School Project…
UVU Comm. Students Take “Group Project” To A Whole New Level…
This is a special post, and due to its unique nature, you get to see the adventures of a small group of communication students at Utah Valley University. The nature of the project was to get into groups, choose a subject, and use multiple forms of mass media; like Facebook, Twitter, a Blog, YouTube, or even printing up the report somehow or some way. Well we decided to use a company that already existed (Defense Actions LLC) and by doing so, taking each of the members to a new level of learning, adventure and pure fun!
We decided to film a “before” portion, where each member explained their point of view about personal safety, firearms and an experiences they have had so far in their lives. Once that was done, we all went to the range. Being the certified instructor, I had a great time with each member, supplying some formal instruction and education about firearm safety, stances, handling, trigger control, etc. After the “range experience” we filmed another portion explaining their change in perspective and how they felt about the project…. Below are their written accounts for your enjoyment:
Tim Castaneda (A Chuck Norris Fan)
So when our group formed, I was super excited because we had the coolest project idea ever! With Damon being a certified trainer in the area of firearms with credible credentials, there wasn’t any better idea that came to mind than to do the project on firearms. It helps to have an old guy in the crew. I have to admit that at first I thought that we would be expected to sit through hours of instruction listening to lectures on proper gun safety procedures, and such, instead of actually shooting. To my surprise this firearm training was far different than I expected when I went to the range. It was the “bomb.com.” It was pleasant experience being able to shoot the lights out of things…
Actually forget that last thought. Since I had shot once before, around six years ago, I thought “hey, I am gonna show my stuff once we get to range. “ It actually turned out to be opposite. My accuracy was actually a little off, so I ended up shooting a lot of thin air and dirt. Luckily we started out just with a .22. This one served more to get used to firing a gun, and helped me realize that I wasn’t hitting anything. Then I got to use a gun with a little more juice, the 9 mm pistol. This one helped me get used to aiming and I actually hit a couple things. My best moment with this baby was when I used my psychic skills to predict that I was going to nail one of the beer bottles I set up as a target. Then I walked the walk the very first shot after my prior prediction. I also blew the heck out of an awesome camouflage easter egg. The best part of the whole thing was shooting the 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun. That bad boy had some power. That thing became a friend all right. There were few streaks when I would hit two and three clay pigeons in a row. It felt like playing duck-hunt all over again, except this time in real life instead of using the fake gun for the original Nintendo.
I learned how much fun shooting is, and can be, when the proper firearm safety procedures are followed. I can now handle a gun more comfortably and correctly, so in the future whenever I can afford a gun I can definitely see myself buying one. The media nowadays gives the perception that bad things happen when people possess firearms. A couple instances that come to mind are the Trayvon Martin case, and the time NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg while in a night club in New York City. After receiving the right training from somebody certified, I can honestly say that guns aren’t bad. They just end up in the hands of the wrong people for wrong uses a lot of the time. The training session definitely was worth it and afterward you come out with a greater respect for guns, and less fear of having bad things happen when you’re around them. Now I just need more practice so I can dominate next time I take the stage at the gun show!
(Ashley) My First Experience Shooting a Firearm
When my group decided to choose firearms as out topic, I was cool with it. When I found out Damon was a certified instructor and offered us free training, I was extremely excited. I explained to him that I have never ever touched a gun before nor had I ever thought I was going to.(Definitely something to put on your bucket list). When he presented this opportunity to us I was all for it. This could be a potentially once in a lifetime thing (the free training).
At the range, it was a little busy. Guns were firing on both sides of us, which had me a little nervous at first. Damon sat us down and gave us all the safety rules and made sure we had ear plugs and eye protection. I began to think, “This isn’t so bad.” He continued to teach how to hold, load, and aim the guns (couple pistols, a rifle and a shotgun). When it was my turn to shoot my first gun ever, my heart of punding with adrenaline. BANG. I said, “This…Is…Awesome!” My favorite were the little pistol and the rifle because they had the softest recoil. They were better for me to aim and control. The 9 millimeter had a little more kick back than I liked, the shot gun I only shot my 3 rounds and was done. Overall it was a very good experience.
Being out there I realized why people own guns and get excited when talking about them. They are really cool, and if you are properly trained they can be very safe as well. They would be very effective when protecting ones self as long as they have some type of formal training.
Stratton Schulz (Been Around Firearms My Whole Life)
I really enjoyed my experience with the class going out and getting some shooting done at the shooting range. It was a lot of fun watching everyone shoot firearms. Since I have been around firearms quite a bit if my life I was really cool for me to see people who had not really been around weapons at all. My group did a really good job at the range and it was quite impressive how well they were able to fire a weapon on their first or second time ever even shooting a weapon.
I really enjoyed the training that Damon was able to give me. He gave me a few key ideas to help my form out and increase my accuracy with a weapon. Damon knows quite a bit about firearm safety and how to correctly hold a weapon. I have never really been told how to shoot a weapon I have always just shot the way that feels most comfortable to me. It was really cool having someone with as much knowledge as Damon show me some of the correct ways to hold a weapon.
Overall the group project on firearms was awesome. I think that everyone in the group had a great time. Damon was able to teach every one of us a few things about weapons and safety and he did a really great job doing that. Damon was also able to have a good time doing some quality shooting with everyone in the group.
Willy Sinclair (The Australian) “A Day On The Field”
As I joined this group and heard about the topic, I just knew that something fairly fun was going to go down, after not being very trained in the field of guns (if at all) with my past experience and finding out that the big fella Damon was a certified trainer in a lot of different categories, I felt that much more comfortable. And when Damon said what guns we were going to shoot, I felt the deadly combination of scared and excited.
After driving for around 72 hours we finally made it to the field/range, and immediately I saw the stereotypical gunholder, a group of topless redneck boys shooting it up. Damon then put myself and Ashley under his wing and guided us through all the suitable gun loading, aiming, and safety tips that we needed for the day. After setting up some targets, the first gun of the day was the .22 pistol (If I recall correctly), being the gentleman in which I am I let Ashley do the honours of having the first shot (was actually slightly terrified), but after seeing how the natural set up and shot her clip of bullets I was ready to take on the world. To my misfortune, my whole clip of bullets missed the target by approximately 25 yards. The next three guns I used included a 9mm pistol, a rifle, and my baby, the 12 gauge shotgun. After the day was ended, I self-proclaimed myself as the clay pigeon king.
My afterthoughts of the day of shooting would be that it is a ‘must do’ for all you other kids out there, and that even if you don’t want to OWN a gun yourself, it is a good experience. My beliefs on America’s gun laws and Gun Holders has slightly swayed towards closer to the Sinclair Tolerable range, but all in all, guns.. get around them.
We want to thank all of those involved in this project, and for Whitney Wilkinson, our instructor, for allowing us the freedom to choose this topic. We all learned, we all were safe and we all had tons of fun. Be sure to watch the video on the YouTube Channel right HERE!
Ashley, Willy, Tim, Stratton, Damon
UVU, Communications 1500