by Rick Ector
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- This past Sunday, a group of roughly 40 or so gun advocating citizens spent their off day with an unusual goal.
Their aim was to safely train 600 or more women in fundamental firearm safety and basic marksmanship skills in an extended day. Were it not for regular and persistent rain that day, they might have achieved their sought after numerical score in just under a half-day.
On May 21, of year 2017, the followers of Legally Armed In Detroit (LAID) came together at a suburban gun shop to attempt the audacious goal of training a huge gathering of at least 600 women. This group of men and women came together on that day – in the parking lot of the Top Gun Range in Taylor, MI – under the vision of local firearm instructor and gun rights advocate Rick Ector. They all arrived shortly after 8:00 am on that day to start off an organizational meeting that would only last less that 40 minutes to make sure that every contingency had been covered. This was not the teams' first rodeo.
The awkwardly named movement – Firearm Shooting Event for Women – was created six years ago when the founder mused that there had to be a solution to the problem of yet another unclothed and murdered woman’s body being found again in a deserted field. After some some thought, he boldly decided that he do something – take action. He issued a clarion call for local women on social media web site Facebook to meet him at a gun range for free firearm training. Ector managed to convince a mere handful of fellow trainers to join him that day.
Fast-forward to today, this movement has steadily grown over that few years and managed to pick up a small group of dependable followers and important sponsors. These days, the principal donor is the shooting range, its management, and the ownership of the Top Gun Range. If that was not enough of a donation, they also bought related gifts to serve as door prizes and fed all of the other volunteers throughout the day.
Other important donors included, but is not limited to, the numerous and too many to individually name horde of fellow firearm enthusiasts who donated their time and knowledge to train the hundreds of women event participants, one local gun rights group (MGO) who made a sizable cartridge contribution, a small but tireless group of supporters (SERP) who collected and amassed a huge cache of 9mm semi-auto pistols, and one part-time gun dealer who does double duty as a pharmacist who personally created a route of several police stations he visited to cobble together a sizable cache about 500 gun locks to be given away.
Once our game-planning huddle finally broke, they all dutifully went to our respective stations and went to work. It was division of labor at its finest. Whereas all of volunteers were trained firearm operators, they had specialized tasks and roles, as needed: Instructors, RSOs, Organizers, Speakers, Stock Movers, and whatever else that needed to be done.
In addition, safety was everyone’s shared goal. That goal was mastered, as there were no recorded injuries of any type tallied during the day, even though a bad batch of defective ammo created a couple of potential squib loads.
For a lesser trained crew that could have led to a horrific disfiguring display. Our crew handled it with little fan-fare and without attention grabbing theatrics.
The hours slowly passed off by, as we all marched towards the end of the work day. As soon, as the last shooter gushed over her target and crowed at her results, the staff all started to wonder exactly how many women they had trained throughout the day.
The tally was officially a few short of the goal of 600 women trained with 20 rounds of ammo each. However, there was nothing to hang their heads about. They beat last year’s tally of 400 and also had the best measure possible of huge shooting event – zero injuries and 100's of new shooters.
That day was an excellent day.