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2018-06-13 / Police

Civilians Practice Using Firearms for Proficiency, Protection

By Patty Lollot


Practicing proficiency.....Some of the shooters from the civilian pistol training course strike a pose with silhouette targets on Saturday, June 2. Pictured, from left to right, Jonathan Loveland, Reiner Lollot, Joe Cetta, Ron Lynn, instructor Delhi P.D. Capt. Jim Small, Kim LaTourette, Tim LaTourette and Rob McLaughlin. 
Patty Lollot/The Reporter Practicing proficiency.....Some of the shooters from the civilian pistol training course strike a pose with silhouette targets on Saturday, June 2. Pictured, from left to right, Jonathan Loveland, Reiner Lollot, Joe Cetta, Ron Lynn, instructor Delhi P.D. Capt. Jim Small, Kim LaTourette, Tim LaTourette and Rob McLaughlin. Patty Lollot/The Reporter DELHI - “At a distance of 21 feet, it only takes an assailant a few seconds to reach you,” stated Delhi Police Dept. Captain James Small to the 10 shooters who came to take his civilian pistol training course on Saturday, June 2. Ranging from beginners to former military, eight men and two women spent three hours learning or reviewing safety precautions, firearm handling and most of all, practicing on stationary targets. Most shot semi-automatics, others revolvers, with each shooter discharging approximately 100 rounds during the session.

A review of safety procedures preceded the actual hot fire. “Safety is foremost,” noted Small, which included holding a pistol with the forefinger on the rail (parallel to the barrel), not the trigger, facing the barrel to the ground; correct stance and the best way to get the firearm into play. “It’s the basic stuff,” he explained. Demonstrating, he showed the correct steps in drawing a weapon from its holster, to its holding position to the actual pulling of the trigger. The sequence must be practiced to be fluid, comfortable and accurate, he stressed.

Shooters lined up facing targets and followed commands for either single fire, double tap, or rapid fire practice. Initial targets were the numbers 1 to 4 with Small calling out at which number to take aim and fire. Later, human shaped silhouettes were substituted. Distances from the targets increased as the practice progressed. Participants were later able to walk up and examine their targets with Small making constructive comments on how to improve.

In addition to physical elements, Small talked about the defensive mindset needed. Is the need for the lethal use of a weapon “reasonable and necessary?” he asked. Faced with a life threatening situation constitutes the use of lethal force. Still, “You must be responsible for your weapon.” Further, each shooter has to determine his or her ability to actually shoot and possibly kill another human being in defense of self, or others.

This practice came on the heels of two earlier active shooter classes hosted at New Hope Community Church in Walton, where Small gave comprehensive guidelines on how to prevent or mitigate an active shooter incident at historic soft targets such as schools, churches, offices, concerts and other venues.

Participant Ron Lynn of Walton shared why he took the course: “I believe in the right to defend myself and friends and family. Today, we live in trying times and I wished to be more proficient with a firearm.”

Another participant, Kim La- Tourette of Trout Creek, who took the course with her husband, Tim, was asked if she would actually be able to shoot at someone in self defense, or in the defense of loved ones. Unequivocally, she replied, “Yes, without a doubt.”

For more information on the next course, scheduled for June 20, contact the Delhi Police Department.

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