Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

February 4, 2013

Avon resident helps others learn about guns

Firearms 101

By Brenda L. Holmes

INDIANAPOLIS — Dustin Kidd is trying to help people learn about firearms — one class at a time.

He recently taught an Introduction of Firearms class at Indiana Self Defense in Indianapolis. The shop is owned and operated by Walter “Walt” Brennan.

“We wanted to try to do some education on firearms,” he said.

Brennan is a survivalist and hopes to also help those who would like to know more about being self sufficient. He opened his facility over the weekend for the free class on firearms.

Kidd is a staunch self-defense advocate and has taught a variety of self-defense topics. He’s also a certified firearms instructor, range safety officer, and a former U.S. Marine.

He said the recent political climate around firearms spurred him to want to teach a class to help those with no knowledge on the subject.

“I’m hoping to bridge the gap and give you a basic level of knowledge on firearms,” he said as he opened the class.

He attributed much of the misinformation about guns to fear.

“Fear is an emotion and a survival mechanism,” Kidd said. “It is a learned emotion. People naturally fear the unknown. It is simply the lack of knowledge.”

He said many people don’t have any first hand experience with firearms and that their sole education has come from television and other forms of the media.

He showed a slide of two rifles — one a standard riffle and the second with cosmetic items such as a pistol grip and an adjustable stock.

“It’s the same riffle,” he said. “One is no more lethal than the other.”

One class member asked why a pistol grip would be more advantageous than the normal trigger.

“A pistol grip is excellent for teaching,” Kidd said. “It makes it easier for a young person to fire. We’re always searching for things to make life easier. These accessories make it easier to teach. Why wouldn’t we want them?”

Kidd said that statistics can be telling.

“Ninety-nine percent of gun owners are not involved with a shooting each year,” he said. “Only 7 percent of all violent crimes used a firearm. And 80 percent of those were obtained illegally.”

He said more gun laws will not help with the illegal possession of firearms.

Kidd then turned to safety. He said if gun owners abide by a short list of safety precautions, they are not likely to ever injure themselves or others.

He offered the following tips:

- Treat any firearm like it’s a loaded firearm;

- Never point a firearm at a target you don’t intend to destroy;

- Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire;

- Keep the firearm in the safety position until you intend to fire; and

- Know what your target is and what is beyond it.

Kidd demonstrated the proper way to point a firearm using a “blue” gun with no internal mechanism. He kept his trigger finger on the outside of the gun until he had it pointed in a direction away from any person in the class.

He also spent time discussing self-defense.

“People think, ‘It will never happen to me or the police will protect me,’” he said. “A firearm is a tool that levels the playing field on being prepared. It takes time for the police to arrive.”

One member of the class volunteered that she had only to show her firearm during an attack and that was enough to stop the perpetrator.

Kidd said those kinds of stories are common.

“People also assume that a gun can make you safe,” he said. “That’s not necessarily true. You need to be aware of your situation. Seventy percent of assaults use a knife or edged weapon. It takes time to draw a gun. They can close a gap very quickly.”

Kidd said he’s now working on refining his curriculum to develop a follow up class. There are several classes on this website, including the firearms classes.

For more information, visit the website at http://www.meetup.com/Indiana-Disaster-Preparedness/.