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After Orlando nightclub shooting, Owners of AR-style firearms defend their weapons

Associated Press

ATLANTA — Karen Butler still remembers the first time she picked up an AR15-style rifle a decade ago.

“Quite honestly, I was scared of it,” she recalls.

But as soon as she fired it, she became a fan.

“You know some of these people that are fearful, it’s just because they don’t have knowledge,” she said. “We call it furniture — it’s got all the accessories on it that make it look a little intimidating. But once you shoot it you realize it’s so much fun.”

Butler, of Huntsville, Alabama, started Shoot Like a Girl, an outfit that seeks to introduce and inspire women to participate in shooting sports.

Even the name stirs up controversy. “AR” does not stand for “assault rifle,” as many believe, but for ArmaLite Rifle, a nod to the company that first designed it for military use. Assault weapons are fully automatic; the bullets keep flying for as long as the trigger is depressed. AR-style guns are semiautomatic, meaning the trigger has to be pulled separately for each shot.

More than 12,000 people were killed last year in the United States by guns, and most of those incidents involved handguns. A tiny fraction involved an AR-style gun.

But of those, most have been high-profile shootings, including the nightclub shooting in Orlando, where Omar Mateen used a Sig Sauer MCX model in an attack that killed 49 people.

That shooting has revived calls for banning ARs among critics who believe it is too powerful and too deadly, with standard magazines that hold 20 to 30 rounds, compared with handguns that generally hold nine to 15 rounds.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called for reinstating a ban that expired in 2004. “We have to make it harder for people who should not have those weapons of war,” Clinton said after the June 12 shooting.

For Dara Humphries, the AR-style firearm isn’t to be feared or banned. Rather, she says, it’s just a different type of weapon with a different feel.

“It’s like driving a truck versus driving a car, a sports car. Every firearm has a different feel to it,” said Humphries, an NRA instructor based in Georgia. “So a Ruger Mini 14 may feel like a Jaguar to you and may feel like a truck to me and vice versa. And to me an AR-15 feels like a smooth ride whereas a Ruger feels like a bumpy truck.”

Humphries, who also goes by the nickname Tactical Barbie, believes the debate over gun measures has focused too much on the firearm and not enough on the person behind the gun.

“Normal people who purchase guns don’t do this,” she said of mass shooters. “If I want to defend my home and my family then I have the right to do that.”

Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, says the ARstyle firearm is easy to use, has little recoil and can be customized, such as with a collapsible stock, making it easier for women to handle.

While it’s too large to carry concealed, he and others describe it as a good weapon for home defense or in other crises.

“When you’re facing multiple attackers, you want something that will shoot more than six rounds,” Pratt said.

He and others in the gun lobby say the AR is targeted because of the way it looks, and any fears are misplaced because it’s only cosmetically different from other types of rifles and long guns.

Kevin Michalowski, executive editor of Concealed Carry magazine, first fired an AR-15 in the early 1990s hunting coyotes in South Dakota. He found it more accurate than his old boltaction rifle. He now owns three.

While you can “do all kinds of cool things” with the AR — adding a scope or optics, putting a flashlight on the barrel, changing the stock — “none of this stuff makes a firearm any more deadly,” Michalowski said. For Shoot Like a Girl’s Butler, shooting was inspiring. After a divorce in her 30s that undermined her confidence, she went to the shooting range with a group of friends. She started shooting at Gatorade bottles and by the end of the day was using bottle caps as targets.

“I went in there feeling like a failure in life and I walked out having this renewed confidence,” said Butler, 49.

Butler said she believes the anger directed at the AR is unfair and misdirected. “It’s a shame because we don’t have the same outcry over knives, over baseball bats, over texting and driving, over all of these other things that are killing Americans every single day,” she said.

dara Humphries, an NrA and Glock firearms instructor, holds an Ar-platform rifle at a gun range in Gainesville, Ga. AssociAted Press

 

Source: http://naplesdailynews.fl.newsmemory.com/?token=a72674a7b4de1ef5cca838a06d77608b_57713133_ff97bc6&selDate=20160627&goTo=A01&artid=art_0.xml

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Naples Gun Shop & School | 347 Airport Road N, Naples, FL 34104 | (239) 285-4011

 

Reviews

  Nahun YCaridad Flores recommends Naples Gun Shop & School. I attended class last Saturday. It was a wonderful experience. I definitely recommend.

Naples Gun School - 5 stars Great class. Made the class interesting. Instructor was extremely helpful and made my wife and I very comfortable. Antonio Santos

Naples Gun School - 5 stars Love this place. Dave treated me like a V.I.P. He's a cool guy. He takes time teaching you throughout the course. This is the place to buy firearms, supplies and for class. A++++ Anthony Rojas

Naples Gun School - 5 stars Great class!! There was a lot more hands on instruction than the class that I had in Tennessee. David was knowledgeable and entertaining. Good insights on Florida law. My wife will be taking the class shortly. Thanks David. Kevin 9/15/2018

  I thoroughly enjoyed the concealed weapons class on 8/11/18. The class went beyond my expectations. Dave you are an awesome instructor and made the class fun. I would highly recommend Naples Gun Shopping and School! Thanks for sharing your knowledge! - Teresa Cannon

David is an excellent instructor. The class is excellent and exceeded my expectations with information on the laws of Florida, and as well to carry properly, load the weapons as well as placement of holding weapons. If your looking to buy a weapon he is the man to go to. I personally bought my firearm from. - Carlos Casiano

Naples Gun School - 5 stars  Martha Hohenthaner

Naples Gun School - 5 stars  This was a very good class. I did not have to take it, as I am a Veteran, however it is a good idea. I learned a lot about Florida Law I did not know. It will in the long run help keep you out of trouble. David was very patient with my wife when we live fired, because she has arthritis and had a hard time pulling the trigger in double action mode. Good Job David thanks so much..Joseph Hohenthaner

Naples Gun School - 5 stars  The class was engaging and as fast paced as it can be. The instructor was knowledgeable and worked well with a class spanning all the levels of experience and age you can imagine. I also felt it was fairly priced, especially as you just had to bring yourself and an ID - all other supplies were, er, supplied.Cliff Elam 

Naples Gun School - 5 stars  Naples Gun Shop & School gets an A+ in my book! David and Ginny were great. I took the CWP class today 7/21/18. Both are extremely knowledgeable and easy to talk to. David is one of the best instructors that I have had the pleasure of meeting. I highly recommend Naples Gun Shop & School. Best prices, Great training, and easy to deal with. I will definitely be returning to do further business. Thank you David & Ginny....see you soon!Nicholas Lupo

Naples Gun School - 5 stars  I've been a repeat customer for FFL transfers with Naples Gun School for quite some time. Dave's customer service and knowledge are second to none. After speaking with Dave for a few moments, you start to feel as if you have known him for quite a while. I look forward to continuing my business when the new location opens. - Robert Boyette

I really enjoyed the class yesterday, and it was very nice to meet David and Ginny. David is very knowledgeable, helpful, and best of all: has a sense of humor. I was more nervous than I thought I would be because this was the first time in my life that I've ever shot a semi-automatic weapon. David lives and breathes this stuff and his presence and ease with weapons was very calming for me when I was at the range. Ginny was also very supportive throughout the whole class. Thank you guys so much! It's a pleasure and I will be back to purchase supplies from you! - Shenandoah Webb

Naples Gun School - 5 starsTook the 3/31/18 class and loved it! Dave was very informative and his laid back teaching style made the 4 hour class fly by. Would recommend this class to anyone interested in a CWP. Thanks Dave and Ginny! - Kelly Gardner

Naples Gun School - 5 stars I’d like to thank The Naples Gun School for the time and effort they took in order to help me become a more responsible hand gun owner. By taking your CCWP class on 3.31.2018, I’m honestly a better person today than I was yesterday. Your course is not only interesting, but informative as well. The time we had together flew by. Throughout the whole process, they were calm and patient with every student. Especially after everyone seemed to drop their cartridges on the floor during the revolver training portion of the program. I highly recommend Naples Gun School to anyone that’s interested in becoming a CCWP holder. And I definitely will use their services by purchasing all my gun needs through their establishment. David & Ginny, thank you so much. I had a wonderful time!Chris Shaffer

Naples Gun School - 5 stars This class kept me very interested, informed and didn’t even realize 4 hours went by! Would recommend everyone to take this class! - Douglas Shaffer

Naples Gun School - 5 stars - Lurybella Lora Trejo

 

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