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Experts: Firearms proficiency should be the last line of defense in a shooter situation

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jan 04, 2021

Learning about gun safety is important when it comes to defending yourself from shooters like the one who killed a church pastor in Winona on Sunday.

Learning what comes after shooting a gun is just one of the things instructors from Hold the Line teach. They also teach how to hold, and load, a gun, and what kind of stance to use when shooting.

“The last things we want to use is force, or deadly force, to defend ourself," said Hold The Line owner Kenneth Lease. "But sometimes, it is the only option. If it is an option, it’s going to be the last option you ever want to use.”

They offer license to carry classes, which the state of Texas requires, in order to get a conceal-and-carry permit.

They say a .22 rifle is a good firearm to start with in order to learn hand-eye coordination, and even offer a virtual gun simulator to learn on for those who aren't ready to hold a gun.

Texas requires someone to be 21 and undergo a background check in order to legally carry a gun. However, there are some circumstances that can make some people ineligible, including when people rely on substances such as alcohol, and when people who have certain mental problems.

A local attorney also said that you can still find yourself in trouble, despite being threatened, when shooting a gun.

“It’s certainly never going to be protected to shoot somebody simply because of speech -- what they’re telling you, what they’re saying to you,” said Chris Gale.

When faced with the threat of danger like when the shooter came into the Starrville Methodist Church in Winona, Lease said it is best to run and hide before having to face the consequences of deciding to pull the trigger.

“Run, hide, fight," he said. "Run, get the heck out of there. Take as many people with you as will go. Go outside, call 911. Be a good witness, first and foremost. Stop people from entering that area."

Lease said it’s important to practice and train in order to retain gun proficiency and muscle memory.