The threat of a home invasion, burglary, or worse is a very real worry for families in South Bend.
While some rely on the man of the house to provide protection, one group of South Bend ladies is taking safety into their own hands.
These women, mostly strangers to one another, gather in a classroom.
Their reasons may be different, but their goal is the same.
Donna Botich is one of the women who attended a gun fighting class designed specifically for women. She says, “I wanted to make sure that if I needed to protect the home, I could.”
Norman Hood is the chief instructor at Kodiak Range, where the class is taught. He says, “We teach them to be safe, and we give them the confidence to manipulate a handgun.”
So, I decided to join in. I put on my gear and headed out to the Kodiak firing range.
First shots fired, and there was no looking back.
Little by little, the nervousness faded to confidence.
Donna says, “I had never shot a gun before. So, it's pretty exciting coming here and learning.”
The class is three nights and four hours each day of intensive training.
The women learn a lot, and even my own shooting started to get pretty good.
Norm says, “I see them all on the first day, and they'll tell me they are deathly afraid of a gun. And by the end of the third day, it's like, ‘When can we come back and shoot some more?’ And you can see it on their faces. That’s enjoyable to me.”
Even though hitting center target gave these ladies some bragging rights, the class also focused on self-protection with or without a gun.
“There's other methods out there they could use to deter someone if there was an attack. That’s why I incorporate personal tactics, especially with the ladies.”
Class attendee Shannon Miller says, “You just want to be careful and be safe, do it the right way.
By the end of the third and final night of class, there were bullet cases to clear out, guns to put away, but these women were leaving loaded with newfound courage.
Donna says, “I'll be confident that if I need to use a gun, I would know what to do with it.”
By the end of the three-day course, not all of the women were sure they were ready to carry their own guns.
However, each of the women did say they no longer felt intimidated by using one.
If you are interested in taking a class the the Kodiak Firing Range, here is a link to the website: