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First Person: Teaching Women How To Shoot Guns

June 18, 2018 1:40 p.m.

First Person: Instructor Aims To Be Resource For Women Who Want To Learn How To Shoot A Gun

GUEST:

Wendy Hauffen, firearms instructor, The Gun Range

Related Story: First Person: Teaching Women How To Shoot Guns

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

>>> Our first-person series features a stories of San Diego and -- San Diegan's told in their own voices. Wendy said she was 19 years old when Shieffer shot a gun. She would target shooting with friends. She could not name the gun she was firing. That is a long way from where she is today. She is a firearms instructor at the gun range in Kearney Mesa. As part of our first-person series, Wendy tells us what she likes about the hobby.
>> Shooting for me as enjoyable. When I am shooting, especially if I am practicing, it is a way for me to block out everything else. In practice as with everything else you cannot let other things distract you. It is almost meditation to me. I have to block out everything else. I have to focus on my breathing and trigger pull. Anything else is a distraction that will cause me to shoot bad. My name is Wendy Hoffman and I am a firearms instructor. I have been teaching for about six years now. I slowly focused my training services on teaching women and first-time shooters because there is a lack of resources out there for women in the shooting industry. I think it is important to have those resources available. Shooting is really fun and empowering. I think it is a great hobby. In Mike classes, we do a comprehensive safety brief. We go in depth into the four universal safety rules and why they are important. And we also cover other safety precautions that you would take us the shooter. Speaking make sure you are using the right ammunition.
>> And then we cover shooting fundamentals including grip, stance, aim, trigger pull, all of the things you would do in order to make the gun shoot. Speaking it --
>> We also cover mechanics. How the gun works and what happens every time you pull the trigger. Women like to know how things work and it alleviates a lot of fear. I like including that in my class. And of course there is live fire. We go out to the range and we shoot. It is very tailored to the student. We can spend a significant amount of time getting the student comfortable. If they are already comfortable, we go a little further and do fun drills, shoot one-handed, moving targets, stuff like that. My students range from 15-year-old girls probably even younger to 70-year-old I've never touched a gun them before. We have women or ladies from all walks of life. They are interested in shooting. A lot of times I get older women who are living on their own for the first time. They want to learn how to protect themselves and are thinking about buying a gun. Women whose husbands own guns. It is really important to me to have those women be educated about how those guns work as well. Now that they have guns in the home, they should be familiar with them. Even if they don't love the sport, they should at least know how to use it. How it works. And how to see if it is loaded at the very least. There is a little bit of everything. We have people who want to learn how to shoot for fun and are interested in buying a gun. They know it is a great time so they come out and learn how to do it. I think that people who are fighting to take away our gun rights, they think they fail to see that the majority, the vast majority of gun owners are saying -- saying, trained, law-abiding citizens and just want to be left alone. They just want to go have fun with the gun. They want to go hunting, shooting whatever. We are not fear mongering violent offenders. There is a very small percentage. The first person you call when somebody is about to commit a crime is somebody with a gun. A police officer. We don't necessarily need to wait for the police. We have people in our society who are willing to step up and fight for their life and the lives of everybody else around them. I think having security officers in schools, armed security guards in malls, unfortunately more guns is the answer. I am a firearms instructor. I can say that I am familiar with my gun. I have trained with it plenty. I am a straw -- small female who wants to build a defend herself against anyone who attacks me or harms me or my family. I think it is important that I be able to protect myself and my daughters and my husband if I need to.

>>> That perspective was from Wendy Hoffman to fire off -- firearms instructor in Kearny Mesa. That first-person story was produced by Breck Ruth.