On January 7th we hosted a community event at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Hansen Hall. Many of our members live in Jackson Hole, and firearms are a traditional way of life in this area. We thought it would be wise to offer another firearms safety workshop that could help us all gain knowledge and live safer lives.
Shepard Humphries, Lynn Sherwood and Momo Renkes of the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience led the workshop, complete with a show and tell with real guns. Before this hands-on session, Shepard delivered a presentation which is roughly summarized here including some excellent Q&A topics attendees inquired about. For those of you that were unable to attend, we hope this helps:
The three rules of firearms safety:
1. Always keep guns pointed in a safe direction (The direction that, if the gun discharges, the least amount of damage to people and property will occur.)
2. Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
3. Always keep guns unloaded until ready to use.
There are three basic classifications of firearms; pistols, rifles and shotguns.
- Pistols can be held and fired with one hand, though most people use two hands for a better grip. They have short barrels, typically less than 6 inches long.
- Rifles are typically larger, with barrels over 16 inches long, and are shoulder mounted.
- Shotguns are also larger, are smooth inside the barrel and are shoulder mounted.
There are a number of popular “action” types. 90% of rifles are Bolt Action or Semi-automatic. Most handguns are semi-automatic or revolvers. Shotguns include pump action, semi-automatic and break / hinge action.
A Fully Automatic rifle is the kind that governments frequently use for war, and they are very difficult for civilians to acquire. A 1-year application & background check is followed by very high prices. An example was an Armalite Rifle that is Semi-auto costing $700, while a fully automatic is over $15,000!
Bad use of firearms, trampolines, ropes, rivers and skis can contribute to injury or death. Each family has different standards regarding how they prefer to rear and educate their children. A farmer child at 10 years old might drive the ranch pickup truck, target shoot with an Armalite Rifle (AR-15) and go swimming in a big river alone. A child in a mainstream city home might not be taught how to, nor be allowed to, do any of these activities. Best practices for children under 10 that are not reared with firearms in the home is to teach them that if they find a gun:
Parents should recognize that even if their own children are responsible individuals, it is best to keep firearms locked and inaccessible to their children’s friends.
Shepard commented that probabilities ought to help people decide how to store guns. If a woman is being stalked and lives alone, her situation is very different than a home with a curious little 5-yr-old and a teen that is working through depression problems.
If you are an adult that is unfamiliar with firearms and you encounter one, you don’t have to run away, but do not touch it.
Contact Shootinjh, and they will assist you in making it safe and responsibly disposing of it, if that is your choice.
When you see the crew from the Jackson Hole Shooting Experience at the market, please feel welcome to ask them questions!
Firearms Safety Speaker Shepard Humphries was reared in a Mennonite community in Muddy Pond Tennessee and moved to Jackson Hole when he was 16. Since then he has worn many hats and is currently the president of the JH Experience Group. He enjoys producing value as a teacher, author, speaker, consultant, human rights advocate and friend. https://shepardhumphries.com/
Lynn Sherwood-Humphries had a lifelong fear of guns and recognized at the ripe ole’ age of 37 that it wasn’t the gun that she was afraid of, but the bad guy behind the gun. Her trembling hands and teary eyes during her first shots quickly gave way to empowerment and helping others through their first shots - and beyond. Now an active shooter, instructor and mentor, Lynn enjoys connecting with people! https://lynnsherwood.com/
Momo Renkes grew up in a large family on a farm in the Midwest, shooting cans and varmints with a classic Daisy BB gun. After a career as an international video professional, she returned to her love of target sports, becoming an LPGA Teaching Professional and firearms enthusiast. Although her greatest life’s work is her family, she spends as much time as possible improving her marksmanship and firearms skills. She has even hit a target from one mile away with Nomad Rifleman! https://shootinjh.com/team/momo-renkes/