May 23, 2018
Detroit Area Firearms Instructors Work Together for Common Goal
Detroit. While best known as the center of the American Automobile Industry, after decades of major economic and demographic decline, coupled with some of the nation’s most restrictive gun laws, the Motor City is also known to have one of the nation’s highest crime rates. In recent years, Downtown Detroit has seen beginnings of a comeback as people and businesses return to the city center but to the people of the greater Detroit Metro Area who are still being victimized by decades-long crime spree — that’s no consolation. For them, solving a decade’s long crime problem will take more than a downtown revival. So citizens of Detroit have taken it upon themselves to seek training in the safe and responsible use of firearms and shooting fundamentals.
Watching the senseless suffering in his local community Detroit native and business owner Rick Ector felt as many of us who watch the news today, disheartened. Most calm this need to help by doing volunteer work or making a donation to a food pantry or shelter. But, Several years ago after hearing about the tragic death of a young woman in Detroit, Rick became driven by a desire to do something about it — enough was enough. Rick felt that as an NRA-certified instructor and owner of Rick’s Firearms Academy of Detroit he could do more. He decided to host an event offering free firearms training to any female who wanted to learn. That first year 50 females showed up. The overwhelming interest and success of this event amazed Rick. He realized this was something the women truly wanted and appreciated so he did it again the following year and even more women came. Now the event has grown beyond Ricks wildest imagination.
Rick wanted to continue to offer this event free of charge to women because he believed it was important that every female should have the opportunity to learn to protect herself. As the program grew, so did the need for help. Rick reached out to other firearms instructors in his area for assistance. He explained what he wanted to do, and received the help he needed. Yes, competing instructors stepped up to help teach students for free.
This year Rick again offered free firearms training to females ages 12 and up, and with the help of many a staggering 800 women were trained in the safe and responsible use of firearms and shooting fundamentals.
Not only did Rick have the support of his instructor friends — over 50 volunteer instructors and helpers — but a lot of folks from the industry stepped up to help as well. For the third year, Top Gun Shooting Sports of Taylor, Michigan, offered the use of its facility, including 18 shooting lanes for the day and meals for the instructors. The 9mm ammunition used in the class was donated by Aguila, ATEi provided the loaner firearms, foam earplugs and several raffle prizes were donated by Radians and Birchwood Casey donated targets. Firearm locks were provided by NSSF’s Project ChildSafe, and NSSF ensured each of the students had shooting glasses and safety literature.
There were a number of groups on hand to meet the students and any answer questions they had about the shooting sports, firearms safety and getting their concealed carry licenses. These groups included The Well Armed Woman, Legally Armed in Detroit, Michigan Gun Owners and the NRA-ILA among others.
We need to introduce more people to the shooting sports. How do we do that? Just like these Detroit area instructors did: By working together, by coming together, by setting aside our differences and creating solutions. Then and only then can we grow.
If there are other organizations out there doing similar work, we would love to hear from you. Please contact me at [email protected].