McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

November 11, 2012

Learning to use a gun is serious business

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — Exhilarating.

That’s the word I would use to describe my first experience a using gun after taking a firearms safety and training class recently.

 I have been a gun owner for two years, it was a gift from my husband and to be honest, I was afraid to even touch the gun at first. A fear I over came over time. 

 But after two years, I knew it was time I learned to carry and to use it. So I took a class.

With the recently enacted Open Carry Law taking affect on Nov. 1, Oklahoma residents a Self Defense Act license can openly carry their firearms in most public places.  But before a loaded weapon can be carried, a special license must be obtained.

 This means gun owners must take a a firearms safety and training class from a certified gun instructor and then apply for a Self Defense Act license to carry a loaded weapon.

I took my firearms safety and training class from Jim Henley a certified gun instructor. Recently, I took a class taught by Jim Henley of Rabbit Creek Shooting in McAlester. Henley is a former Dallas police officer, a National Rifle Association instructor. He said he has been trained by the Dallas Police Department, NRA Training Counselors and Massad Ayoobb an internationally-known firearms and self-defense instructor. 

The class was a full eight hours of information and gun handling training. Henley was a serious focused instructor and conveyed the importance of using the weapon correctly and safely.

During the class we went over the self-defense act in detail. And I was tested on the information we learned.

The first thing I learned was that using a gun is using deadly force and that is serious business.

Among other things, I learned never to point or shoot a gun at anyone unless

1. Your life is in danger at that moment;

2. The life of you mother, father, husband, wife child employee or employer is threatened at that moment;

3. Your home is invaded and believe the person will harm you or another person in your home;

4. Only the use of your gun could stop the harm or injury.

According to the new law,  businesses may prohibit firearms on their property by displaying a sign.

Guns are never allowed on property owned or leased by city, state or federal government, jails and prisons, schools, college campuses or at sports arenas during sporting events, except by law enforcement officers.

Also guns or firearms cannot be taken into bars or some other businesses where alcohol is consumed, unless you are law enforcement or the owner of the establishment. This does not apply to restaurants or places where the primary purpose of the business is not to dispense alcoholic beverages.

After I passed the test on the information I learned we went out to Henley’s firing range. 

This was the fun part.

This was my first time firing my weapon, a Tauras .380 automatic pistol. I learned the proper way to hold the gun, aim and to shoot it. Firing off that first round was exciting and because Henley taught me how to aim correctly I was able to hit the target and I was surprised at how easy it was. I fired almost 60 rounds using one of Henley’s used a .22’s  and my .380.

 I found the .22 to be much easier to fire accurately and the .380 to be much more powerful. 

Overall the class was a great learning experience. I can’t wait to get my license and carry my loaded weapon. And I will never forget that firing a deadly weapon is serious business.

 Contact Jeanne LeFlore at

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