Virginia Gun Shop Hosts Real Gun Safety Course In City Park

(AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

I love getting the chance to report good news, especially when it’s in (or at least close to) my own back yard. Safeside Tactical is a gun shop and range with locations in Lynchburg and Roanoke, Virginia, but this weekend they’re going mobile and hosting a free gun safety course at a local park in the city of Roanoke.

In fact, this will be the first of at least two events hosted by Safeside Tactical at Elmwood Park in Roanoke, with a second date scheduled for October 9th. Each event will actually consist of two identical sessions, so there are really four different opportunities to attend. The company says the courses are free of charge, but they are asking that folks register to attend.

Elmwood Park Amphitheater offers a convenient, downtown spot for us to provide educational information to gun-owners and non-gun-owners alike.  You’ll hear from SafeSide Certified Instructors and representatives from USCCA plus, you’ll have an opportunity to learn more about firearms training classes, USCCA membership, Suicide Prevention (presented by Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare) and more. Free Gun Locks will be available to attendees.

Each session will cover the same content – so choose one of the four times that works the best for you and don’t forget to share with your friends and family so that they can learn or review the basics of gun safety.

The U.S. Concealed Carry Association is partnering with Safeside Tactical for the event, which will also feature giveaways and door prizes plus the opportunity to sign up for a concealed carry course at a reduced rate of $25.

The one downside to the event is the fact that the city of Roanoke has banned the legal possession of firearms in city buildings and parks, which means the gun safety event is oddly going to be gun-free.

While I’m of the opinion that the city’s ban is unconstitutional, the ordinance remains in effect for now, and frankly, I’m glad that Safeside isn’t letting the hoplophobia of city officials stand in the way of providing some genuine lessons on how to safely and responsibly handle a firearm, because it’s clear that Roanoke’s efforts to crack down on violent crime simply isn’t working.

Thursday, the Roanoke Police Department announced the identity of the victim in the Star City’s most recent homicide. A shooting at a gas station killed a woman and injured a man Wednesday morning.

She has been identified as 21-year-old Lindsey Shook. Her death marks the 12th homicide Roanoke has seen in 2021, two fewer than all of last year.

The city continues to address gun violence in the community, saying earlier Thursday that law enforcement officials are focusing on partnering with the community to prevent crime. City council member Joe Cobb said everyone needs to work together to make Roanoke safer for all.

I’d argue that teaching folks how to be responsible with a gun is going to be far more successful in making Roanoke a safer place than banning the lawful carrying of firearms on city property. And with the rising rates of violent crime, the odds are good that many Roanoke residents are going to choose to protect themselves, rather than relying on the city’s failed efforts at reducing the crime rate to keep them safe.

Kudos to Safeside Tactical for proactively bringing a real gun safety message to Roanoke residents. This may not look like your typical 2A activism, but it’s vitally important to to counter the efforts of the gun control lobby, which defines gun safety as simply “don’t own a gun.” I’d love to see similar classes brought to the public square in other cities, and I hope that this weekend’s turnout is strong enough to inspire other ranges and firearms instructors around the state to follow suit.