For the twelfth year in a row, Legally Armed in Detroit’s Rick Ector and a merry band of volunteers are hosting a huge gun training event for women this upcoming Saturday and Sunday in the Detroit suburb of Taylor, Michigan. Rick joined me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co with the details of the massive undertaking, which will have two local ranges hosting hundreds of women as well as volunteer instructors who’ll be providing a basic gun safety course free of charge for all those who attend.
Ector started the event back in 2011, several months after seeing a story about an unarmed woman who’d been brutally murdered in Detroit. “It stuck with me for a minute,” Ector explained to me, and when he couldn’t get that tragic story out of his head he decided to try to do something to help local women become more familiar with firearms. About fifty women showed up for that first event, but the numbers have been growing ever since, and this year Ector is hoping to train some 1,500 individuals over the course of the weekend.
As Rick says, he can’t pay for a babysitter or transportation to the range, but beyond that everything is covered free of charge for attendees; from the ammunition and firearms that will be used to the equipment they can don to protect their eyes and ears. Ector is partnering with Recoil Firearms and Top Gun Shooting Sports for this weekend’s event, and the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners is picking up the cost of the ammunition, so a big kudos to those groups for stepping up and helping this come to fruition.
While many of the women who participate this weekend will be first-timers, Ector says he does usually see a familiar face or two each and every year, with some women returning by themselves and others bringing friends and family along to share in the experience. Even for those who are already somewhat familiar with firearms the training event serves as way to introduce like-minded people to one another, but it’s also designed to be an open and inviting way to introduce women to a gun range, which Ector admits was even a little intimidating for him when he first visited a local range some 17 years ago after he was the victim of a robbery right outside his home.
He was able to get the suspects to flee by telling them a “whopping lie” that he had a house full of guns and trained gun users.
“They fled,” Ector said. “On that day, I made a promise to myself that I would never look down the barrel or be defenseless ever again, and I would use my experience to help others.”
He’s doing that in a big way this weekend, and if you’re in the Detroit area or know a local who could benefit from a lesson in real gun safety, there’s still time to sign up. Just go to LegallyArmedInDetroit.com and you can choose which two-hour block is best for you, as well as which range you’d like to visit. Be sure to check out the entire conversation with Rick Ector in the video window below, and I look forward to welcoming him back again next week for an after-action report on this weekend’s event… as well as the two of us putting our heads together and coming up with an official name for his annual trainingpalooza.