Letter: Tragedy and the necessity of handgun training

Thank you, Rappahannock News, for headlining what happens when weapons are prevalent and the handler of the weapon is being reckless, stupid, untrained and/or lacking in mental capacity [“Woman shot and killed in Chester Gap,” Dec. 17].

Basic handgun training in Virginia’s certified courses teach that removing the magazine doesn’t mean there isn’t a bullet in the chamber. That’s a component of every basic training course. Certified courses also teach that at all times, the gun is to be pointed in a direction that will not cause unintentional harm. How did this young man miss those two basic messages in his training class? These courses are available online.

I am shaken by this headline. I am very sad for this young woman’s family. Forget the national headlines. This is a local issue. As this incident further reveals, this is a neglected local issue.

Rappahannock County needs a front-page article on gun laws, gun ownership and necessary and plentiful handgun training classes. Perhaps the sheriff’s office could make this a priority given the enormous Second Amendment constituency in Rappahannock County. It wouldn’t hurt to have specific training opportunities for women on how to disarm your boyfriend who is being foolish or threatening with a handgun. Other lives may be saved as a result. Advanced safety training instructors are available. How long will it take before Sheriff Connie Smith takes this issue seriously? From recent personal experience, I know her deputies don’t take this issue seriously.

A follow-up article could advise the public on Mr. Williams’ training history and estimate the number of those in the county who have access to a handgun but have no training history.

Deborah L. Napier, Esq.
Washington, D.C.

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