What is the safe and proper way to hold a pistol?

That was one of the questions on the mind of women who attended licensed Fire Arms Instructor Calvin Nelson's conceal and carry certification course this past weekend.

Nelson owns and runs a firearms schooling business he calls Calvin's Gun Therapy. He got the idea after working full time in law enforcement and being a CLEET certified firearms instructor. Since then, Nelson has made it his business to help women become more independent and proficient with pistols, he said.

The lecture portion of the July 13 course was held at the Mooreland Community Center, followed by a hands-on practice session at a public range located southeast of Mooreland.

For some of the women in the July 13 class, it was the first time they had ever handled a pistol, Nelson said.

The women who took the course may now send their certificates in with a completed application packet for a conceal and carry license, which will enable them to be armed in many circumstances, he said.

Nelson believes everyone should know the law regarding how and where it is legal to carry a firearm.

"That is why I offered this course as a woman's only course," he said. "Some women just don't want to try and learn this stuff with men around."

Reasons for attending the course for many of the women included an increased level of anxiety about personal safety, such as leaving work alone at night.

Still others had simpler reasons.

"I just really have always wanted to take the course," said Nydia Fraire of Woodward.

The 29-year-old enjoys shooting sports and also travels at times with her child.

"I just feel like it is better to be prepared," she said.

While almost all of the women were somewhat reserved and quiet, the group livened up when they reached the range. And that included Robin Fike, who had been nervous earlier in the day about the shooting portion of the instruction.

Fike had never fired a pistol before.

"I don't even know how to hold this," she said, poking her pistol with an index finger.

However, Nelson reassured her and took special time with her during the lunch break to work with Fike on the proper way to grasp the pistol and the proper and safe place for her trigger finger.

Finally, when Fike had shot her 50 rounds, which each woman fired for qualification, she was enthused.

"I still want to learn more, but I feel much better now," she said.

Nelson periodically offers conceal and carry courses as well as private shooting instruction.  To learn more visit his Calvin's Gun Therapy Facebook page.

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