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February 11, 2013

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY: Weekend session offers lesson in gun safety

UTICA — “I would rather be safe than sorry.”

That is the phrase Tony Johnson had more than 100 people say twice in unison during a gun safety seminar Saturday at the Clark County Casting and Conservation Club.

Johnson, of Utica, is a long-time member of the organization and emceed the hour-long meeting.

In the midst of the debate over firearm regulations taking place in Washington, D.C. that is saturating national media, Johnson said it seemed appropriate to take a step away from the politics and focus on educating area youth on firearm safety. 

“We had a lot of young people here. They are the people who should start out learning about guns and gun safety,” Johnson said. “It is a big topic right now, and we just want to promote gun-safety awareness.”

Johnson opened the seminar with a PowerPoint presentation on gun-safety basics. The tips provided during the presentation included keeping your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot the firearm, always pointing the firearm in a safe direction, and never examining a loaded firearm by looking down its barrel.

While the suggestions may seem obvious to any gun user, Johnson said practicing gun-safety basics can be a matter of life and death.

“It can save your life and it can save your kids’ lives,” Johnson said gun-safety of awareness.

Following the PowerPoint presentation, several guest speakers addressed the audience, a mix of men, women and children.

Ricky Ferree, a manager at Lewis and Clark Gun Range in Utica, was asked by the club to share safety tips and talk about the importance of using gun-safety accessories, including safety glasses and ear protection.

“Safety is a thing that needs to be addressed at all ages, and all people need to know about it that have guns,” Ferree said.

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Students who attended the Renaissance Academy's Culture Camp lead other students in an exercise, brainstorming thoughts, fears and opinions of the new learning style and school. The Academy is largely based on projects, working in groups and hands-on education.

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