Grannies with Guns take aim at making mark in society

ABERDEEN – Sure they still talk about planting bulbs, but the real excitement has recently come from planting a bullet in a target for some members of the Magnolia Garden Club. The newest name on the Aberdeen society scene is the garden club’s subgroup calling themselves Grannies with Guns.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL Barbara Wilson gets a lesson in stance from Lt. John Bishop of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL
Barbara Wilson gets a lesson in stance from Lt. John Bishop of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s a new adventure. I’m 70 and had never shot a gun until a few weeks ago. I was a city girl growing up,” said Mary-Ellen Krummrich, who got the blessing from her son to purchase a handgun after a rash of break-ins in her neighborhood.
Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell recently spoke seriously to the garden club about the rise in crime, which made several of the club members question their own safety.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL Targets on the law enforcement's shooting range has caught a rash of bullets and the Grannies with Guns have been dead on with their marksmanship.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL
Targets on the law enforcement’s shooting range has caught a rash of bullets and the Grannies with Guns have been dead on with their marksmanship.

Several members already owned guns.
“When I was four, my father was helping me keep his revolver steady. Since then I’ve hunted deer and quail,” said Patsy Claxton, who makes regular trips to the firing range at Mitch’s Gun Shop in Hamilton with the newfound club.
The two were joined on a sunny Friday afternoon with Barbara Wilson and Claudette Martin to fire some rounds and learn a lesson in gun safety on Aberdeen’s law enforcement firing range through Champion Tactical, LLC.
Champion Tactical, LLC hosts gun safety courses most every weekend under the direction of Tim Coker and the Monroe County Sheriff Office’s Lt. John Bishop.
“Every person we educate passes it along to someone else and it helps spread the message of gun safety along,” Bishop said.
The group learned lessons on basic operation, the way a gun is made, basic loading and unloading of ammunition, stance, trigger control and sight alignment.
The MCSO has a goal of coordinating more gun safety classes sporadically throughout the year for the community.

 

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL From left, Patsy Claxton, Tim Coker, Mary-Ellen Krummrich, Lt. John Bishop and Claudette Martin get a few more instructions before going in hot with targets.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL
From left, Patsy Claxton, Tim Coker, Mary-Ellen Krummrich, Lt. John Bishop and Claudette Martin get a few more instructions before going in hot with targets.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL Patsy Claxton aims her sights in on a target with a group of her fellow Grannies with Guns.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL
Patsy Claxton aims her sights in on a target with a group of her fellow Grannies with Guns.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL Participants in a senior citizens gun safety course learn the proper way of loading and unloading handguns.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL
Participants in a senior citizens gun safety course learn the proper way of loading and unloading handguns.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL READY, AIM, FIRE – Patsy Claxton, right, aims at targets alongside Mary-Ellen Krummrich, Claudette Martin and Barbara Wilson as Lt. John Bishop gives the ladies a lesson in gun safety.

RAY VAN DUSEN/MONROE JOURNAL
READY, AIM, FIRE – Patsy Claxton, right, aims at targets alongside Mary-Ellen Krummrich, Claudette Martin and Barbara Wilson as Lt. John Bishop gives the ladies a lesson in gun safety.

About Ray Van Dusen

I've been with the Monroe Journal since Aug. 2009 as a staff writer, but took the role as news editor in late 2012. I'm always looking for interesting story ideas from around Monroe County. You can reach me via email at ray.vandusen@journalinc.com.