By Terri Ferguson Smith / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
Killing zombies may not be considered family fun to the characters on AMC's "The Walking Dead," but at a family-friendly event Saturday near Collinsville, shooters aimed for zombie targets.
They were shooting paper targets of course and in keeping with the spirit of the TV series, only head shots counted. For the uninitiated, 'Walking Dead' zombies, or walkers as they are called, have to be eliminated by a head injury.
Valerie Smith, an instructor for Battlefield Shooting Club, said the event was for fun and for getting a message out there.
"Right now 'The Walking Dead" series is so popular and everybody is into shooting zombies," Smith said. "We thought it would be fun to get the public involved and to make them aware that we are out here and we have training so that we can help them with self-defense needs as well."
Battlefield is a shooting club that is open for membership to the public, but it also offers instruction.
"It's training for situational awareness, it's training for rape prevention, it's training for gun safety," she said.
Tony Boutwell, a student at Battlefield, who was on the range Saturday, said he's only seen a couple of episodes of the TV series, but he enjoys the sport of shooting.
"I'm a fan of shooting. It doesn't matter what the theme is," Boutwell said. "It's been exciting today. I brought my daughter out here. She's loving it.
Mona Rigdon has been shooting all of her life, she said, and she enjoyed using a Colt M4 22 AR to shoot zombie targets.
"I'm having a good time," Rigdon said. "We're just playing and enjoying the sunshine."
Battlefield's Michael Street said Battlefield is part of Specialized Emergency Response Training, a company that specializes in training military, security and law enforcement professionals. Street said about a year ago they started offering courses for civilians as well.
A number of children took part in the competition Saturday, and in light of the ongoing debate about gun control in the United States, Street was asked why children should learn about guns.
"I think the earlier you can start teaching children about how to respect guns, what to do if you see one, not to touch it if there's no adult present, then as they grow up you teach them how to shoot, how to properly handle them, and start introducing them to the sport of shooting," Street said. "One day they are going to be the ones protecting our Second Amendment rights. They are our future leaders so they are going to be the ones to help protect us in the future. I think the earlier we can start teaching them, then the better off we're going to be 20 years from now."
For more information call 601-482-8892 or go to: www.serttraining.com. Battlefield Gun Club is also on Facebook.