MIKE GILES: Instructor shares her passion for firearms

Photo by Mike Giles

Laurie Rogers, an NRA firearms instructor from Ellisville, works with her students and gives hands on instructions during the pistol qualifying trial for her firearms training class.

Laurie Rogers held the heavy shotgun tight to her shoulder and squeezed the trigger with all her might.

“Ka-Boom” roared the shotgun as it knocked her to the ground.

Rogers, only 5 years old at the time, knew that she wanted to go hunting with her father more than anything, and he’d told her that she had to shoot that shotgun before she could go.

“With tears running down my eyes and cheeks, I picked myself up and asked if I could do it again,” Rogers recalled. “And guess who got to go hunting.”

That was the start of her passion for the outdoors, hunting and firearms.

“I grew up shooting guns and hunting and enjoyed it very much, so I taught my own kids,” Rogers said. “The one passion I had was for firearms and I liked helping others. I wanted to be able to teach women how to handle a weapon and defend themselves, so I became an NRA firearms instructor.”

Rogers, of Ellisville, wanted to help women of all ages, so she started out with classes for women only, so they could feel comfortable and not intimidated around others.

Those initial classes were so well received and attended that she broadened her classes and now trains all people including men and people with disabilities. She’s trained people as young as 10 years old up to age 87.

It’s obvious this passionate woman has a heart for people and wants to make a difference in the lives of everyone, including men too.

Many of those same people had been attacked previously and lived in constant fear.

MIKE GILES: Instructor shares her passion for firearms

Photo by Mike Giles

Laurie Rogers offers safety tips and other instructions in her classes.

“I love being able to take a student who knows nothing about firearms or how to protect themselves and teach them how to handle a weapon and feel comfortable with it when we are done,” Rogers said. “I want them to be aware of their surroundings and know what to expect and how to respond to threats. When it comes to your personal security or the life of one of your children or family members you need to be ready to respond accordingly.”

Rogers is a professional instructor who believes in safety first, and she believes that knowledge and firearms proficiency will allow women and others to live without the constant fear that comes with being a victim.

“I’ve had to pull my gun in self defense twice in my life, and both times that’s all it took to stop the situation from escalating further,” Rogers said. “I stopped at a red light in North Jackson one time and somebody got in the car with me and I pulled my gun and they got out much quicker than they got in and I never had to pull the trigger. Just knowing what I was doing and being able to stop the situation was enough. Had I not had a pistol it might not have ended that good.”

Another time, someone broke into her house in Texas and Rogers drew her weapon and held them at gunpoint until the law arrived.

“Just because you’ve learned how to defend yourself doesn’t mean you have to be trigger happy,” Rogers said. “Sometimes all you have to do is pull your weapon and they’ll stop, but if they don’t, you have to be prepared to defend yourself and your family without hesitation. When it comes down to protecting your child, parent or spouse, you have to be able to do it.”

The key to successful self defense is having the proper knowledge and proficiency with a firearm.

“More and more people are able to stop shootings but you’re not hearing a lot about that in the media,” Rogers said. “You have to assess the situation and know what to do, when to do it and how to do it to be able to defend yourself or your family if you are faced with a life or death situation.”

After watching Rogers train others during an enhanced concealed carry training class, it’s obvious to me that this inspirational woman has a passion for helping others from all walks of life. Knowledge is power, and the ability to protect yourself and others in extreme situations is imperative in our modern world.

For more information about Rogers and her passion for training others, contact her at 601-800-8256 or online at www.thehuntersedge.net.

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