Macon police gun class a draw for women

hgoodridge@macon.comMay 22, 2013 

Note to those predators looking for women they believe to be easy prey: Stay away from these ladies if you value your life.

They’re retired educators, housewives, medical professionals, insurance agents, retired nurses. They all have one thing in common: They’re packing heat and they know how to use it.

The Macon Police Department wrapped up its gun safety class Wednesday and Sgt. Tim James said he wasn’t surprised all of the about 18 participants were women. The department holds the two-day class four times a year and 95 percent of the students are women, he said.

“Guys may not come because they probably think they know all about guns,” said James, adding that much of the class is about gun laws, which many people are not familiar with.

“I’m doing this for one reason and one reason only,” said Kara Hebert. “I absolutely adore my son and I never want to be in a predicament when I can’t protect him.”

Her husband has been serving in Afghanistan for four years.

Lisa Gilbert, director of sales at Secure Health in downtown Macon, said she recently purchased a gun following the death of a woman who worked in a local law office. She met the victim before and several of her friends also knew her.

“I never thought I’d be a gun owner, and now I have two and a conceal (carry) permit,” Gilbert said about an hour before heading into the range at the police department’s training facility on Jackson Street.

Gilbert said she wants to exercise her Second Amendment rights “before they’re taken away,” she said. She also wants to protect herself.

“Nobody needs to die that way,” Gilbert said about 58-year-old Gail Spencer, a legal secretary who was found dead in her north Macon home in October after suspects suffocated her. “I don’t want to be that person. I want to be smart about it. That’s why I’m here.”

Before entering the range, Gilbert was excited. “It’s addicting,” she said. “When you shoot, it’s like hmmmm, gunpowder.”

She stepped into her stall, received some last-second instructions from safety officers and took aim. Before she squeezed off her first round, her hands were kind of shaky. The red laser on her gun danced around the target that consisted of a head and body.

Her first shot hit the shoulder. Her second shot was in the lower abdominal area and the third -- the heart.

She clearly settled in and that red laser on her Glock wasn’t shaky anymore.

Gilbert then fired off a series of head shots on the target, aiming some of her bullets through holes multiple times.

When her shooting session ended, an excited Gilbert put her fingers up to her nose and took a long whiff. “It smells sooo good,” she said smiling.

When Betty Frank-Nobble walked out of the shooting range, classmate Rhonda Ross-Harris asked her “How’d you do, Miss Betty?”

Frank-Nobble held up her target to display the number of shots she pumped into the body. “This is Miss Betty right here,” she said.

“You’re ready to ride with me,” Ross-Harris responded.

Frank-Nobble, 69, lost her husband nine years ago. “I decided I need to take care of myself,” she said. “I’m putting this on my front door,” she joked about her bullet-ridden target. “Enter at your own risk.”

To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.

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