EDINBURG, Texas – Authorities in this Texas border county continue a tradition of empowering homeowners and ranchers so they can protect themselves and their property from criminals.
The staccato sound of gunfire could be heard from a distance as close to two dozen persons fired multiple shots at their targets while several Hidalgo County Sheriff’s deputies watched carefully correcting their technique and ensuring that the safety protocol was followed.
The shooters were part of a class that has been held regularly for several years where residents learn the laws regarding self- defense, receive some tactical training and learn how to be a responsible gun owner as well as to be aware of their surroundings.
“This is class developed to help our residents that own a weapon or thinking about purchasing a weapon,” said Sheriff’s spokesman JP Rodriguez. “It teaches them the fundamentals of use of force, Texas law and familiarization with firearms.”
As previously reported by Breitbart Texas, over the years South Texas has seen various home invasions where gunmen storm a house looking for illegal goods, however sometimes they gunmen storm the wrong house victimizing innocent people, the spokesman said.
“The criminal element is very unpredictable at times,” Rodriguez said. “They conduct surveillance and develop intelligence but often times they are wrong. There are also times when suspects get intoxicated before committing a home invasion and end up targeting the wrong houses and victimizing innocent people. We want to help those people what they learn from this class they can take and continue so they can become proficient.”
On Sunday, Alton Police began investigating a home invasion gone wrong where the owner shot the intruders killing one, injuring another and possibly injuring a third suspect.
Despite having various firearms and practicing regularly at his ranch, for 24-year-old Ricardo Garcia, the class was something that his family considered a necessity since they live in a rural area about 20 minutes from the nearest city and the regular headlines of violent crime along the Texas border started to hit close to home and the idea of one day having to defend his family starting to become a bigger and bigger concern.
“It’s been getting really crazy, like crazier and crazier,” Garcia said. “People (drug and human smugglers) have jumped our fences and we wanted to know that if we were faced with a situation what we can do and what we can’t do. We wanted to be better prepared.”
During the class the instructors taught the students the realities of firearms versus what they see in movies and television, said Sgt. Steve Cortez.
“The reality many is a complete opposite of what they see,” Cortez said.
One of the topics that they covered in the class was the difference between concealment and cover where a sheetrock wall like the ones in many homes can help keep you concealed but it would do little to stop a bullet similar to couches and tables which on TV are shown to be bulletproof. The same idea applies to the effects of penetration and over-penetration where a person firing a gun has to be aware of what is behind their target.
Over the two day course, the instructors took dozens of questions from the students in an effort to dispel myths and provide accurate information.
“I am glad I took this course,” Garcia said. “There were many things that I didn’t know or that I had the wrong idea. I hope I never have to use this knowledge but now I know what I can and can’t do to keep my family safe.”