As more and more people across the country wish to obtain their concealed carry permit, the typical concealed carrier isn’t so typical anymore. All different types of people from all different backgrounds are now licensed gun holders; added to this group is a number of deaf individuals in Kentucky.
Tina McFarland Savelyev is an interpreter for the deaf and has been learning a lot about how members of the deaf community would like to be legal firearms carriers just like the hearing community is able to do. Savelyev said,
“When the deaf folks would ask their local instructors, the process became paralyzed due to the need for interpreters.”
She explained how there just didn’t seem to be a place to have their questions answered about how or where a class could be held for deaf citizens of Kentucky. But then Savelyev posed the question to her cousin, Eric Dean, who is a firearms and self-defense coach at The American Institute of Marksmanship. It turns out that Dean was the perfect person to ask. Not only did he arrange for the class to be held, but when the participants receive their licenses, many of them will also be trained to teach the concealed deadly weapons course themselves as well as administer the tests to law enforcement officials, if they choose to do so.
For many people in the class, simply put, it was about having the right to carry a gun. With two interpreters present, the class went very smoothly. Marsha Taylor, a student in the class, said,
“This class was awesome. Our interpreters were great, but the best part was how the instructor — who had no clue about anything ‘deaf’ — was able to lead the class with respect and normalcy. He didn’t treat us like second-class people needing ‘special help.’ He treated us just like any other students and bent over backwards to ensure that we got the most out of it.”
Jen Hacker also took the course and plans to become an instructor herself in the next few months. She shared,
“I thought this class was very informative and had quality training. The instructor was excellent — he covered the basics that we need to know about handguns. With the amount of students in the class and at the range, he had a remarkable amount of patience.”
Self-protection was one of the main reasons she has been thinking about obtaining her license.
“It prepared me for when my life and the lives of others are in jeopardy. I now have the ability to do something about it.”