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Protect yourself and your family - The Galveston County Daily News : League City

November 26, 2014

Protect yourself and your family

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Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 1:00 am | Updated: 4:55 pm, Fri Aug 30, 2013.

Did you know there are about six home invasions every hour in Galveston County? If someone kicks in your front door while you and your children are sleeping, do you have a plan in place?

Donna Byrd, owner of Just Us and Guns, isn’t just a concealed handgun license instructor. She helps people protect themselves and their families and to be ready for the unimaginable.

Before getting her concealed handgun license about five years ago, Donna had no experience with guns. But as a manager for a storage facility in a remote location, she didn’t always feel safe.

“In the winter, it gets dark early,” she said. “At night, it’s very intimidating to take a money bag to the parking lot. Being afraid was not OK to me.”

She realized that work wasn’t the only place where safety may be an issue. Walking at a park or riding her motorcycle held their own risks, sometimes being in an isolated place with no one else around and no means of protecting herself.

Although Donna had only limited experience with guns, she decided to take a concealed handgun class.

“I shot a gun once in the ’70s, so I was hesitant to take the class and get my license, but I took it with my boss’s encouragement. I walked out feeling confident that, yes, I can protect myself.”

Donna also joined three local citizens police academies, with Kemah, League City and the Galveston County Sheriff’s Department.

“I felt a great burden to help other people protect themselves, especially women,” she said. “If I can do it, I can teach others so that they don’t have to be afraid.”

Feeling empowered to protect herself has also helped Donna as she battled cancer the past few years, and the money she earns teaching people how to protect themselves has helped pay her medical bills.

Using a Gun

One of the key principles you’ll learn in a Just Us and Guns’ concealed handgun class is that deadly force should always be the last option.

“We teach you the laws, and we teach you nonviolent conflict resolution,” Donna said. “You try to diffuse a situation first, with words and body language. There’s a difference between force and deadly force. Force is kick, bite, push, to get away.”

If the situation should arise when deadly force is necessary, having training may save your life.

“A person has to feel that they honestly could take another person’s life if their life or the life of someone they love is threatened, or they don’t need to have a gun,” Donna said.

During classes with Just Us and Guns, you’ll also learn how to use your weapon — even if you’ve never so much as held one before.

“I’m very patient with people that have never had a gun in their hand,” Donna said. “I can teach them how it works, how to load it and how to use it. I’ve never had anybody fail my class.”

Just Us and Guns offers shooting lessons and gun cleaning classes in addition to the concealed handgun course.

For those not familiar with gun safety, the class reviews safely using a firearm as well as safely storing it. Just Us and Guns also offers gun safety classes for adults and children.

Having a Plan

When you take Just Us and Guns’ concealed handgun course, you’ll learn the importance of being prepared in any situation. Public awareness, personal awareness and home invasion drills are an integral part of the course.

“If you hear glass break or your door broken in, you want to have a plan,” Donna said. “You want the kids to know what to do, whether it’s hide in a closet or go out the window to the neighbors.”

While the scenarios discussed in the class are limited by time, the information you get will help prepare you for almost any situation.

“Our classes feed you information to use as you see fit,” she said. “Every situation is different.”

Taking the Class

Just Us and Guns offers classes every Saturday with a class minimum of four. Donna travels around Galveston County and the Houston area giving the class to groups at homes, apartment communities, chamber organizations, ladies’ and men’s groups meetings, and more.

Gun loans also are available for $10 and the cost of ammunition.

Find out more about Just Us and Guns’ concealed handgun classes and gun safety courses by visiting their website at justusandguns.com or by calling 832-221-2678.