HAUGHTON, LA (KSLA) - For the past several years, the debate over gun control in America has sparked a nationwide movement to better regulate who can get their hands on guns. But, a Bossier Parish Youth group credits the weapons for keeping their kids in line.
As Donna Harmon loads up another round in her shot gun and yells the traditional, "Ready, pull," a clay shell shoots out of a barrel. She takes 2 shots and misses one, but is always reminded there is always a lesson in a miss.
"People can rely on us because we are so safe around fire arms and that reflects off not only our hunter skills, but our personalities as well," said Donna Harmon.
Donna Harmon is 17-years-old and has a love for big guns. Shot guns to be exact.
She placed second in her group for the state at the Northwest Louisiana Youth Hunters Education Challenge. She was also one of the states top 15 to represent Louisiana in the National Rifle Associations International competition.
"We are some of the safest gun handlers that you'll ever see, we take very much pride in safety," explained Donna Harmon.
While there is a large debate over gun regulation in America, especially after the recent Lafayette, LA theater shooting, Donna Harmon and her brother Johnny believe it's guns that kept them in line.
"When I was 15, I was definitely not one to make the best choices. I was pretty irresponsible but I'd like to think that I am pretty responsible now," said Johnny Harmon.
This program, backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) hopes to teach youth hunter safety all while being taught manners, self discipline and respect for others. Donna Harmon's mother fully believes it is effective.
"There is no history of any youth getting in any major kind of trouble other than a traffic ticket with the law of any kind and they are in good paying jobs.
Everywhere they go, we get praises on their manners and how they treat other kids and how they treat other adults," says Donna Hernigan.
Which is why the family feels strongly about the governments attempts to better regulate who gets their hands on weapons.
Donna Harmon said," They just want to look at the negative and try to build on that. Gun control laws, they are necessary up to a point. If you take those bad experiences and try to make too many gun laws the people who are safe are feeling threatened now. They won't be able to do what they love."
Donna Harmon hopes through program like this, gun aficionados can continue to do what they love all while educating others on just how safe this weapon can be.