An Iowa woman is training new and expecting parents how to carry both guns, and babies, safely.
Melody Lauer’s class isn’t your ordinary gun training seminar.
Her “Babywearing and Carrying” class offers onsite childcare, and is specifically catered to new parents interested in having their firearms close at hand, while they’re busy doing other things, like trying to raise a family.
“Have you been trying to figure out how to carry a firearm and a baby but can’t seem to get it to work? Have you been afraid you can’t do both safely? Frustrated by a limited holster selection? Then this workshop is for you!” an advert for the class reads.
Lauer held her first seminar last month at the CrossRoads Shooting Sports indoor range in Johnston, where a full class of mothers and fathers attended.
“If you have baby on one side, it’s best to have gun on the other side,” Lauer explained to KETV News.
The 30-year-old mother of three first recognized the need for such a course after learning the tragic news of a mother shot dead inside a Walmart by her 2-year-old son.
“That touched me in a very deep way because my daughter was 2 at the time,” Lauer told Yahoo! Parenting. “I thought, there’s no reason this should happen. We are adults and can be responsible.”
Lauer was already a gun enthusiast after her husband, whose work entails travel, requested she consider carrying a firearm in his absence, which she thought made sense.
It “seemed like a practical choice. I know in violent encounters you don’t have time to rely on the help of other people. So to me, it’s about taking responsibility,” Lauer said.
The mother of three began practicing at a local firing range, whose managers suggested she obtain her instructor credentials.
After moving to Iowa, Lauer soon began teaching at the CrossRoads gun range where she eventually taught her course.
“To our knowledge, nobody is doing this yet. The interest was so great that she actually had to turn off or shut off the registration. Otherwise, we would have had two, three times as many people here,” Barry Snesll of the Crossroads gun range said.
Unfortunately, not everybody’s happy about it.
“INSANE….I watched this on the news tonight and just don’t understand, why?,” said one commenter on KETV7’s Facebook page.
“This is absolutely the dumbest thing I’ve ever..” said another user. “I mean..hey sure, let’s carry an infant in the vicinity of a weapon!”
The self-described “6-year babywearing veteran” isn’t concerned with naysayers, however. She says she’s happy knowing she’s making a difference and possibly saving lives in the process.
“We have seen a huge insurgence in young mothers, mothers of young children wanting to get into firearms,” Lauer says. “And what’s happening is we don’t have instructors that are addressing their needs. So they just do it. They don’t do it right and then they end up having an accident.”