Southwest Sider Jessica Jendrzejak shows the results of her target practice during a recent women-only firearms training class held by Illinois Concealed Training. --Supplied photo

Southwest Sider Jessica Jendrzejak shows the results of her target practice during a recent women-only firearms training class held by Illinois Concealed Training. --Supplied photo

‘We have to protect ourselves’

Spread the love

Women push back against crime

By Tim Hadac

Years ago, a woman taking firearms training was a rare sight, at least compared to the number of men enrolled.

But with spikes in crimes like carjacking, robbery, battery and more, women are increasingly found at gun ranges and in firearms classes—so much so that sessions just for women are becoming less uncommon than before.

“More than ever, we’re seeing women express an interest [in firearms training],” said Patricia Richart, co-owner of Illinois Concealed Training, a locally-owned and operated firm headquartered on Archer Avenue. “More often than not, these appear to be women who normally would never have signed up for a [firearms] training class, or even considered it in the first place. But now, with times being what they are, that has changed. We have to protect ourselves.”

GSWNH WomanCCTraining 042922

Southwest Sider Jessica Jendrzejak shows the results of her target practice during a recent women-only firearms training class held by Illinois Concealed Training. –Supplied photo

ICT offers a steady schedule of classes of various lengths for people of various skills, novice to experienced gun owners. The women-only class is held several times a year and is a combination of classroom instruction and target practice at a nearby gun range, 16 hours over two days. It is taught by Richart’s husband, ICT founder and co-owner Detective Jose Richart.

“Having a class just for women is important,” Richart said. “Most of the women we see in our classes are not experienced, and most are not gun owners. It may not have been easy for them to decide to take the class, and it could be intimidating if they’re sitting in a class with men who are bigger, more experienced with guns and who may dominate conversations in class.

“It’s important for a woman to feel comfortable in our class, know that there’s no such thing as a silly question,” Richart continued. “That way, she can better learn everything she needs to.”

That includes everything about responsible gun ownership: loading, unloading, cleaning, storing and more. It also includes quite a bit about what Illinois law says about the rights and responsibilities of firearms owners, and what a gun owner may (or may not) do in a wide range of situations.

Classes are comfortably small. Some 19 women attended ICT’s women-only class last month.

That was a comfort to Jessica Jendrzejak, a 33-year-old mother of two who grew up near 79th and Kedzie and today lives with her daughters, ages 31/2 years and 14 months, in Clearing.

Though she has never owned a firearm, yet, she decided to take the ICT class “because of how crazy it’s been getting” with crime and fear of crime. As someone who takes public transportation to and from work in the Loop, she said she sees “how dangerous things can sometimes get.”

She also has been a burglary victim. Three years ago, her home was broken into and ransacked while no one was home.

“You hope that will never happen again, especially if I’m home with my daughters,” she said. “But if it does, I want to be in a position to protect myself and my children.”

Concern about crime is also on the mind of Ana Diazdeleon, a Scottsdale homeowner who sent her 23-year-old son to live with relatives far from Chicago—all because she lives on an otherwise peaceful area menaced by a gang member living on her block.

“You have to watch your back all the time around here,” she said. “Gang members usually just shoot at each other, but we’re always worried about stray bullets.”

Like Jendrzejak, she has been a victim of burglars who hit her home. Also like Jendrzejak, she plans to purchase a handgun for personal protection.

“The class was great,” she said. “It was absolutely wonderful. I wish it was longer. That’s how much I enjoyed it.”

ICT is accredited both by the National Rifle Association and the U.S. Concealed Carry Association. Its next women-only class is coming in late June.

Local News

CRRNH_StLaurenceCheerChamps_020123

Viking girls are golden

Spread the love

Spread the love The St. Laurence High School cheerleaders (aka the Golden Girls) won first place in their division at the Spartan Showdown at Marian Catholic High School late last month. Clearing and Garfield Ridge girls played a key role in the team’s success. Those girls (and their grade schools) are: Lauren Weyer (St. Jane…

Chicago Police Department

Warn of burglars in Garfield Ridge

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports A cluster of residential burglaries in Garfield Ridge has prompted police to issue a warning to the community. Crime scenes include: 5200 block of South Normandy on Jan. 1. 5600 block of South Mobile on Jan. 7. 5300 block of South Mason on Jan. 10. 6000 block of West 60th Street…

Muhammad

Bust accused shooter in Clearing

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Tim Hadac Chicago Police and the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force visited Clearing late last month to apprehend a man wanted in connection with a West Side shooting. Shaheer Muhammad, 24 of the 3800 block of West Grenshaw, was arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at a home in the 6000 block…

McKendree sophomore tight end Jordan Sprycha, and Oak Lawn alum, finished third on the Bearcats in receiving touchdowns with five, and tied for sixth in both receptions (22) and receiving yards (193) for the 2022 season. Photo courtesy of McKendree Athletics

College Notebook: Ex-Spartan Sprycha balling with Bearcats

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Mike Walsh Correspondent The fall of 2022 was successful both in the classroom and on the football field for Jordan Sprycha. In the classroom, the Oak Lawn graduate was one of eight McKendree University chosen to the 2022 College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Team. CSC Academic All-District Award nominees must be a…

Brother Rice’s Ahmad Henderson shoots a game-winning 3-pointer against Fenwick his sophomore season. He has also had last-second game winners in his junior and senior seasons. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Hoops Wrap: Ahmad Henderson’s late-game heroics lift Rice over Marist

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer There is no rule that says Ahmad Henderson needs to sink a game-winning basket at least once a season. If there was such a rule, the Brother Rice senior would follow it to perfection. Henderson worked his closing-seconds magic in one of the area’s hottest rivalries in a…

Evergreen Park's competitive dance team is heading back to the state meet after winning its first sectional. Evergreen Park High School photo

Area Sports Roundup: Evergreen Park dancers make history with first sectional crown

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Evergreen Park was the only team from the area to place in the state’s top 12 in competitive dancing last season. The Mustangs, who finished a program-best sixth in the state in Class 1A in 2021, are seeking an even better showing this year. Evergreen Park made history…

summit police logo

LaGrange man charged in Summit phone store robbery

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports A LaGrange man has been charged with the robbery last week of the T-Mobile store at 5640 S. Harlem Ave. in Summit. Michael Lang Anderson, 26, was arrested in LaGrange after he was found hiding under some stairs, police said. Police said he robbed the store on January 10. Community…

Chicago Hounds CEO James English (left) and head coach Sam Harris. (Supplied photo)

Major League Rugby coming to SeatGeek Stadium

Spread the love

Spread the loveChicago Hounds expansion team to play games at Bridgeview facility By Bob Bong A new professional sports team will be playing its matches at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview next month. The Chicago Hounds, an expansion team for Major League Rugby, will be calling Bridgeview home when they begin their inaugural season in February.…

Rev. Wheeler Parker signs a copy of his book about his cousin Emmett Till at the Summit Library. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Rev. Parker unveils new Emmett Till book in Summit

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan Nearly 150 people showed up to give support to Summit’s Reverend Wheeler Parker Jr. last week on the day his much-awaited book was released. The book, officially released on January 10, is called “A Few Days Full of Trouble,” and is described as “revelations on the journey to justice for…

Nazareth graduate Kaylen Evans hit seven of Morton College's 22 3-pointers Thursday in Cicero. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Hoops Wrap: Morton women go wild from long-range in win over McHenry

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Staff Writer That Morton College’s women’s basketball team drilled 22 3-pointers in a 111-44 victory over McHenry County might seem amazing. What is more amazing is that it was the second time this season the Panthers had that many treys in game. After the win over McHenry in the Skyway…

Neighbors

Nael Digital Ad2
‘Omnibus’ health care bill passed amid criticisms

‘Omnibus’ health care bill passed amid criticisms

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A law recently signed by Gov. JB Pritzker will extend the deadline for the state to transfer criminal defendants deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial from jail to a mental hospital. That same bill, House Bill 240, also gives nursing homes in Illinois two more years…

Veteran Statehouse reporter Hannah Meisel joins Capitol News Illinois reporting team

Veteran Statehouse reporter Hannah Meisel joins Capitol News Illinois reporting team

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS [email protected] Longtime Statehouse reporter Hannah Meisel has joined the Capitol News Illinois team as a full-time state government and politics reporter. She’s had a number of assignments covering the Statehouse and Illinois government since the 2014 legislative session, most recently serving as Statehouse editor for NPR Illinois from 2020 until after…

Replacing Illinois institution as secretary of state, Giannoulias makes modernization push

Replacing Illinois institution as secretary of state, Giannoulias makes modernization push

By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – For newly sworn-in Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, customer service is the central mission as he assumes the state’s second-largest constitutional office, replacing the man who had held it for nearly a quarter century. “Modernization and bringing new technology is going to be at the forefront…

UPDATED: State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

UPDATED: State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected]inois.com SPRINGFIELD – Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Monday filed a petition asking an appellate court to vacate a temporary restraining order that was issued late Friday afternoon blocking enforcement of the state’s recently-passed assault weapons ban. Raoul’s office filed the petition in the 5th District Appellate Court in…

State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

State preparing further defense of assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker and legislative leaders said they were disappointed but not surprised by a judge’s decision late Friday putting a temporary and limited halt to enforcement of the state’s recently-passed assault weapons ban. Effingham County Judge Joshua Morrison issued the temporary restraining order late Friday…

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Rifle Association has joined forces with other gun rights advocates in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s new ban on the sale and manufacture of semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. It’s the latest legal challenge to the law, which went into effect…

DCFS, director face lawsuit filed on behalf of jailed wards

DCFS, director face lawsuit filed on behalf of jailed wards

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on Thursday was named in a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of children in state care who have been held in juvenile detention centers after a judge ordered their release. Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert is a…

At World Economic Forum, Pritzker plays role of Illinois’ ‘best chief marketing officer’

At World Economic Forum, Pritzker plays role of Illinois’ ‘best chief marketing officer’

By NIKA SCHOONOVER Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – After his second-term inauguration amid a frenzied “lame duck” legislative session last week, Gov. JB Pritzker took the global stage this week at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The governor and high-ranking members of his staff joined a bipartisan delegation of U.S.…

Watchdog seeks harsher penalties in wake of abuse at Choate

Watchdog seeks harsher penalties in wake of abuse at Choate

By BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois & MOLLY PARKER Lee Enterprises Midwest This article was produced for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network in partnership with Lee Enterprises, along with Capitol News Illinois. The watchdog for the Illinois Department of Human Services is seeking harsher penalties against health care workers who obstruct abuse and neglect investigations. IDHS…

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

Rifle Association files federal suit against assault weapons ban

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Rifle Association has joined forces with other gun rights advocates in filing a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s new ban on the sale and manufacture of semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. It’s the latest legal challenge to the law, which went into effect…

SWNH Ameri Corp House Ad
CRR NH Midway Storage House Ad