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South KC homicides spur an influx of seniors signing up for self-defense training

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The effects of last week's deadly South Kansas City rampage have been far-reaching.

Firearms instructors in the metro told FOX 4 it has pushed more senior citizens to sign up for self-defense training, as two of the victims were in their 60s and three others in their 80s.

"Something happened around their home and they heard about it and they get a little upset about it," explained Don Pind, a firearms instructor at Show Me Shooters in Clay County.

Pind said over this past week, in the wake of the crime spree that took the lives of five elderly people, he's noticed an influx of seniors signing up to get a gun.

"As you get a little older, you get to thinking about what can happen, what might happen," he said. "This homicide, it affected a lot of people. So yeah, a lot of people are getting scared."

Pind said most of them want to feel prepared – the reassurance knowing should an intruder ever target their home, they are equipped to protect themselves.

"They can't run as fast as they used to," he said. "They can't protect themselves the way they used to. A lot of them don't feel like they can protect their families as well as they used to, so most of them are falling back on their firearm."

It's an added level of security Pind said most retirees will never actually use. But, "It just makes them feel better that they have it, just in case they need it."

To provide peace of mind, Pind said you must also have inner peace.

"So if you don't have internally what it takes to fire a weapon at someone, then you have to think about that," he said. "Could you take a human life? If you couldn't, then don't buy one."

Pind said if you're contemplating getting a gun, it's best to learn how to use it before you buy it. He suggested signing up for a safety course and trying out several models to decide which type is best for you.