Others own guns and are concerned about safety in the home.
"I've had families call me and want me to do home safety classes with them," she said.
She likes to refer to a quote by the late Jeff Cooper, a firearms expert who founded a training center in Arizona and was a longtime columnist for Guns & Ammo magazine.
Cooper said, "Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician."
The first rule Whisner always teaches is that any gun - any gun - should be handled as though it were loaded "even if you know it's not."
Guns also are mechanical devices and their owners should know how to maintain them, Whisner said.
The NRA sets criteria for what must be taught in each of its certification classes. An instructor may not take shortcuts with those criteria, but she is permitted to expand upon them, and Whisner said she often does. She wants her students to fully understand their guns and how to use them. She typically starts in a classroom setting and then takes students to a shooting range to practice.
Whisner continues to enjoy shooting as a hobby, and she considers the safety classes to be an addition to that hobby.
"It's always going to be my hobby," she said. "But I feel like I'm doing a service."
In May, Whisner is headed back to the classroom, this time to earn advanced certification from the instructional shooting school Rangemaster.
"I guess if you're a teacher at heart, you're just interested in pedagogy," she said.
Eventually, she would love to visit college campuses and other venues to present workshops on living safely.
"Right now guns seem to be where all the public interest is," she said. "(But) situational awareness and knowledge is a big part of living safely. Even my own elderly parents, in the last year, have had strangers enter their house and talk them out of money. Thank God I arrived while they were still there. They had pretty much cased the house."
Contact writer Monica Orosz at mon...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4830.