Odd, and kind of sad, time at the range today


PDA






springmom
September 1, 2008, 01:54 PM
It being labor day and thus a holiday for Archerandshooter, we celebrated the still-beautiful weather here and went to the range. He took his .357 that's going with him to Wyoming in 2 weeks, and also his blackpowder revolver; I took my new Para 1911 and my own .357. Stood and waited for the range to go cold and while waiting, watched a dad with his son there for the first time.

Dad was doing a great job instilling safety. I heartily approve...too many kids running around and handling guns unsafely there have scared me spitless any number of times. He was conscientious, doing a great job, and when time was called, his very sweet and friendly son (maybe 7-ish? 8? or so) turned to us and himself included us in the conversation they were having regarding "how far can a bullet go?" Dad had answered him "a damn long ways". Then he asked A&S and I. A&S told him they could go a mile; I said, hoping to reinforce dad's safety lessons, "much further than you'd wish if you're ever careless". Dad scowled, and in a real snarky voice said, emphatically, "a damn long ways." I smiled, added "pretty much" and turned away.

Fast forward to second break; we're waiting to get our first targets and place another. Dad walked away for a minute and son, being a bright lad, saw his chance to talk to A&S & I without causing trouble. He was asking about what guns we had, we were explaining about blackpowder pistols, and just as dad walked up, I was saying "if you listen to your dad and do just what he says, you'll learn to shoot real well".

I got another scowl. Son starts telling him, "Dad you know what they've got? They've got a ...." Dad snaps, "I KNOW." Kid shuts up. Dad goes back to trying to teach him.

Eventually he did actually give his son permission to watch A&S shoot the blackpowder revolver just before we left, after being asked several times by his son.

We have four kids. We don't look even remotely threatening. We were being friendly to a young shooter. Didn't butt in, didn't contradict his dad, didn't do anything that should in any way have brought such a reaction. I feel real badly that, while the basics of safety and shooting were being taught, dad didn't take the opportunity for friendly interactions. That too is an important lesson for a child.

It did occur to me later that dad's target looked like a case of the measles, whereas A&S's had a VERY focused group in the bullseye. Hm.......

Springmom

If you enjoyed reading about "Odd, and kind of sad, time at the range today" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
rodregier
September 1, 2008, 02:00 PM
Springmom:

You didn't indicate what father and son were shooting. That would give possible context to the father's attitude.

pappy
September 1, 2008, 02:07 PM
I know a lot of folks who get bent over people shooting blackpowder guns at public ranges because of the smoke and smell (I personally don't care). Maybe he falls into that catagory.

Navy joe
September 1, 2008, 02:31 PM
It did occur to me later that dad's target looked like a case of the measles, whereas A&S's had a VERY focused group in the bullseye. Hm.......

Sorry, you were interfering with his lesson. He was teaching his son to be frugal by using all the paper. :neener:

ArcherandShooter
September 1, 2008, 02:47 PM
Joe - like your handle. I should tell you the revolver was an 1851 NAVY Colt.

I love that gun.

myrockfight
September 1, 2008, 03:13 PM
I would say something about the guy. But who knows? Maybe his mother just died, or he lost his job, or just caught his wife cheating on him.

I always try to imagine a person has some major, life-changing, overly horrible event happen to them to make them act horribly towards other people.

Maybe someone just pooped in his Wheaties though. Who knows. I hope he isn't like that all the time though - for the kids sake.

doc2rn
September 1, 2008, 03:58 PM
Some people just don't do well with kids. It is a shame really, I cant wait for my daughter to want to go shooting with me.

Robby
September 1, 2008, 04:55 PM
If I had to bet, I would say, Dad was a divorced parent, trying to put his best forward with his son! Lots of pressure there, we will never know for sure.

springmom
September 1, 2008, 04:57 PM
Myrockfight, me too. I know he was waiting for some relatives that didn't show until we were about to leave. And he was likely a little uptight with the responsibiity of teaching a child to shoot. I too, for the kid's sake, hope this was just a bad day. If shooting with dad comes to be time that is always "dad's upset and grouchy", shooting may not come to be much fun in his mind.

Rodregier....he had a polymer compact of some sort. A nine, I'd guess. Oh, and apart from the blackpowder gun, A&S had his 66-3 with him. Until the last 30 minutes, he was shooting that, not the blackpowder, so the stinky stuff didn't cause a problem (except with my asthma, but that was my bad. Need to STEP AWAY FROM THE STINKY GUN NEXT TIME....note to self :rolleyes:)

Springmom

El Tejon
September 1, 2008, 05:01 PM
Guy was having a bad day for a dozen different reasons.

That was nothing. Yesterday I had a Cledus father and son team shooting next to me, no lane dividers. Cledus junior cycles his lever action .22 in the big box sporting goods store manner (buttstock on the hip, tongue sticking out, muzzle everywhere) as I was loading mags.

I circle step right next to him so he does not cover me with the muzzle, not touching him. Father gives me horrific look. I smile and nod, but he shot me dirty looks as long as I was there.

Better dirty looks than a bullet.:D

Professor Gun
September 1, 2008, 06:36 PM
I have seen some Dads that feel threatened when they are around someone who does better then they do at something, particularly when a kid is along and watching everything. Perhaps he was just reacting to that. Some people are pretty insecure in themselves and feel like they have to project a perfect image for their kids. Too bad because in a situation like this it is a lost opportunity for the kid.

When my two sons were small our rules at the range were: 1) All safety rules were to followed without compromise, 2) stay back behind the line when people were shooting, 3) when the range was cold they could talk to anyone there as long as they were polite and didn't interfere. They got to meet and get to know: 1) Our State highpower rifle champion, 2) a World War II Colonel of Marines who was a genuine war hero, 3) a couple of amateur ballisticians who have probably forgotten more ballistics information than I have ever learned, 4) several Masters level pistol competitors, and 5) an active duty Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army who has been in the military nearly 30 years. Great experiences for my sons; these are the kind of people I hope they will admire and emulate.

The Freeholder
September 1, 2008, 09:39 PM
From the sound of this, I guess I'm fortunate to belong to a private range where everyone knows (at least by sight) everyone else. Being a rather small and tight group, bad behavior of the sorts your folks are writing about is generally peer-pressured out of existence.

Case in point--one of the founders from 30+ years ago has became a real pain. He argues about everything from buying new trash cans to who picks up the trash to how we handle locks on gates. It's gotten so no subject is too small to have a hissy-fit over. But we all put up with it because he was one of the founders--without the guys like him, us new folks wouldn't have this place to go shoot.

Predictably, things kept getting worse. About 3 months ago, he got so out of hand that 6 different members, including the president of the club, had to tell him, in a pretty nice way, that he needed to quit making a total jerk out of himself. He hasn't been back since. Several folks have made comments along the lines of "Gee, we should have done this sooner--the meetings are so much shorter now."

GRB
September 1, 2008, 09:47 PM
Too bad that the father's attitude did not meet up to your idea of how friendly someone should act at the range toward others. Maybe he was having a bad day, maybe it was a regular day, but it was his day with his son. I have seen nice folks at the range who are very safety conscious, and great shooters, and who are friendly with others. I have also seen nice folks who want to chit chat who are absolute morons when it comes to range safety and shooing. I have also seen grouches who are mediocre shots and great at safety, and those who are great at both. What does it matter how the kid's dad shot as long as it was safe? Probably better to just let it be, and hopefully if you see him again he will be nicer. Heck - maybe he wille ven be shooting better.

Edited to add: I do not mean that to sound as if you were nosy, or as if you deserved a scowl, just maybe that the guy was having an off day, or maybe his personality is different than yours, and why not take it with a grain of salt instead of worrying about it.

SSN Vet
September 1, 2008, 10:16 PM
one word explains it all....

insecurity!

Maybe dad didn't want jr. to think any one else out there knew as much as he did.

moooose102
September 1, 2008, 10:32 PM
one word explains it all....

insecurity!

Maybe dad didn't want jr. to think any one else out there knew as much as he did.

i would tend to agree. some dads just think they have to be IT. and nobody else should say a word. what would happen if he was not right? junior might find out his father is human! sheesh! i openly admit to my kids that i am not perfect, and i am not afraid to tell them i am sorry if i screw up, or mis-inform them about something. there is only one perfect being in this universe, and every once in a while, i wonder about that.

GRB
September 1, 2008, 10:45 PM
That is not necessarily insecurity, and couldn't some point out that is is insecure of you to think it must be so?

Maybe the father just wants to teach his children his way without unbdue influence from others, and is quite confident and secure in the belief that his way is good enough. Maybe he even saw our thread starter or her companion do something unsafe which they may not be awre they did. maybe that colored his ourlook of them. Pretty presumptive to think that this guy was all in the wrong and it could not be something else coming int play here. Or as I said earlier, maybe just a bad day. Without actually inquiring of him - how could we know? It is all guesswork, and little more than a curiosity, don't you think?

langenc
September 1, 2008, 10:53 PM
Sometimes it is better/easier for someone else to do the safety stuff for the kids amd mom.

I have a friend that would like every Mom to shoot with the family for two reasons:

whem Mom shoots every one including the dog shoots.

Mom VOTES.

Tom Servo
September 1, 2008, 11:49 PM
I know a lot of folks who get bent over people shooting blackpowder guns at public ranges because of the smoke and smell (I personally don't care). Maybe he falls into that catagory.
Where else would someone be shooting BP? Can't do it (feasibly, anyhow) indoors.

Heck, if I had a kid, I'd want him to shoot a Navy, for historical sake if nothing else. I'd also be overjoyed if someone freely offered to let him shoot it.

And, while I've been told I'm a good shot and teacher, I never turn away advice from folks who know what they're talking about.

Then again, the gun culture has undergone some pretty drastic changes since my early days. Folks certainly used to be much friendlier, and newer shooters tended to be more receptive to free guidance.

scrat
September 2, 2008, 12:00 AM
To me it doesnt matter what they were shooting. When i take my boys to the range. They are allowed to talk to other people. I am not better than anyone else. I ask questions myself. I can see this kid in the future not wanting to go shooting. Thats whats sad.

JCMAG
September 2, 2008, 12:01 AM
Dad had answered him "a damn long ways". Then he asked A&S and I. A&S told him they could go a mile; I said, hoping to reinforce dad's safety lessons, "much further than you'd wish if you're ever careless". Dad scowled, and in a real snarky voice said, emphatically, "a damn long ways." I smiled, added "pretty much" and turned away.

He could have perhaps misunderstood you, believing that you were either attempting to underhandedly correct him (for any reason, such as his language or possible ignorance in his word choice, etc.) or believing that you meant to insult his son by, in some way to his ears, implying that the son was in some way inherently irresponsible.

People get damned sensitive when it comes to their children, especially during essential bonding moments.

These are the moments between father and son that shape values and their very lives -- the father can therefore, and understandably so, be likened to a highly agitated bear with cubs. "grrrr, rawr, do not spoil my kod(i)ak moment, grrr, rawr!" :D

If you enjoyed reading about "Odd, and kind of sad, time at the range today" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!