Too many unsafe NEW gun owners


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tnieto2004
November 23, 2008, 10:34 PM
Maybe I'm being too critical of others, but lately I have felt like too many ignorant people own firearms. Before you jump all over me about rights, hear me out. I have been going to the same public gun range for 10+ years. Since the election, I have been there three times. I have never seen this much lack of safety in my 10+ years at this place. Yes, it is a public range and I know the negatives of public ranges, but the problem remains. Today there was a husband-and-wife walking up to the pistol range (With new guns just removed from the box). I believe the wife asked him where they would be shooting. He then raised his pistol up and pointed it towards all the pistol shooters (showing her where she would shoot from). This is one of the many times I've seen people bring brand-new guns out without having any sort of muzzle discipline. These people are ruining the image of gun owners.

To answer many of your responses before you even type them: Yes, I am in the process of finding a different place to shoot.

I am so torn when it comes to people buying guns and having no idea how to safely use them. How do we fix this problem? If we ignore it, it won’t go away.

Has anyone else felt this way?

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DiN_BLiX
November 23, 2008, 10:44 PM
Unforunatly most public ranges cannot afford a dedicated range officer, so yes idiots will not get corrected properly. Politly asking them to learn the rules of the range comes with mixed results.

mnrivrat
November 23, 2008, 10:44 PM
Perhaps spend a little time making up signs for the public range - signs regarding safety and proper gun handling . If there is none posted, see if you can get permission to post yours perminently.

If not, make them portable, and stick them in the ground around you when at the range. Some people just need to be reminded, some need to be taught .

docmagnum357
November 23, 2008, 10:56 PM
As an instructor, I find this kind of crap all the time. You just gently chide them" where is you muzzle pointing? Remember, You've got to treat them all like they are loaded." and that kind of thing. The long and the short of it is that the only way, And I mean absolutely the only way tro keep our RTKBA is to get more participation. NRA, GOA, JFPFO, none of these groups can do it, only more gun owners. Try to be as kind as you can, and encouraging, but don't let them get away with silly stupid stuff, either.

P90shooter
November 23, 2008, 11:06 PM
From my experiance there is nothing wrong with being friendly. Everyone at the range is there for the same purpose.

If they can go home learning at least 1 new thing that day, whats so wrong with that?

I have never had a problem with walking over introducing myself and then offering some friendly advice. If they dont like it tough, thats when you just walk over to the range master and give them a heads up on the yahoo.

GEM
November 23, 2008, 11:14 PM
At the IDPA match today, somehow a gentleman who came to the range and never shot a gun before wandered into and signed up for the match.

When he got to line, he put two fingers on the trigger and crossed his thumbs behind the slide. He had no idea how to load the gun. The SO saw this obviously and politely took him aside. Seems the guy just wanted to shoot but with no idea thought you had to sign up for the match.

The match director took him under his wing for some basic instructions and told him to get the basic down before trying a match.

Many men think they are genetically programmed to be great shots and gun handlers. They get annoyed with the idea of training.

I have friends like that. Talk the gun talk and never train.

tpaw
November 23, 2008, 11:16 PM
lately I have felt like too many ignorant people own firearms.

Indeed, the BHO elect has brought many people out of the woodwork who are ignorant to the proper use and handling of firearms. I'm seeing it at the range more often than not. Now I try to go on off hours when hardly anyone is around.

esmith
November 23, 2008, 11:18 PM
Perhaps spend a little time making up signs for the public range - signs regarding safety and proper gun handling . If there is none posted, see if you can get permission to post yours perminently.

If not, make them portable, and stick them in the ground around you when at the range. Some people just need to be reminded, some need to be taught .

Theres a sign at one of the ranges i go to, which has bullet holes all over it.

BullfrogKen
November 23, 2008, 11:23 PM
How do we fix this problem?

When you saw it happen, what was your response?

Treo
November 23, 2008, 11:27 PM
I've noticed at the public range in Colorado Springs ( Rampart Range) the guys W/ experience are banding together and politely but firmly enforcing range safety rules, formerly this range had a horrible reputation.

It's up to us as responsible gun owners to 1.) Create an atmosphere of strict adherence to safety rules. And 2.) Teach new shooters what those rules are.

tnieto2004
November 23, 2008, 11:30 PM
When you saw it happen, what was your response?

I finished my magazine (three rounds) and left. He was quite a bit older than I am and I figured it would be best to just leave.

BullfrogKen
November 23, 2008, 11:34 PM
Well, like you said:

If we ignore it, it won’t go away.

Czechbikr
November 23, 2008, 11:48 PM
I have rekindled my interest in shooting recently and purchased 2 handguns, one used, one new. Before I began however I completed a handgun safety course at my local range to refresh the lessons learned many years ago at Ft. Jackson SC. I refreshed much of what I knew and learned some new tricks. In just the 3 months that I have been frequenting the ranges here I am amazed at the increase in activity and see many obvious newbies. At Gat Guns in Dundee a couple of weeks ago there was a 25 minute wait to get on the 24 stall range. I am in agreement with the prior posters. If I observe anyone acting in an unsafe manner I will inform them of the proper protocol and if they persist, have no compunction in reporting them to management. All of our safety and freedoms depend upon responsibility when handling firearms. BTW, thanks to all who supplied pictures of their reloading benches...I am in process of building mine while I wait the delivery of my press kit.

tnieto2004
November 23, 2008, 11:52 PM
BullfrogKen,

My words.

How do we fix this problem? If we ignore it, it won’t go away.

If you want me to admit I went about it wrong I am fine with that. I am looking for answers here.

anymanusa
November 23, 2008, 11:57 PM
I call people out for ***** like that. Hell, I don't even let people slide for brass that hits me or my *****.

Call them out. If you can do it politely, more power to you, but if necessary, make them feel like a dumbass. Pointing a muzzle at others at the range is a big no no in my book.

Call me out if I slip up... it's all in our best interest.

RX-178
November 24, 2008, 12:13 AM
I just see these people as gun owners who have YET TO BE EDUCATED.

And I mentally force myself to repeat that in my mind whenever I see them. It's really hard for me to not think 'Unsafe', 'what are they thinking', 'they shouldn't have a gun'.

But, it's not as if I was born knowing gun safety. I didn't grow up around gun, or start shooting at a young age, so I don't expect everyone that buys themselves a gun to know everything from the start either.

It's very hard to be HELPFUL to these people and help educate them on something they were not taught. But I make a conscious effort to try.

Then go back home and take some headache medicine.

BullfrogKen
November 24, 2008, 12:44 AM
Look, I haven't been to a "public range" in many years. There are many reasons for that, and it's not limited to avoiding stupid gun handling. But I'll share my thoughts with you as they're related to your problem.

First, we need to define what's meant as a "public range", as people have different definitions of what constitutes public. I shoot on ranges operated as private, member-only facilities. Public ranges can be interpreted as pay-per-hour rentals, either operated as "open to the public" businesses or private facilities that charge premium rates for non-members. Or they can be public property, open to all taxpayers. Range Officers can be present or absent at any of those arrangements.


My general assumptions of those who use publicly-accessible ranges is limited to my own local region, but it's my approach and it guides how I deal with people who use them. I am fully aware some have no other options than to use these. If my assumptions and comments don't apply to anyone reading this specifically, then don't take offense at them.


In my own life I make very little effort to educate those choosing public ranges to shoot. We have over a dozen private membership ranges in my area. With only one exception, none of them charge even $100.00 in dues. They range between $20 and around $85 annually. In my area, I feel someone who will not pay a relatively small fee to have a well-maintained, well-controlled place to shoot also has little interest in putting forth the effort into learning competent gun handling skills. For him, it's a leisure activity.

A person who shoots as a leisure activity will not appreciate my attempts and efforts to educate him. So I don't try.

Those who are interested I work with, usually to find them places and ways to get those skills.

Those who are both disinterested, and do dangerous or stupid things with a gun I deal with differently. I do not attempt to educate those people. I simply express what I will not tolerate around me or those I care about. My responses depend on the situation. If no Range Officer is present, or the situation requires immediate attention, I'll handle it myself.

It's ranges from:
Sir, you'll need to be careful with where you point that while you're here. I've been yelled at before for being careless with where I pointed my muzzle.

to:
Uncle Rick, if you point the muzzle of that thing at me again, I'm going to shove gun up your ***

I only try to educate those who are teachable. Everyone else gets told the way it's going to be, either politely or in the most direct terms. But I don't let things like age difference, or even family relationships get in the way. I've kicked people off of a range before. I've told people twice my age to put guns away, or go someplace else to handle them.

If you're looking for ways to educate people, develop your socials skills to first determine who is receptive. Then figure out ways to approach them. You will probably have zero influence over a stranger, unless they specifically ask you for help. You'll have some influence over the people in your life that you know. If for whatever reason you aren't the right person to teach them, take some time and research what resources you have in your immediate area that you can recommend they take advantage of.

Vinny
November 24, 2008, 12:46 AM
I am one of the new gun owners as of early 2008. Yes, please, yell at us when our actions are incredibly stupid and dangerous. If it's not life threatening, please pull us aside and tell us what the correct protocol or behavior is. The simple solution would be if every newbie was required to take a Firearm 101 class there wouldn't be problems at the public range. Instead, what you get are non-military, non-LEO, non-hunting folks wanting to exercise their 2nd amendment rights based on what they've seen on TV or at the movies and they're at the range for the first time with a spouse or a friend who is also a newbie so they're afraid to ask or they don't know what to ask.

Been there, done that. Was a complete moron. Corrected and set right by one range officer (nice guy) and the hardcore guy next to me (not so nice guy; he had about 500 pages of targets). After multiple visits to the range, a couple of boxes of 250 round UMC, and a few disassembly/assembly/cleaning sessions, we're much safer to be around.

So thanks to everybody, even the angry hardcore guys, because I'd rather get yelled at than to shoot myself or somebody else.

7.62X25mm
November 24, 2008, 12:55 AM
That's OK -- gravel pit about the start of deer season. There were maybe a dozen shooters standing around, loaded rifles, some setting up targets, no clearly defined "Firing Line."

I dared to suggest:

"Let's how about we keep the bolts open and the rifles unloaded unless we're at the Firing Line?"

Let's define a Firing Line?

Hands off the guns entirely while people are down range setting up targets?

I sort of expected, "Who died and appointed you Range Officer?'

Someone smiled and noted: "You know he's right. Let's all go home alive today?"

It's really easy to get lax.

Public ranges I've been to, the firearms stay in the case until they're on the Firing Line.

No case for the gun, you don't get past "check in."


Trap club I go to gets a bit loose on muzzle control.

These are not "new shooters."

Matrix187
November 24, 2008, 12:55 AM
When a person is brought up shooting guns with PROPER GUIDANCE from when they're young to whatever age they are it seems to work the best in terms of safety.

COMPNOR
November 24, 2008, 01:04 AM
The Conservation Range I frequent is nice. It actually has several range officers, usually 1 on the line. And they don't tolerate anything.

I saw them kick a guy out before he even got to the line because he couldn't keep the muzzle of his pistol up.

They allow uncased firearms, but the muzzle has to be up at all times, actions open, and racked when you're checking in.

BullfrogKen
November 24, 2008, 01:08 AM
The simple solution would be if every newbie was required to take a Firearm 101 class there wouldn't be problems at the public range. Instead, what you get are non-military, non-LEO, non-hunting folks wanting to exercise their 2nd amendment rights

Sadly Vinny, those assumptions just aren't true.

I've personally had to deal with both former military and active duty police officers who had deplorable gun handling skills on the range. Some of those officers have been members of SWAT teams.

Some range rules are simply polite range etiquette. It's not necessarily unsafe to handle a gun while I'm downrange. There is no downrange in life. It is considered rude behavior at the range, but it can certainly be done safely. Since at the range we don't know who can and can't do it, we observe this etiquette.

Some behaviors are simply unsafe, like a disregard for muzzle awareness. And a weekend class, or working in a gun-related profession doesn't necessarily solve that behavior. The only way to solve it is to make good gun handling skills a habit. Habits are formed by repeating an action over and over. Those things take time.

I learned my gun handling skills in the Marine Corps. I don't have good gun handling skills because I went through the Marines. I have good gun handling skills because when I handled a gun poorly, those responsible for my training corrected my behavior until it became a habit.

DoubleTapDrew
November 24, 2008, 01:42 AM
I just see these people as gun owners who have YET TO BE EDUCATED.
+1. There are a lot of people who realized that we just elected an extremely anti-gun president and felt the need to go out and purchase one (or more) in case they can't later on.

The 4 rules aren't automatically progammed into your brain from birth. To people who already know them they seem like common sense but you've got to be taught them at some point. Think about where these people got their gun handling education...yep, hollywood, for most who didn't have a parent or relative who taught them how to shoot. How often do you see the 4 rules obeyed in movies or on TV?

Most new shooters want to do things right but haven't been taught, and chances are, they are too proud to ask for some help with the basics.

We've all been there, whether you learned when you were 4 or 40. If you approach them in a friendly way and are there to help, not criticize, you should be able to get through. A little card or leaflet with the 4 rules would be a good thing to hand out/leave at the range, or post on every bench if it's ok with the RO.

nachosgrande
November 24, 2008, 01:48 AM
You're absolutely right. Is it dangerous for me to agree and say that I believe strongly in the 2nd amendment (as well as the rest of the Bill of Rights, although it's completely ignored by the modern world), but I also believe that it's too easy to own a gun. I think anyone who owns a gun should have to go through the same training as one who obtains a CCW license, or at least, a 10 hour hunting course.
My father was captain of his rifle team in college, so I was trained very young how to handle firearms, and just assumed everyone knows the basics. I have to admit, when I take a friend to a range that has never shot before, and they turn around to look at me after emptying a magazine into a target with the barrel pointed right at me, I freak out and lose a lot of respect for that person. My wife will never be able to understand the concept of "all guns are loaded all the time". She routinely will point an unloaded gun all over the place while practicing her skills. This kind of behavior just kills me inside.
I even go over the basics with everyone before going to the range, and they completely ignore me.
1. Every gun is loaded all the time.
2. Don't ever point the barrel at anything you aren't willing to destroy.
3. Don't put your finger on the trigger until you are completely ready to shoot.
Everyone ignores all of this.
I now live in a very urban area, and these people did not grow up around guns and are beyond ignorant of them. When the 2nd amendment was written, people were familiar with guns from the time they were born. I don't think a person who is 30 years old and has never touched a gun should be able to just walk in a gun store and buy one. I honestly believe an uninformed gun owner is dangerous to himself and others around him.
I'm sure I'll get kicked off the forum for this one.

cassandrasdaddy
November 24, 2008, 01:51 AM
i was a young adult when i was taught.

jakemccoy
November 24, 2008, 04:09 AM
Many men think they are genetically programmed to be great shots and gun handlers. They get annoyed with the idea of training.

Many men take pride in not having to read directions, not a good thing when it comes to firearms.

jakemccoy
November 24, 2008, 04:14 AM
Yelling at someone at the range is a bad idea. You never know who you may be calling out. You may have run up on some dude who is letting off some steam after finding his wife dancing horizontally with another man. Friendly and discrete is the way to go. After all, your words are coming from a person (you) holding a loaded gun that's ready to go. Also, the newbie has a loaded gun too. If you're not prepared to back up your yelling with physical force (shooting in this case), then chill.

Prince Yamato
November 24, 2008, 04:32 AM
Maybe his gun was unloaded and he didn't think anything of pointing out a direction with it. You could just approach him with a calm, "hey, I know it's unloaded, but you'll get kicked off the range if they see you do something like that... it might look like you're trying to shoot someone". Which is actually true. Most people with bad gun skills aren't "stupid" in the careless sense, they were probably never taught to operate firearms.

woodybrighton
November 24, 2008, 04:40 AM
many years ago when I visited the states it always surprised me you could buy a rifle or handgun with zero instruction :eek:
Or in fact you'd want to:what:.
trouble is gun safety isn't sexy so its a potential hard sell downside of liberty. Yes you can have a firearm with a minimum of restrictions. But that also means the majority of people can have a firearm with zero instruction or experience that has a definite downside:(

BBQLS1
November 24, 2008, 10:30 AM
If you see it and it bothers you, maybe you should do something about it.

It's up to the responsible gun owners to educate those who know no better. It's good for our cause and for society. Gently talk to them about what they are doing or report them to management immediately.

cobra2411
November 24, 2008, 10:46 AM
Many men think they are genetically programmed to be great shots and gun handlers

My mother, who's as Anti-Gun as they come thinks along those lines. She's always saying "You just point it at the target and pull the trigger, where's the great skill in that?" I've thought about taking her to the range, but I don't think handing her a loaded gun is a good idea. One time she asked to see one of my guns and the first thing she did was point it at me and pull the trigger.... Good thing I know better then to hand her a loaded gun... When I asked what she would have done if it were loaded, she just said "I knew you'd never give me a loaded gun..." :banghead:

bdorrman
November 24, 2008, 10:51 AM
Man, this is a tough one. I've been struggling with this for a long time.

I don't know if the 2nd A is an absolute right or not. If its not, then who gets to decide where it applies and where it doesn't. If it is, then are we ready to defend a position that allows even convicted fellons the right to keep and bear arms once their "debt to society" has been fulfilled? Therein, I think, lies the real world crux of the matter. While debating absolute right in the abstract may be fun and challenging, aren't we ultimately talking about laws that will be decided by popular concensus, so to speak.

We are probably entering the most hostile firearms environment I've seen in my 60 years. While Heller may have decided that the 2nd A is an individual right they did so with a provision for reasonable restrictions. Once again, who gets to decide what's reasonable, the NRA or the Brady Bunch?

I'm not near smart enough to suggest an answer or policy but I am smart enough to understand that if we don't start policing from within, it will be done for us from without.

As suggested by others, I would not have a problem with a mandatory safety course required for purchase. I didn't have a problem with the one required for my CHP although that was more about legality than safety.

I realize this may violate the spirit and intent of the 2nd A, so to all you absolutists out there, sorry fellas, I used to be one of y'all.

indoorsoccerfrea
November 24, 2008, 11:31 AM
forgive me my ignorance, but i was under the impression that felons were not permitted handguns...

expvideo
November 24, 2008, 11:40 AM
Take this as an opportunity to train new shooters! If you see someone being irresponsible, let them know. And while you're at it, offer to teach them proper stance, grip, sight picture, etc. This free instruction will be appreciated not only by the new gun owners, but also by the people that aren't accidentally killed by them. OK, that's a stretch, but you get my point.


ETA:
Also, if you have a vest, you might want to think about wearing that to the range for the next few months. Just as a safety precaution.

expvideo
November 24, 2008, 11:42 AM
I'm not near smart enough to suggest an answer or policy but I am smart enough to understand that if we don't start policing from within, it will be done for us from without.

Nailed it. I agree with this statement 100%!

Marcus5aurelius
November 24, 2008, 11:55 AM
I completely agree with you. A few weeks ago I posted one very similar to your experience. But the hardest part about it is how do we weed out those who do not maintain safety procedures that the majority of firearm owners abide by? A simple written test? Going through basic handling with an instructer watching over you before receiving a license? I am the last person who wants more restrictions but I feel that the few that do not abide by the rules ruin it for everyone and give the antis more of a basis for attack.

deadin
November 24, 2008, 12:07 PM
I have found that absolute "newbies" are usually very receptive to a little help and training when they first come to the range as long as you don't "talk down" to them. The ones I really hate are the wise ass ones that think they know everything because they've been to an unsupervised range a few times and think that rules and safety are for the fools that choose to follow them.

hso
November 24, 2008, 12:16 PM
New shooters need training.
There are going to be a lot more new shooters than just a year ago.
Perhaps we should offer to help introduce them to shooting safely by volunteering with the various ranges?

RP88
November 24, 2008, 12:20 PM
I frequent two ranges. One is an outdoor range that is expensive by the hour if you don't buy a yearly membership. the other is an indoor range that requires a range safety card that you acquire by taking an oral test on their rules. A range officer is usually around the outdoor one, and someone is always keeping an eye on the indoor one. I guess I'm lucky that the idiots get dealt with in a quick fashion.

expvideo
November 24, 2008, 12:21 PM
New shooters need training.
There are going to be a lot more new shooters than just a year ago.
Perhaps we should offer to help introduce them to shooting safely by volunteering with the various ranges?

Excellant idea!

bdorrman
November 24, 2008, 12:44 PM
Indoorsoccerfrea:

You are right, of course. I was trying, poorly I guess, to show the two extremes of the argument. There are those who contend, convincingly at times, that once any restriction is placed on a Right, it is no longer a Right but a privilage. They believe that once a man has paid his debt, he should be restored to all protections defined in the Bill of Rights and should be allowed to bear arms. If he can't be trusted with those protections, he shouldn't be released. I was trying to acknowledge their position.

Hey, if I was smart and could express myself clearly, I wouldn't be driving a truck.

Beagle-zebub
November 24, 2008, 12:53 PM
Now see, if we just taught everyone gun safety in the 5th grade, this wouldn't be a problem! :p

The weird thing about that statement is that it is true.

Grizzly Adams
November 24, 2008, 01:57 PM
I totally agree with you. I normally try to politely bring the issue to the offenders attention. Sometimes its appreciated, somtimes not. If there seems to a confrontation in the making, I see if anyone else noticed what happened and if they have anything to bring to the discussion and if not, I gather my gear and depart. Sometimes the offfenders are asked to leave.

K3
November 24, 2008, 02:09 PM
I have found that absolute "newbies" are usually very receptive to a little help and training when they first come to the range as long as you don't "talk down" to them. The ones I really hate are the wise ass ones that think they know everything because they've been to an unsupervised range a few times and think that rules and safety are for the fools that choose to follow them.

Agreed on the newbies being receptive. In my experience, the worst ones are the guys who've been shooting a long time and say 'this is how I've always done it', 'it ain't caused a problem yet', and 'it's not loaded, so don't worry'.

Does a guy who says that honestly expect me to take his word? To trust a self-righteous know-it-all that I've never even met?

f4t9r
November 24, 2008, 02:13 PM
You are correct about alot of people buying guns and have no idea what to do with it. I fear we are going to hear some bad news from this buying craze due to the election. People have no idea about gun safety yet feel they need one before the president elect takes office.

rhoggman
November 24, 2008, 02:22 PM
There are a lot of people out there with a lack of knowledge on any given subject. There are also a lot of communities out there trying to draw more to the flock. Having said that, if you see someone being unsafe, or just someone who could use some good advice, I believe the best practice is to be polite and offer your services/ kindness/ advice/ wisdom.

People owning firearms is generally a good thing as long as they are law abiding citizens and intelligent enough to legally be an adult (there is such a thing as mental retardation).

Be a part of the solution, and not a part of the problem. IMO by being "reactive" to this situation you have allowed the problem to perpetuate. Instead try a "proactive" approach to the situation and impart knowledge to someone. Being proactive can cause a chain reaction that could be beneficial indefinately. You have a much greater impact on the world as whole when you are proactive, even if you do not realize it.

Tirod
November 24, 2008, 02:47 PM
In the '70's, one out of ten males had served in the military. Lots of common sense stuff in gun handling was demonstrated and known in the general public because of the military experience.

Now, one in a HUNDRED have military experience. The ignorance is there, it's not going away, and the solution is reflected in the mandatory CCW classes so many states have now.

New gun owners need classes as much as new drivers. Funny how that has disappeared from the high school curriculum, too.

A solution would be for gun clubs that run the ranges to have instruction days open to the public, free, and advertised. It can only improve membership roles, and more certified instructors in the community can't hurt. It will help in making the community aware that gun enthusiasts care about safety and aren't in it to make a buck.

It will also help channel the newbies into a safer environment, rather than the local option of shooting up a piece of abandoned mined land adjacent to a new housing development.

We do need more instruction available to new owners. We should be handing out schedules of instruction with every gun sale, and doing the job ourselves, before it becomes a mandatory requirement.

Treo
November 24, 2008, 02:58 PM
I said this before but it really didn't click. What I've seen that works really well is when a group of experienced shooters politely informs the new guy of the safety rules. I'm talking about on a completely unsupervised public range and I'm talking about " excuse me sir, that's not really acceptable behavior on this range..." as opposed to "Hey dumb@ss! watch where your pointing that thing!'

But hey if you're dumb enough to say something like that to an armed total stranger I really don't think we're going to be worrying about you long anyway

gregormeister
November 24, 2008, 03:26 PM
I never have and never will shoot at a "public" range. my families personal 90 acres of woods in PA is where my range is and its where I don't have to worry about newbies and I trust myself pretty well with a firearm. Buy 1 acre of woods and you'll appreciate it I assure you.

Blakenzy
November 24, 2008, 03:31 PM
The NRA should move on this, providing fliers to gunshops around the country, detailing free safety courses in the locality.

The NRA should recruit member volunteers in communities around the nation to go to ranges and put up big banners saying "NEW SHOOTERS SIGN UP HERE FOR FREE T-SHIRT". When the new shooters approach, they are informed that the t.shirts are free provided they take the time to go through a short, basic safety course. They can also throw out some application material to join the NRA while they are at it. Then they are taken to the line with their new guns and cool free t.shirts and given basic instructions... no more than 10 minutes of their time, and they take home reading material.

A organization as large as the NRA should be able to pull off something like that.

RKBABob
November 24, 2008, 03:42 PM
I don't know if anyone else suggested this, but....

Why not print up the four rules on some yellow cards, and leave them in an area where new shooters can read them? Or maybe you can find or make a full brochure (I know, I know... why should he have to... but since the OP is so concerned about this as to start a thread, then why not go an extra step and educate at the range?)

1. All guns are always loaded.

2. Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target (and you have made the decision to shoot).

Maybe the NRA has something available? Anyone?

4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

nachosgrande
November 24, 2008, 04:05 PM
I've been thinking about this and I believe some people will never be able to accomplish these things. Maybe they could have if they started younger, but some people will always be scatterbrained. Look at my wife, very bright academically (master's degree in accounting and a law degree from Harvard), and she is incapable of having barrel awareness 100% of the time. Some people, when concentrating on something else, will forget where the gun is pointing and for some reason think if it's not pointing at the target, it won't fire. Guns are for people who can be preoccupied with a hundred other things and still maintain barrel awareness.

rbernie
November 24, 2008, 04:13 PM
I am so torn when it comes to people buying guns and having no idea how to safely use them. How do we fix this problem? If we ignore it, it won’t go away.If I see unsafe actions at a range, I'll usually go over and help the new shooter. A smile and a pat on the back and a couple of minutes spent being helpful can work wonders. I usually soften things up with a 'nice gun!' or similar, and then explain what they need to do better.

The fastest way to LOSE new shooters (and their potential political clout) from our ranks is to either silently ostracize them or, worse yet, overtly make them wish they'd never met us gun owners.

expvideo
November 24, 2008, 04:57 PM
I am so torn when it comes to people buying guns and having no idea how to safely use them. How do we fix this problem? If we ignore it, it won’t go away.
We are a very non-confrontational society. That is the problem. We need to grow a pair and confront new (and old) shooters that aren't following the 4 rules of gun safety. You don't have to be a jerk about it, but if you see this and you don't say anything, you're not helping anybody. It is for the good of everyone that we all man up and confront bad shooters.

jakemccoy
November 24, 2008, 06:43 PM
I've been thinking about this and I believe some people will never be able to accomplish these things. Maybe they could have if they started younger, but some people will always be scatterbrained. Look at my wife, very bright academically (master's degree in accounting and a law degree from Harvard), and she is incapable of having barrel awareness 100% of the time. Some people, when concentrating on something else, will forget where the gun is pointing and for some reason think if it's not pointing at the target, it won't fire. Guns are for people who can be preoccupied with a hundred other things and still maintain barrel awareness.

I'd have to say the lean is more toward new shooters being safer, that is, if they're trained properly. Your wife does not represent all new shooters. I started shooting when I was 33. I'm 35. The Four Rules are proudly stenciled on my brain. A person at the range with bad muzzle control is like a five alarm fire to me even without trying to notice. I know plenty of other new shooters, like my mom, who want nothing more than to be instructed on the proper way to handle a gun.

In contrast, a person who has been shooting their entire life is not going to change. If they're safe, they're safe. If they're not safe, they won't ever be. Even if they know they're violating a Rule, they'll imagine themselves as somehow being above the Four Rules for whatever reason. There's no apology or second thought about the violation. It's just smug defiance.

jakemccoy
November 24, 2008, 06:50 PM
We are a very non-confrontational society. That is the problem. We need to grow a pair and confront new (and old) shooters that aren't following the 4 rules of gun safety. You don't have to be a jerk about it, but if you see this and you don't say anything, you're not helping anybody. It is for the good of everyone that we all man up and confront bad shooters.

"Confront" is so the wrong word here. Confront means to face in hostility.

"Friendly help" is better. If you feel you have to confront, you should leave the area instead.

BullfrogKen
November 24, 2008, 07:02 PM
jake,

It's not so much a smug defiance to the Four Rules as it is a lack of respect.

It begins as a lack of respect for the firearm. And it continues as a lack of respect for me when I tell him not to point it at me.


People who have never handled a gun in their lives before often have fear for it. A few of the unknown - of how it works, of how to handle it properly and not shoot themselves or someone else when they pick it up.

They learn shortly after using it how to make it work. They may not have learned how to handle it safely. And that's the danger. Knowing how to make it work brings familiarity. That familiarity erases the fear. The only way to respect what a gun will do once the fear of it is lost is to practice habits which acknowledge that respect.


The NRA does not like the Four Rules. But it is a simple way to teach that respect. They are easy enough to recall and practice that even a young person can remember and follow them.

SsevenN
November 24, 2008, 07:32 PM
I've been taking a new female friend out shooting the past 3 fridays.

On the second trip I actually started to get a little frustrated, as she seemed to be absorbing little, if any of my advice. Eventually that day, she openly swept me, finger on the trigger. (Gun was empty, but she was just done shooting, and never visually inspected the gun.

I'm trying very hard guys, and she is not specifically unsafe, but when I was swept, I had to give her a kind of ultimatum.

I pretty much explained that I liked shooting with her, and helping her learn, but she needed to pay more attention to safety, and less time acting timid.
I know that sounds harsh, but I think it was just the jump start she needed.

She is doing great after our third trip, I think the gravity of the situation started to settle in when she became more familiar with the firearm, and less enamored.

And we are both having more fun, whew!;)

bhp9mm
November 24, 2008, 07:36 PM
i went shooting this weekend and two guys got their after me they was shooting a xd40 and smith 9mm with no ear muffs are plugs thats not unsafe to others i just think its stupid

shimniok
November 24, 2008, 08:06 PM
I think this is an opportunity not just to educate new gun owners to keep them and us safe, but also an opportunity to bring more people onto "our side" -- we're going to need all the help we can get. I have taken a few people to the range and have always politely and persistently reminded them when they aren't following safe handling practices / range rules.

I have been meaning to take some other folks along who are total novices, so I plan to go over safety handling with them before hitting the range. I think that's the responsible way to go when bringing a newbie to the range. How else are they supposed to learn, ESP? :)

The public range I visit is strict on rules with generally good ROs. The range officers will chastise you pretty fast for anything from gun out of the case except at firing line or pointing gun downrange and all in between. I hope I would be willing to talk to someone who isn't following safe handling and politely set 'em straight.

Most people value life and don't want to shoot anyone and want to be safe. So I'm sure they'd want to hear it, especially if it's presented respectfully.

If someone were so arrogant as to reject tips on range rules and safe handling, I'd ask the RO to keep an eye on them. I am sure as heck not going to put myself at risk because someone is a self absorbed arrogant ********

Michael

shimniok
November 24, 2008, 08:13 PM
PS: The idea bout cards is a great one. I have printed bus cards for my jeep club thru this one place online... VistaPrint -- not affiliated other than as a prior customer. They usually run sales to where it is pretty cheap to get a few hundred done.

If you want to print up your own, you can make up your own template and post it here for the rest of us to use. I would but I'm up to my eardrums right now.

If each of us printed 50-100 cards and vowed to hand them out to newbs (hell maybe put this forum url on it too??) and/or talk to a local range or gun shop to hand 'em out, we could really make a difference.

Or, we could keep typing and griping. :D

Travis Bickle
January 28, 2009, 01:30 PM
They allow uncased firearms, but the muzzle has to be up at all times, actions open, and racked when you're checking in.

A public range I occasionally shoot at just recently started requiring cases as well as eye protection. Ear protection and the muzzles up rule I can understand, but in my opinion, requiring cases and eye protection is just a little bit anal. Next they'll be requiring us to wear body armor.

Come to think of it, I don't even understand why they require ear protection. I aways wear ear plugs, but if some dipsh*t wants to permanently damage his hearing what harm does it do anyone else?

Also, before anyone comments, I don't think it has to do with liability, because this place is run by the state and I don't think the government can be sued, unless it's for violating someones Constitutional rights.

Steve N
January 28, 2009, 01:44 PM
[/QUOTE]Also, before anyone comments, I don't think it has to do with liability, because this place is run by the state and I don't think the government can be sued, unless it's for violating someones Constitutional rights.[/QUOTE]

It is EXACTLY because of liability. Anyone can sue anyone for anything. Whether they can win or not is another story. States are not immune from lawsuits for negligence, etc. Even if a case has NO merit, as the defendent, you will spend time, money, aggrevation, and worry, until the case is either dismissed, or adjucated. Remember, a JUDGE sued a dry-cleaner for tens of millions because he said they didn't live up to their "satisfaction guaranteed" policy. He ruined their business. BTW, if you haven't seen it, this idiot it trying to sue them again.

As far as cases being required, it may give the operator a little more piece of mind that the person walking in the door isn't there to rob them.

CoRoMo
January 28, 2009, 01:45 PM
I didn't realize this thread was 66 days old, but oh well.

The OP only ignored the problem and left the range rather than educate the one example he listed as "Too many unsafe New gun owners", so the problem will only persist.

I don't know if he actually realized that since these new gun owners were at the range with their new hardware, they were in the very process of training. A simple modicum of advice from another shooter at the range, or a sign as has been advised is all that is needed rather than suggesting that nobody can exercise their 2nd Amendment right until they measure up to some standard of achievement.

Travis Bickle
January 28, 2009, 01:55 PM
It is EXACTLY because of liability. Anyone can sue anyone for anything.

Not true. Ever hear of sovereign immunity?

I'm not sure that they could be sued.

zombienerd
January 28, 2009, 02:07 PM
I've personally been thinking of opening a Gun store / firing range in the next few years. My solution to the "newbie" issue, is anyone who hasn't shot at my range in the past would be made to watch a 2 minute video in the side room before they'd be allowed on my range.

It would cover the four laws, misfire instructions, emergency info, etc... It would also say that if you are caught violating any of the rules, you will be warned the first time, and permanently banned the second.

I personally think all ranges should do this, it would save a lot of heartache. It's non-invasive, instructive, and even old-pros can use a "freshener" every once in a while..

"You ever shot here before?"
"Nope"
"Please head into the side room here and press play, you can go on the range after the video"

Joe Demko
January 28, 2009, 02:45 PM
I never have and never will shoot at a "public" range. my families personal 90 acres of woods in PA is where my range is and its where I don't have to worry about newbies and I trust myself pretty well with a firearm. Buy 1 acre of woods and you'll appreciate it I assure you.

Buying one acre of woods doesn't necessarily provide you with anything but one acre of woods. Unless you take the time to construct proper backstops, a plot that small virtually guarantees you are shooting into somebody else's property. Even if you own 90 acres, you should still be making sure of your backstops.
I live in Pennsylvania, too. Although we have plenty of woodlands here, in most of the state you are never very far at all from a road or dwelling. Every round you fire is going somewhere. In PA, if it isn't going into a properly constructed backstop, that potentially means it's going someplace you really don't want it to go.

jakemccoy
January 28, 2009, 03:04 PM
A video is a good idea. It can be made short and enjoyable.

My dentist was a stack of ADA videos that he can show when patients have certain dental issues. For example, the video on teeth fillings is about 3 minutes long and highly informative, better than any information I've seen on the Internet. Plus, the video is coming from my dentist. So, it has a stamp of approval. The analogy applies to gun ranges.

By the idea, this idea about experienced gun owners being uninviting to new shooters was a rarity for me. When I was new, well over 95% of the experienced gun owners were helpful when there was interaction. They were helpful and friendly almost to the point of being annoying. Their intentions were good. At the public gun ranges where I go, it seems like all the experienced gun owners understand the camaraderie.

MT GUNNY
January 28, 2009, 03:05 PM
I see alot of your kind of Problem posted. IF your so Concerned Why did you not Politely show them the Error of there ways. Telling us about the Problem didn't Help that Couple at all. Now they could end up having an Accident that will end up on MSNBC's 10 O'Clock News.

I Feel its My responsibility as a Gun Owner to Correct Someone who is making a Error, By doing so will Enhance Our "Right to Keep and Bear Arms "

benEzra
January 28, 2009, 03:08 PM
I don't know who originally said this (I think it might be Mushashi, but I'd be grateful for a primary source), but it is applicable here:


A person who does not know and does not know they don’t know, is asleep. Awaken them.

A person who does not know and knows they do not know, is a student, teach them.

A person who knows and knows that they know is wise, listen and follow them.

30mag
January 28, 2009, 03:12 PM
I went to the inauguration, and I feel exactly the way you do about gun owners about voters...
An uninformed vote is a wasted vote.

mbt2001
January 28, 2009, 03:16 PM
I am so torn when it comes to people buying guns and having no idea how to safely use them. How do we fix this problem? If we ignore it, it won’t go away.



Many men think they are genetically programmed to be great shots and gun handlers. They get annoyed with the idea of training.
Many men take pride in not having to read directions, not a good thing when it comes to firearms.

Well that is the problem... I have instructed more than a few people at the range in safe gun handling and shooting practices... Most guys on there own are ready enough to listen, with buddies or (even worse) a girl friend or SO, they become macho pig headed stubborn mules...

But I also know of a couple who bought a gun under the direction of a "family friend" who also happens to be an ICE agent... He went through this INCREDIBLY LONG "training" program wherein he made things overly complex and now 3 months after the fact advised that it was OK for them to now keep ammo at home.

Seriously...

IMO "Newb-itis" is part of the problem which is closely related to the insecurity syndrom. Fake it till you make it is a gold motto in the US today. The other problem is "Expert-itis" stemming from the much dread machismo virus... They basically feed on each other. I mean how many of us go to the gun counter to ask the "experts" there about this or that? How many of us roll our eyes when some weirdo posts here about how he used to work at a gun shop so HE knows??

It is neither simple, nor complex as what the layman or the professional think, ergo I give free advice when I am at the range to people that LOOK like they need it.

wep45
January 28, 2009, 03:17 PM
tnieto...........you did the right thing...........its difficult to fix ignorance in this country....... at the range or just about every where else

today there is a lot of rudeness and "attitude"........"its all about me" mentality

Liddyfan
January 28, 2009, 03:58 PM
Too many unsafe NEW gun owners

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Maybe I'm being too critical of others, but lately I have felt like too many ignorant people own firearms. Before you jump all over me about rights, hear me out. I have been going to the same public gun range for 10+ years. Since the election, I have been there three times. I have never seen this much lack of safety in my 10+ years at this place. Yes, it is a public range and I know the negatives of public ranges, but the problem remains. Today there was a husband-and-wife walking up to the pistol range (With new guns just removed from the box). I believe the wife asked him where they would be shooting. He then raised his pistol up and pointed it towards all the pistol shooters (showing her where she would shoot from). This is one of the many times I've seen people bring brand-new guns out without having any sort of muzzle discipline. These people are ruining the image of gun owners.

To answer many of your responses before you even type them: Yes, I am in the process of finding a different place to shoot.

I am so torn when it comes to people buying guns and having no idea how to safely use them. How do we fix this problem? If we ignore it, it won’t go away.

Has anyone else felt this way?

While nobody wants people around that are unsafe people with guns, it's a sign that people who never had firearms , now do. Support for the hobby is growing and fresh recruits equal a growing voting block. A good sign - just remember to duck when they sweep you with a .357 at the range. :)

(that actually happened to me with a cocked and loaded 44 mag, beautiful girls are dangerous at the range, she whipped around to ask me a question pointing the barrel at my chest with her finger on the light trigger )

Lightninstrike
January 28, 2009, 05:22 PM
Ditto. A .lot of these folks were fence sitters before. If the election has galvanized them to get off the fence and take a stance I say we should welcome them.

Jvandenhaus
January 28, 2009, 06:04 PM
All of the new shooters I take out are are mostly fine, though I don't make it a habit to foster new shooters.

It's the veteran shooters that scare the bunnies out of me, our local brand of idiot is known as the COAR15 club. Their hazards are institutionalized.

Hoppy590
January 28, 2009, 06:07 PM
If the election has galvanized them to get off the fence and take a stance I say we should welcome them.

except they are not not making a stance. they are just getting their EBR's and Hicaps while they can. and its not limited to new shooters.

rbernie
January 28, 2009, 06:30 PM
So teach them to value their new posessions such that they WILL fight for them when the time comes.

The first step is ownership. The next step is internalization. The final step is activism.

Get them on that road.

rainbowbob
January 28, 2009, 10:28 PM
Hell, I don't even let people slide for brass that hits me...

Question: I'm a revolver guy. Is it even possible for the bottom-feeder in the bay to my left to avoid hitting me with brass?

Seriously, I thought it was something I just had to put up with.

I mean, what can you say that would make a difference?

rbernie
January 28, 2009, 10:31 PM
Not much. I generally just step back until they empty the mag and then take my turn.

There's no reason to be a butt everywhere you go in life, just because you can. So I choose not to.

Hoppy590
January 28, 2009, 10:37 PM
So teach them to value their new posessions such that they WILL fight for them when the time comes.


valuing a non heirloom possession is shallow and financially based. they must value the inalienable right, even if they never own a gun. this is a far greater mission, and one iv been on for many years. sadly it takes far more for a person to understand, and protect a God/Allah/Yahweh/Vishnu/anything/nothing given right that no man, no law, no deity can revoke.

psyopspec
January 29, 2009, 10:35 AM
Like it's said in Psychological Operations, changing someone's actions is nice, but if you change their attitude you'll have a longer lasting effect.

rbernie
January 29, 2009, 10:48 AM
they must value the inalienable right, even if they never own a gun.But they must first UNDERSTAND the right. They don't get that knowledge from their education and most do not get that from their upbringing.

The only way for them to get it is via interaction with guns and the gun community.

All of us started from somewhere other than where we are right now, and progressed to this point. How else do you propose that they start their learning process, if not via shooting and interactions with the gun community?

melikesguns
January 29, 2009, 11:17 AM
I no longer visit a range. I made my own on My in-laws land. I live in Redneck City, USA. So my local range experience has been everything from homeboys with Hi-points doing the sideways 50 cent clack, clack ****, to rednecks that bring a bag of beer bottles to shoot up. It is pathetic. I have even witnessed full auto. weaponry owned by a man I know for a fact has done Federal time!! Of course it's not like he cops will do anything, they probably sold the guy the full auto. Coruptin runs amuck. Just google Cocke County, corruption

dobrzemetal
January 29, 2009, 11:48 AM
I haven't had so much of a problem with the adults, its really the kids who run around the range with .22 rilfes cocked and locked muzzle sweeping everyone.

benEzra
January 29, 2009, 12:08 PM
valuing a non heirloom possession is shallow and financially based.
Not if that non-heirloom possession is closely connected with one's conception of what freedom means.

My guns are worth a lot more to me than their market value. It is not about dollars and cents.

And I dare say that most of the people buying guns now, at the panic prices, are not doing so for dollars-and-cents reasons; otherwise they wouldn't be buying at a price peak, IMO.

Hoppy590
January 29, 2009, 12:55 PM
Not if that non-heirloom possession is closely connected with one's conception of what freedom means.

My guns are worth a lot more to me than their market value. It is not about dollars and cents.

And I dare say that most of the people buying guns now, at the panic prices, are not doing so for dollars-and-cents reasons; otherwise they wouldn't be buying at a price peak, IMO.

well i said a guns value is shallow, i meant that in comparison to the right. meaning my AR is just an object. if it were broken or destroyed, oh well, get me my check book, il buy another one.

i think your a little optimistic if you think this is the "price peak" it could easily go up in the coming years. even if prices dont go up or some of these people armt doing it to resell, there are still alot who are "just getting one before its banned" with no care about the generations who follow us, or the rights that are being trampled

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