Scary guy at the range


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Norton
March 28, 2004, 07:33 AM
Spot77 and I went over to the local range for a little lead-based birthday celebration (for him).

As we walked out to the firing line, another fella that we had seen out in the store area came in sporting a snub-nosed .38spl and a box of ammo.

Now..let me say...I don't look over other folks' shoulders when they shoot and as long as I don't see anything that could potentially injure myself or others I don't care if people can shoot the broad side of the proverbial barn.

However, I had noticed this guy out in the store and how should I put this..? He wasn't firing on all his cylinders, he was "slow", his elevator wasn't stopping on all of the floors...

The way he talked and the things he said led me to believe that this man was mentally retarded in some way (not sure if that's this week's PC term and I mean no offense).

I find it hard to believe that this guy was given a rental gun and allowed out on to the firing line. He was shooting that .38 like a little kid shoots a cap gun...sort of a stabbing motion. He was missing the target at 6 feet and when he was out of ammo he would sort of stare up at the barrel:what:

I nodded to the range officer and he watched for a minute or so and walked away:fire: Fortunately for all concerned, those 50 rounds didn't last very long and the fella walked out and returned his pistol.

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c_yeager
March 28, 2004, 08:25 AM
Doesnt sound like he did anything dangerous...

Norton
March 28, 2004, 08:44 AM
Agreed.....but you know how when you watch someone handle a gun....they don't do anything REALLY wrong, but the manner in which they handle it just makes you nervous?

Though the staring down the barrel thing could be considered dangerous:eek:

shermacman
March 28, 2004, 09:25 AM
Yikes!
Next time your gun stops going bang when you pull the trigger are you going to look down the barrel?
:scrutiny:
It is a sad story, some people just aren't wired together correctly. Tough call. I am glad nothing went wrong. I hope he just decides that guns are no fun and doesn't go back.

The Real Hawkeye
March 28, 2004, 09:28 AM
I was once shooting next to a husband and wife with their 8-10 year old boy. They all took turns shooting, and occupied two stalls. The woman was holding her revolver in her hand while talking to her husband. Gradually, while she was engrossed in conversation, the muzzle crept closer and closer to pointing right at me, and eventually was pointing right at my midsection. At which point I suddenly backed away, and pointed out to her what was happening. She looked mildly offended, pointed it up and returned to her conversation (no apology). Then a ceasefire was called, and she was still holding it and talking to her husband. People started down range to check and/or change their targets, and she was still holding it. I pointed out to her that there was a ceasefire, and that no one was allowed to hold or even touch their weapon during a ceasefire, to which she looked at her husband, who told her to just ignore me. I then reported the whole incident to the chief range officer (actually, there was no other at this particular time), who came over and balled the both of them out. Turns out the husband was a county LEO. That didn't stop the chief range officer (also range manager) from telling them to leave and not come back.

son of a gun
March 28, 2004, 11:41 AM
The way he talked and the things he said led me to believe that this man was mentally retarded in some way (not sure if that's this week's PC term and I mean no offense).

I think the PC term is "Mentally Disabled", that will keep you safe from the ACLU. :what:

PCRCCW
March 28, 2004, 11:47 AM
The term mentally challenged is what I am in the AM before my Coffee and NOTHING will protect your from the ACLU! If you fart by a person and they are offended by it.....you can expect a call from their attornies.

Shoot well.....................

The Real Hawkeye
March 28, 2004, 11:51 AM
Actually, the latest PC terminolgoy is "Differently Mentally Abled."

son of a gun
March 28, 2004, 12:20 PM
NOTHING will protect your from the ACLU!

So true:uhoh:

SiG Lady
March 28, 2004, 01:24 PM
"...I then reported the whole incident to the chief range officer (actually, there was no other at this particular time), who came over and balled the both of them out. ..." (TheRealHawkeye)
Good job!! Gah, she coulda KILLED somebody!! :fire:

We have strict rules at our range, too, and our members are as good at policing it as you were. We seldom have any problems, but no one wants to get shot by a jerk so we--as de facto range officers--cover the range's backside as well as our own. That mentally-not-quite-all-there person would likely never been allowed to shoot at our range. He would've been diplomatically screened/evaluated by on-site staff and tested (demonstrating how to use the range) and culled out, perhaps, as not skilled enough, then recommended for the regularly-scheduled Basic Handgun Safety classes before being readmitted to the range.

Spot77
March 28, 2004, 02:56 PM
There was another odd thing about the fellow Norton is referring to....He did almost everything with his right hand.....He obviously had two working hands, didn't SEEM to have a ny physical handicap in his left hand/arm, but only rarely used his left hand for anything.

That was sort of reassuring since we were on the lane to his right; everytime he moved his arm pointed DIRECTLY at the lane to his left.

And he would dissapear for 10 to 15 minutes at a time and leave his revolver sitting on the bench totally unattended. I know this is normal in some areas, but it is definately NOT appropriate at this range.

Everything worked out ok, and I guess I'm glad another person is taking responsibility to learn the handling of firearms......but this cat really needs some formal instruction.

PATH
March 28, 2004, 08:53 PM
What IQ is required to shoot a firearm? If you follow the rules you are okay.
Hell, I am sure vets here have met some in the military who could barely spell their names. There are people who have all cylinders working who are dangerous as all get out. My friends cousin threw the bolt home on his Moisin 44 carbine as I was walking in the range house door. The damn thing was pointed at my chest. I hit the floor so fast I must have looked like a blur. "What are you doing down there?", he asked. I then proceeded to use extremely vulgar language. Here was a very "intelligent" fellow who broke some very important range rules. Thankfully the rifle was empty. I had no way of knowing that.

While the fellow you saw on the range had some piss poor technique he did not violate the basic rules. Shooting safely is more important to me than whether you can hit a bull in the rump with a bass fiddle.( I would like someone to have the rounds going down range though!) I might have struck up a conversation with the fellow and possibly offered a few pointers.

The bottom line is, when does someones intelligence affect his ability to shoot. Anypne here know at what level it is safe to shoot. An IQ of 70?
80? Where is the cut offf?

GigaBuist
March 28, 2004, 09:25 PM
The bottom line is, when does someones intelligence affect his ability to shoot. Anypne here know at what level it is safe to shoot. An IQ of 70?
80? Where is the cut offf?

I say 110. Yep, 110. You're far removed from putting a firearm into the hands of a legally retarded person then.

Frankly, given that you cannot CCW in Michigan with any alcohol in your body (0.02 BAC actually) I don't consider it unreasonable to say that you must have an IQ of around 110 or 120 to CCW either. Probably 120 for CCW and 110 for hunting, maybe 100 for hunting. Being in public (the woods, state owned land) with a firearm should not be tolerated by somebody with diminished mental abilities. If by nature you run amok in this world certifiably below normal thinking abilities too bad.

If you can't trust a guy with an IQ of 180 to have a BAC of .02 and a gun on him you cannot in any way, shape, or form say with a straight face that you trust a guy with an IQ of 75 (IIRC the legal mark of an 'Idiot' or 'Retarded person') with the same weapon stone cold sober.

Mr. Clark
March 28, 2004, 09:42 PM
The bottom line is, when does someones intelligence affect his ability to shoot. Anypne here know at what level it is safe to shoot. An IQ of 70?

Tough question.

I would say if you are someone who is over 18 but still has a legal guardian, then definitely no guns for you (outside of the supervison and responsibility of that guardian).

Otherwise, if there is no history of poor judgement or safety issues, I would be extremely reluctant to take someone's rights away just because they aren't that swift. In other words, there should have to be a legal proceding, legal counsel, and expert testimony. Sort of like having someone committed. Although, that should be a little harder than it is in some places.

If they are capable of following the rules and being safe then I see no problem with it.

armoredman
March 28, 2004, 10:00 PM
I knew personally a mentally disabled man who had a Smith 32 long revolver, and was quite safe with it. He knew how to handle it, even though he couldn't figure out how to pay bills, or hold a job. On the other hand, I had an FBI agent on my range who stepped forward of the line - he got tossed, even as he protested he was FBI, and exempt. Not on my range.
Side note - he later offered to let me shoot his MP10 - all forgiven, for three full mags of 10mm. He also scrupulously obeyed all range rules thereon out.....

Quartus
March 28, 2004, 10:04 PM
If they are capable of following the rules and being safe then I see no problem with it.

Aye, but the difficult part is, some of them are quite unpredictable. Fine one minute, mad at the world the next.


Not a good thing around guns.

riddleofsteel
March 28, 2004, 10:16 PM
I was at an outdoor range shooting for score to obtain my CCW permit. On the line next to me was a woman that had ZERO idea of how to handle, load or operate a firearm. She got a Ruger .22 out of the factory box and fumbled the rounds into the mag. She dropped many rounds and had to sift them out of the dirt to recover them. Once the weapon was loaded she swept me with the muzzle twice in as many minutes. I requested she keep her weapon pointed down range as she did not even have a holster with her. The third time she swept me with the muzzle I motioned with my hand and called the range officer. (Qualification had not even started yet.) I explained the problem and he had strong words with the lady about muzzle safety but did not move her or ask her to leave.
After the the first two groups of shots her weapon jammed. She was pointing the barrel at me and another shooter jerking the grips at the back of the slide. I holstered my weapon and stepped off of the line. Another range officer rushed over to ask me WHY I WAS NOT IN MY PLACE. I pointed out the lady, still trying to clear her jam, with the muzzle covering at least three people down the shooting line. He told me to return to the line. Then he asked the lady, point blank, do you know how to load, shoot and safely handle your handgun? To her credit she told him no that she had just taken delivery of the weapon the day before. He invited her to leave the range and come back the next week to requalifiy after some practice.

Stand_Watie
March 28, 2004, 10:47 PM
Did you say that he was looking down the barrel of weapon? I'd say that's at least a call for a little tete a te with the range officer. I think that even a mildly retarded person can be taught to shoot safely (perhaps even more safely in terms of consistancy than those of us who might be tempted to think that the rules are for the less mentally abled).

But they would need good instruction and I think if he was looking down the barrel of his weapon he needed MORE instruction.

Those who are less fortunate in the mental gifts they are given by God/nature are often more malleable to the influence of others - I think an occurrence like this is a good opportunity for a responsible shooter to step up and provide the influence that can be the difference between a rewarding hobby and tragedy. I personally would prefer to teach a down syndrome child to shoot than a "know it all". I believe the lessons would stick better.

jnojr
March 28, 2004, 10:54 PM
I don't believe in "second chances" for safety violations. If I see someone lasering their muzzle or otherwise being a dope about it, I'm gonna say something. I'm not going to be mean or profane, unless the violation is really egregious, but I'm going to be firm. Anything other than "I'm sorry, won't happen again" and then not having it happen again will see one of us go... if the people at the range won't enforce safety rules, I'm gone. I do not want to be a statistic in the evening paper. Just as I do not want to shoot anywhere where idiocy is tolerated.

SiG Lady
March 28, 2004, 11:11 PM
When we hold our variously-seasonal indoor range league sessions (6 weeks long, usually), the safety rules are firm and reviewed in detail with the beginning of each season. Certain infractions are the you-go-home-for-the-night kind, followed by an appointment during that week with the Range Officer of the Session for a lengthy safety lecture before you may return to league action. There are perfectly good reasons for all the safety concerns when you have about 25-30 armed enthusiasts milling about (and shooting!) in a rather small space (13 booths), we HAVE to draw the lines clearly or risk very dangerous consequences.

Just about all our participants are experienced and familiar with both their weapons and the range's rules, but some of the newbies--bless their hearts for joining us--need reminders. It never hurts to err on the side of caution.
:cool:

tango3065
March 28, 2004, 11:21 PM
What IQ is required to shoot a firearm? If you follow the rules you are okay.
Hell, I am sure vets here have met some in the military who could barely spell their names.

Anthing under a score of 70 on IQ is considerd mentally retarded. Average IQ is 90 to 110.

PATH
March 28, 2004, 11:31 PM
The other problem with Intelligence Quotients is they vary from culture to culture. On the Kalahari Desert a native might make you look like a functional idiot in terms of surviving in that environment. Put that same native in downtown USA and he would appear to be a little slow.

Would you feel safe shooting with someone who had an IQ of 71? While they may not be able to go over the finer points of existentialism I believe they can handle a firearm appropriately if given the proper instruction!

Mulliga
March 28, 2004, 11:37 PM
Would you feel safe shooting with someone who had an IQ of 71? While they may not be able to go over the finer points of existentialism I believe they can handle a firearm appropriately if given the proper instruction!

Hell, I bet you could teach a smart primate (a chimp or a gorilla) how to use guns. ;)

Not a hard concept. Whatever's in front of the dangerous end gets destroyed.

hipeflip
March 28, 2004, 11:44 PM
Son of a gun/ the Real Hawkeye: Psychologists and psychiatrists now use the term DD or developmentally disabled. Its a funny term but it works.
As to there being a lower limit on the intelligence of a gunowner, psychologists dont use IQ as the sole factor in determining mental deficiencies. Individuals with IQ's below 70 can still accomplish a lot including learning gun safety. And to be honest I dont think learning the four rules of gun safety takes any significant amount of intelligence. Its understanding these rules and practicing them that differentiates the wise from the fools. I could teach my dog to never step in the path of a muzzle but that still wouldnt prove he is more intelligent than muzzle friendly politicians.

GigaBuist
March 29, 2004, 12:06 AM
Would you feel safe shooting with someone who had an IQ of 71? While they may not be able to go over the finer points of existentialism I believe they can handle a firearm appropriately if given the proper instruction!

I'm sure you could condition them to handle a gun safely, just like you condition them to keep a vehicle on the road and drive normally.

I know a mentally deficient person. Bless his soul, but the boy's just not all there. He's younger than I and we worked in the same place for a number of years. He shows up about 2 hours late one day and I ask him what's up. I figured something went wrong, he's usually very prompt and such.

Well... he put his truck in the ditch on the way to work. In broad daylight. On perfectly fine roads. He was changing the station on his radio when he went off the road and into a ditch. Less than a half mile from his house. On a road that sees about 20 cars in a good day. He got a 4x4 truck in that ditch far enough that he had to be PULLED out!

Had he been taught how to drive? Yeah... licensed by the state even!

On one of his first hunting trips (I dunno why the give this kid a gun....) he smacked his dad IN THE FACE with the muzzle of his rifle! Has he been taught how to properly handle a weapon? Yep.

Once the slightest thing goes wrong... something catches his eye, or he tries to do two things at once (literally like walking and talking at the same time) things just go haywire. He cannot do two things at once... and when one of those two things is "muzzle control" who knows what might happen.

Cosmoline
March 29, 2004, 01:31 AM
The basics of firearm safety are only slightly more difficult to understand and master than the act of putting on your pants. That's what I love about shooting. It's an activity most anyone can participate in, even if they're in a wheelchair or a bit on the slow side.

EvilOmega
March 29, 2004, 01:40 AM
What IQ is required to shoot a firearm? If you follow the rules you are okay.
While the fellow you saw on the range had some piss poor technique he did not violate the basic rules. Shooting safely is more important to me than whether you can hit a bull in the rump with a bass fiddle.

Pointing a gun at your own head is ether:
a) A violation of rule two, letting the muzzle cover something you are not willing to destroy.
Or
b) A sign of suicidal mental instability.

Ether is grounds to get you kicked from a good range.

PATH
March 29, 2004, 01:47 AM
I am not sure what he did concerning the barrel. Norton says he looked up at it when out of ammo then a post or two later says he looked down barrel. I am not sure what he did but Norton says in his second post that he agreed that the guy did nothing untoward as far as I can discern.

More input from Norton on this point would help clarify the situation somewhat!

Andrew Rothman
March 29, 2004, 01:50 AM
...he got tossed, even as he protested he was FBI, and exempt. Not on my range.
Side note - he later offered to let me shoot his MP10 - all forgiven, for three full mags of 10mm

So you're safety-conscious, but you can be bought? :)

I'd prefer to kick the guy out once for breaking the rules, and again for being a pompous jerk.

artherd
March 29, 2004, 02:52 AM
The same guy who can operate a car, chainsaw, jackhammer, nailgun, or other dangerous tool (actually, I'd say ALL of them.) can operate a gun in my opinion.

Any of the above beyond your capability to use (or capability to learn how to use, don't yell at me you non-chainsaw-using housewives :) , and I'm sorry, but you should not own a gun.

The_Antibubba
March 29, 2004, 06:12 AM
OK, if a person with DDs (or retarded, if you prefer), can be taught gun and range safety, and their only problem is the speed at which the neurons fire, let them have RKBA like the rest of us! Many DDs also lack the ego that goes with a modicum of intelligence, and will listen and obey when given instructions. The DD, like so many others with noticeable impairments, are too often thought to be easier targets for cowardly goblins.

Notice I say "if" intelligence is the only factor. Not everyone should have a gun.

Norton
March 29, 2004, 06:29 AM
PATH and others....sorry for the lack of consistency there....

The PIQ (person in question) did not turn the business end towards him and look directly down the barrel. He did, however, as he finished up each round of shells point the gun up at the ceiling at a rather sharp angle and sort of lean forward as if to peek down the barrel.

While the muzzle was never pointed directly at him it was enough to be of concern, given the quality of his speech and what he said.

Like I said, he didn't do anything that we could put our finger on that said "A Ha....you're outta here"....it was just a general sense of unease with this particular gentlemen being next to us.

Norton
March 29, 2004, 06:39 AM
For all:

Wow, I didn't expect this thread to generate such response, but as we all know safety at the range is of paramount importance to all of us.

I am always conflicted to criticize anyone's competency or performance at the range as I have not been shooting all that long, despite my moderately advanced 36 years. I'm sure that at some point in my first range outings I was the bumbling idiot standing on the line. I was fortunate to have some good folks help me out at the range and was lucky enough to take a great pasic pistol class through a local IWLA chapter.

It's a fine line between holding the mark on safety and being a snob who believes that "since you don't behave and do things the way I do....you're wrong".

For the record, there were lots of other rentals shooting that day. There were boyfriend/girlfriend combos, 20 somethings out for some "guy time", some solo ladies trying guns on for size. There were all things they could have done better (like the one boyfriend who decided to introduce his GF to shooting with a model 1911:scrutiny: ) but they were not behaving.....oddly, shall I say.

I do not want to become a gun bigot who believes that no one but me is as qualified to shoot and I agree that our sport should be open to all.

I posted this experience to sound out our cumulative experience and, by golly, it's working:D

tyme
March 29, 2004, 06:42 AM
If it's not safe for mentally handicapped individuals to shoot, why are they allowed to write newspaper articles and vote?

I think the whole IQ system is a scam. In kindergarten I was assigned an IQ of 100 after drawing a person with rather few body parts. This was just after my parents had taken me to see an abstract art collection.
I'm proud of my IQ of 100. I've never taken an official IQ test since, but why bother? 100 is good enough for me.

Does anyone think the IQ system is really normalized at 100? I wonder what IQ the median SAT achiever has, or the median ERB achiever has (or whatever test public schools give these days).

c_yeager
March 29, 2004, 08:11 AM
The test is revised each year and the 'normal' range is always placed between 90 and 110.

And if we are going to be alright with letting kids shoot at the range then we cant exactly tell a retarded guy to hit the bricks. How many times have we been regaled by stories of our older members heading off the junior high with their .22 to go plinking with after class?

GigaBuist
March 29, 2004, 12:29 PM
Does anyone think the IQ system is really normalized at 100? I wonder what IQ the median SAT achiever has, or the median ERB achiever has (or whatever test public schools give these days).

The IQ for a median SAT or ACT tester is the average IQ for somebody wanting to get into college. It's going to be higher than 100 given that the sample isn't counting people in the 70-90 range at all.

SAT and ACT tests are really just glorified IQ tests... I may be wrong about the SAT but the ACT really is just an IQ test. Kinda irks me that my younger brother scored at 30 on the ACT... drunk.

Battlespace
March 29, 2004, 12:48 PM
1975 at a .45 range in Baumholder, Germany. One of the guys in the same firing order as me had a jam. He was two or three points from me, and I watched in amazement as he tilted the gun back and looked directly down the muzzle. I think the range safety officer and OIC made record time in calling a cease fire and sprinting to him and getting the gun under control and out of his hand. What a moron.

Quartus
March 29, 2004, 01:24 PM
If it's not safe for mentally handicapped individuals to shoot, why are they allowed to write newspaper articles and vote?



Whoa! Here's a radical notion:


The terms "retarded", "developmentally disabled", etc., can be and are applied to individuals with a broad range of disability, from barely above vegetable to only mildly afflicted.


Now, if that radical and strange idea were true, wouldn't it imply that SOME retarded persons could shoot with no problem, and some couldn't?


:what:


Nah. Couldn't be.



The First Commandment of PC: Thou Shalt Not Recognize Differences!

spacemanspiff
March 29, 2004, 01:44 PM
whew! my 130 iq qualifies me to shoot!

i was scared for a minute....


when i went to the range a couple weeks ago, one of my buddies was talking about 'its not like the other range with rules! you can do anything there!"

so i asked him 'can i point my gun at you?'

"oh well i guess theres some rules."

'well can i hold my guns and play with them while you set up new targets?'

.....

turns out we called ceasefires and cleared our weapons just like the other range.

Riffraff
March 29, 2004, 01:55 PM
Interesting discussion, being one that strives to be highly irregular (my own choice for a label). :p I have to provide my NSHO :D

I don't have a problem with anyone shooting as long as they are safe. Heck I several cases here make the point that many "intelligent" folk are dangerous on the range.

On the other hand I think I have experienced what Norton and Spot are getting at, which is that creepy uncomfortable feeling some folks can give you on the range or at any shooting event. Depending on how severe the feeling is or how dangerous their actions I decide my course. If they are being dangerous I'll point it out to a range official. If they are making me uncomfortable but not unsafe, I see if I can move to a different lane where I'll feel more comfortable. IF I am so uncomfortable that changing lanes did/will not help I am always free to leave and come back later.

MikeJ
March 29, 2004, 03:12 PM
To add to this general subject, I have a story about a scary guy at the range several years ago. There is an indoor range fairly close to where I work so every once in a while I will go there during my lunch hour for some practice. I was waiting to get checked in and this guy in front of me just didn't seem quite right, rather preoccupied and inattentive to the whole process. Anyway, he rented a Beretta 9mm and proceeded to go inside, I asked the range guy to put me at least a few lanes down from him as I didn't get a good feeling about him and didn't want to be right next to him. Long story short, he went in and fired a few rounds then put the gun to his head and killed himself. To say I was shaken up is an understatement. Even as I right this today, it still seems very surreal. An interesting side note is how people react to such things, there were several people there that found it quite fascinating and for lack of a better word, even amusing. Those kind of folks I will never understand.

roo_ster
March 29, 2004, 10:48 PM
I am here to tell you that some of the guys I went through Basic & AIT with at Sand Hill were probably retarded in the sense of "IQ<70."

Those that didn't otherwise wash out managed to learn safe gun handling skills.

OTOH, I will never again shoot with the husband of one of my wife's friends. Sharp guy, very glib, but a dumba$$ when it came to gun safety. Finger of the trigger. Finger OFF the trigger. FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER!!! Sweep me with the muzzle again and you'll find out how it suits you as a suppository!

That said, I dislike the "range nazi" ranges & the folks who think that THIER safety regimen is the only one blessed by JMB & JHC and that all others are benighted safety hazards. There is such a thing as "big boy rules."

I understand that the ranges are trying to "lawyer proof" themselves, but I don't have to like having my training options limited.

EvilOmega
March 30, 2004, 03:39 AM
Was at the range Sunday, when we got there we went to check in at a little trailer they have on site. When I open the door there’s a man inside with the range master, waving a rifle around, covered the range master and me with the barrel several times, I stop outside and he waves me in ( I don't see if the action was open, I was to busy playing duck the muzzle to look at the other end). So we have a good time shooting and I get my new scope sighted in and we pack up for the day as the range was closing. My friend was showing his .22 Bersa to a guy at the range with a .380 bersa, the range master comes over, now my friend keeps his pistol empty with the hammer cocked, (no idea why) and the range master saw this and called out loudly that he should lower the hammer before he put it in the box. So I guess some unsafe things are ok and some aren’t. Struck me as odd anyway.

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