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Bad day at the gun store (long)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Universal, Jun 6, 2005.

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  1. Universal

    Universal Guest

    I would like to share my weekend adventure at the gun department at a large sporting goods store. This place has everything and that includes row upon row of long guns. All these are supposed to have trigger locks on them so everyone is free to handle any gun they choose. There are signs posted that no one under 18 can handle the weapons. Funny enough, most of the clerks there look to be no older than 18 themselves. Now, up until now I have liked the place and they do have pretty good service and I really can not blame the store for what happened. I was checking out some used rifles when, out of the corner of my eye, noticed a guy with his two little kids walk up to a rack down row from me, pick a rifle up, bring it up looking for something to aim it at and chose to aim directly at my chest. My reaction was to get the heck out of the way and I must confess I got rather upset. I told him to please not do that and he said sorry. Then his kid piped in and said that the gun was not loaded. I told the kid that it did not matter and that it simply was poor gun handling. The dad then got mad and said that he did not actually aim it at me. At this point I wanted to punch the guy but felt that it might be out of line. I did not want to be the person to lecture the guy in front of his kids, nor did I feel that it was my responsibility to teach his children about gun safety. I thought of ten things I could have said but did the grown-up thing and simply walked away. I thought about saying something to the clerks but they were standing around not paying attention to anyone. I have decided that I am not comfortable going to big gunstores like this and I prefer that any given store have most of their weapons, if not all, behind the counter.

    Anyway, thank you for letting me went and feel free to comment.
     
  2. roo_ster

    roo_ster Member

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    What did Mark Twain write about those unloaded guns?

    Dad should have taken the situation in hand and kept his kiddo from covering folks with the muzzle.
     
  3. TonyB

    TonyB Member

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    This is why they need a policy of having a clerk with a customer who handles a gun.....maybe write the store and suggest it.
    Of couse I've had the same thing happen(unsafe handling)with employees of gun shops too......people are basically morons..... :D
     
  4. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    What I said to a MORON DAD a few weeks back...

    "...Here Pop, you stand over here where I was, I'll go over to where your unsafe kid is, and do what he did. See if you think it is pointed at you or not, and if you are sure it is empty."

    End of discussion. Pop and kid left store.
     
  5. SASS#23149

    SASS#23149 Member

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    jfruser,if I read it correctly,

    it was the DAD doing the deed,not the kid.The kid prolly knew better.:(
    I agree it's a little better to have not so many guns available to so many people at one time to (mis)handle.On the other hand I do like being able to handle 'em ,so it's a catch 22.
     
  6. sssteinkamp

    sssteinkamp Member

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    Ah, yes...

    Reminds me of my father's last words.

    "Don't, son! That gun is loaded!"

    Mr. Smith
     
  7. Spreadfire Arms

    Spreadfire Arms Member

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    i suppose the right thing would have been for an employee to intervene and moderate the issue. if i had two guys in a pickle over this i'd certainly try to moderate it and explain that it is a bad practice to point a firearm, either loaded or unloaded, at a person. however there is no need for this to escalate.
     
  8. kfranz

    kfranz Member

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    It would have been. Good choice there.

    Nobody wants to, but sometimes (like this one) it needs to be done. Really didn't need a lecture either, just pretty much to do what foghornl said.

    It isn't your responsibility to teach them about gun safety, but I think it was a good time to give the kid a reminder of the 4 rules.

    You did the adult thing when you called Dad on his poor choice of targets. Walking away at that point probably was a pretty good idea, although I certainly would have replied to his "said that he did not actually aim it at me" while walking away.
     
  9. mmike87

    mmike87 Member

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    You should have just asked him how he would have felt if someone pointed the "unloaded" gun at him or his kid. Would that be OK? The answer had better be "yes."

    In order for safe gun handling to become a habit, you have to do it ALL the time. By doing it ALL the time, then you'll automatically do the one time when it really matters and probably prevent a tragic accident.
     
  10. DigMe

    DigMe Member

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    Personally I don't think this would cause me to stop going to the store (Gander Mountain by chance?) because I've heard of this happening a lot in smaller, independent gun stores and I've seen it and had it happen to me in gun stores as well. It's definitely not something that only happens in department stores.

    brad cook
     
  11. Tharg

    Tharg Member

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    Even tho the "odds" are good the gun ain't loaded - i'm of the same mind you are.... don't be pointing farking barrels at me!

    Thinking of proper handling.... i went to Dave and Busters w/ my friend a couple of weeks back and was playing that time cops or whatever game... (toy gun - cable out the bottom etc)

    I had to giggle at myself... when it was a pause in the action, or a cut scene or any time when i was NOT shooting at something i had my finger off the trigger, gun in a safe direction(in the middle of a D&B's... up is about it... rofl) ... it struck me as funny as hell that its that ingrained in me, on a big light blue plastic gun w/ a thick re-inforced cable comming out of the bottom.

    <sigh> rofl

    J/Tharg!
     
  12. spacemanspiff

    spacemanspiff Senior Member

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    so far i've been lucky. working for wild west guns on saturdays, i havent had to witness bad gun handling. in fact, every gun i hand to a customer is returned as i handed it to them, actions open.


    tharg, i do the same thing. funny thing is, i always seem to get higher scores than the kiddies that shoot 'banger style and keep their booger-hooks on the trigger at all times. and my game time lasts longer cause i wait behind cover until the enemy stops shooting.
     
  13. Universal

    Universal Guest

    I really appreciate all your input. I was a little worried that maybe I had overreacted. My wife's response was "I am surprised you did not take him down." I am a former police officer and I really hope that if he had been closer to me, that I at least would have pushed the weapon out of the way since that is what I was trained to do. I am glad that my reaction was to move and look for cover. I did this without even thinking.

    I agree with the fact that it is a catch 22 because I like handling the guns without a clerk holding my hand but I also do think they need to be there to at least step in when someone is acting incorrectly. I do think I might call the store and at least tell them about.
     
  14. NHBB

    NHBB Member

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    I was at a gunshop a few weeks ago when a man was handling I believe an AR with his children around. he swept me once or twice, his children even more. had me at a boiling point to say something, but he was having a friendly rapport with one of the owners... but I drew the line in my mind... one more sweep and im saying something. these are not amateurs running the place, and I was surprised they didnt say anything to him, but still, a frustrating experience.
     
  15. Universal

    Universal Guest

    I took some advice from some of you and called the store. I explained the whole thing to the manager and he said that it will be mentioned to the employees and that the two clerks standing around should have been walking around looking for people to help. I was happy with his concern and will probably give the store another chance. I did tell him that I do not hold the store responsible for another customer's poor habits.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2005
  16. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    People who work in real gun shops pay attention to both the guns and the customers.
     
  17. Shorts

    Shorts Member

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    As dumb as people are, posted signs might be in order. I know, "regulate, regulate, regulate". But with idiots who don't know The Rules, maybe it'd be a very good way to inform them without completely embarassing them and bruising their delicated ego :rolleyes:

    I don't ever recall seeing good informative signs in a gun shop. I guess the rules and ettiquette are all assumed to be know, because if you're in a gun store, you know guns. But that isn't always the case. Newbies walk in each and every day, window shopping or trying to learn. Might as well teach them the first things they need to know about buying/owning/using a gun.
     
  18. nitesite

    nitesite Member

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    I fully support your outrage and feeling of being in possible danger from the unsafe handling of a firearm. Dad sure set a poor example for his children, one that I hope he someday corrects.


    I must remind myself, however, that I have probably had hundreds (or 1000s)of weapons pointed at me at large gun shows that were either behind me, to my left or right, or so far across the room I never even realized it. Heck, I bet the handler never even realized it either. Happens all the time in a big crowd.
     
  19. dolanp

    dolanp Member

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    Yeah every time you walk into a gun store there are handguns in the cases pointing right at you. And if you CCW and sit down at a restaurant, you must be sweeping a lot of people with a loaded gun!

    Guess it depends on how anal you want to be about it.
     
  20. TMM

    TMM Member

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    If someone did that in MY [imaginary, but one can dream] gunstore...

    they'd be out the door REAL fast, and i'd give them a sheet of gun safety rules...

    ~TMM
     
  21. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Universal:

    On two different occasions while working in a retail gun store where the used guns were racked (and unsecured) where the public could handle them, I found a rifle with a chambered round. I sometimes made it a practice to go down the row and check each gun to be sure it was unloaded. On one other occasion a customer found a loaded gun. Fortunately he was smart enought open the action before he went any further.

    You may have upset the guy's feelings, but I can assure you everyone would have been a lot more upset if that gun had gone BANG!! I can assure you that if the insurance company that carries that store's liability policy knew what happened that store wouldn't have any insurance as of this morning.

    What you did was 100% correct. It is they, not you who were wrong.
     
  22. CowboyEngr

    CowboyEngr Member

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    Kind of along this same line, except the gun IS loaded: How many of you have ever looked through your binoculars at a fellow "hunter" an seen him looking through his rifle scope at you? Still makes the hair on my neck stand up! Some people are just idiots! (I don't know, I don't think he was wanting to shoot me, just wanted to see me better!)
     
  23. Guy B. Meredith

    Guy B. Meredith Member

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    There are few stores where I do not feel the need to 'duck and weave' when firearms are being handled. Personally, I don't handle firearms unless there is SOMEWHERE I can point it where it is not sweeping people.
     
  24. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Member

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    it's not loaded

    A friend of mine got shot in the foot with a 30.06 some time back.

    First guy:"Hey, watch where you're pointing that thing!"
    Second guy: "It's not lo-"
    Gun:"Boom!!"
    First guy:"Owiee."

    Fortunately, it was a richocet (that kept him off his foot for a couple of weeks) and not a amputee situation. I always think of that when I hear that phrase.
     
  25. Harry Paget Flashman

    Harry Paget Flashman Member

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    Universal. You were right to point out the man's unsafe practices. Since the man had his kids with him what I might have done was to inform privately, out of earshot of his kids. Kids and dads stick up for each other, right or wrong, sometimes.

    All around bad situation. In your shoes I'd have been tempted to flame spray him and his kids...pretty much a no win situation which would have hardened attitudes and have yeilded no lessons learned. I wasn't there, but would have to say that leaving when you did and avoiding escalation was the right thing to do.
     
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