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Scary guy at the range

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Norton, Mar 28, 2004.

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  1. Norton

    Norton Member

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    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.
     
  2. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

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    Doesnt sound like he did anything dangerous...
     
  3. Norton

    Norton Member

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    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:
     
  4. shermacman

    shermacman Member

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    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.
     
  5. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    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.
     
  6. son of a gun

    son of a gun member

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

    PCRCCW Member

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    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.....................
     
  8. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    Actually, the latest PC terminolgoy is "Differently Mentally Abled."
     
  9. son of a gun

    son of a gun member

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    So true:uhoh:
     
  10. SiG Lady

    SiG Lady Member

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    Lady don't point that gun at... aaarrgghh!!


    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.
     
  11. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    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.
     
  12. PATH

    PATH Member

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    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?
     
  13. GigaBuist

    GigaBuist Member

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    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.
     
  14. Mr. Clark

    Mr. Clark Member

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    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.
     
  15. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    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.....
     
  16. Quartus

    Quartus Member

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    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.
     
  17. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel Member

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    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.
     
  18. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Member

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    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.
     
  19. jnojr

    jnojr Member

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    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.
     
  20. SiG Lady

    SiG Lady Member

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    It's strict at OUR range......

    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:
     
  21. tango3065

    tango3065 Member

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    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.
     
  22. PATH

    PATH Member

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    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!
     
  23. Mulliga

    Mulliga Member

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    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.
     
  24. hipeflip

    hipeflip Member

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    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.
     
  25. GigaBuist

    GigaBuist Member

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    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.
     
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