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Too many unsafe NEW gun owners

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by tnieto2004, Nov 23, 2008.

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  1. tnieto2004

    tnieto2004 Member

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    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?
     
  2. DiN_BLiX

    DiN_BLiX Member

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    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.
     
  3. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    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 .
     
  4. docmagnum357

    docmagnum357 Member

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    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.
     
  5. P90shooter

    P90shooter Member

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    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.
     
  6. GEM

    GEM Member

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    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.
     
  7. tpaw

    tpaw Member

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    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.
     
  8. esmith

    esmith Member

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

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    When you saw it happen, what was your response?
     
  10. Treo

    Treo member

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    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.
     
  11. tnieto2004

    tnieto2004 Member

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    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.
     
  12. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, like you said:

     
  13. Czechbikr

    Czechbikr Member

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    New gun owners

    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.
     
  14. tnieto2004

    tnieto2004 Member

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    BullfrogKen,

    My words.

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

    anymanusa Member

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    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.
     
  16. RX-178

    RX-178 Member

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    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.
     
  17. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    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:
    to:
    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.
     
  18. Vinny

    Vinny Member

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    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.
     
  19. 7.62X25mm

    7.62X25mm member

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    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."
     
  20. Matrix187

    Matrix187 Member

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    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.
     
  21. COMPNOR

    COMPNOR Member

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    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.
     
  22. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    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.
     
  23. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    +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.
     
  24. nachosgrande

    nachosgrande Member

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    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.
     
  25. cassandrasdaddy

    cassandrasdaddy Member

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    i was a young adult when i was taught.
     
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