Don't assume competence
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:55 AM   #1
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Default Don't assume competence

I was really excited this weekend. I was going to finally get to sight in my new AR-15:

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f20/first-ar-15-build-here-i-go-28708/

But it didn't go quite as expected.

My father-in-law has NO experience with handguns (only hunting rifles and black powder) and I didn't take the 10 minutes with him again like I did last time we went shooting. And he forgot a few basics. He has big hands and we were shooting my Kahr PM9. At the beginning of our range session, which I thought would last a couple of hours, his left hand was holding the small handgun kind of like a rifle (ARRGGGH!) and his left index finger was in front of the muzzle. I yelled STOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPP!!!!!! And he readjusted. Whew. I watched his support hand hold it correctly this time.

My eyes then shifted to watching his trigger finger. He slowly pulled the trigger very well, the gun fired, he lower the gun and it was starting to point an unsafe direction and I got hot and bothered again. I took the gun, cleared it, put it down on the table. Well, he was holding his left hand, which had a huge, deep gash in the web of the left thumb. He had brought his left thumb around the back of the gun and the slide bit him HARD!

I had to go into first aid mode, get the bleeding stopped, plus clean up our firearms and ammo, which we had all spread out for a long range session, so we could get to the emergency room.

BTW, this range's first aid kit was WAY inadequate. Either it had been used up and not refilled, or was never good to begin with. I will probably toss a complete first aid kit (heavy on blood absorption) into my range bag for the future.

2 hours later, he had gotten 5 stitches at the Emergency Room.

I thought I could hand him a handgun because he is a "gun guy." But we must be absolutely sure that our guests are COMPLETELY taught about process, safety, and function of our firearms. He knows how to load a musket. He can bag and dress an elk. But handguns are NOT his bag.

I had spent time teaching him handgun protocol eight months ago, but I shouldn't assume he remembered. My bad, big time!

He almost shot his finger off AND he sliced open his thumb. He will be okay so this a good outcome to a bad day. But this was definitely a range session none of us want to have.

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Old 08-02-2010, 05:02 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing. This is a good thing to know in my book. Every time I go out I give the big safety speech and actually stand behind the person shooting so that I have time to correct their safety in a quick manner. It works well with the family but not sure how well my good friend will take it when I do the same to him. Sucks to be the guy with the slide bite that's for sure, bet it hurt like a b!itch.

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Old 08-02-2010, 05:12 AM   #3
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He feels bad that the big range day that I'd planned since starting the build was cut short.

I'm just glad that he'll be okay.

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Old 08-02-2010, 05:17 AM   #4
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Glad you caught him before he blew a hole in his hand.

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Old 08-02-2010, 06:33 AM   #5
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I haven't needed to use one but have been told that a Kotex pad or two is a great thing to carry in the kit for heavy blood absorption.

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Old 08-02-2010, 08:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freefall View Post
I haven't needed to use one but have been told that a Kotex pad or two is a great thing to carry in the kit for heavy blood absorption.
Yup. I went and built a trauma kit, guaze, triangle bandages, the works, except I keep forgetting to toss in the tampons and Pads. Crap, and I need a tourniquet...
but the thing still goes with me everywhere. ESPECIALLY to the range.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:47 AM   #7
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Glad to hear he will be OK but sorry to hear about your shortened range trip. My dad and I shoot together but I don't know if my father in law has ever even fired a gun. He's not against them, but I don't think he has any interest at all.

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Old 08-02-2010, 08:11 PM   #8
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Interest level is definitely at the root of his lower innate competence. He is a medical doctor so his intelligence is high enough, by far, for this stuff. But he isn't truly interested in handguns. We went shooting late last year and I handed him a Glock 19 with a full clip. He shot 3 rounds, handed it back to me, and said, "Cool, thanks." In my world, I couldn't imagine doing anything but emptying the clip and asking, "Do you have more?"

Since his interest level is low, that is another reason why I should have assumed that he had not integrated my earlier teaching.

This is a lesson I will apply to other things now, since I am a teacher, by trade.

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Old 08-03-2010, 02:02 AM   #9
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Egad- trip down memory lane. Before I retired, Colonel called me in- since I was Infantry, I had been chosen to take a group of LTCs out for a day on the range- familiarization fire- 1911A1s and M-16s.

Oh- ALL of them were miltary lawyers- JAG and SJA. Boss told me to take my .45, and tell them I would SHOOT the first one that pointed a weapon at me.

A day to remember. I did not know you COULD put a magazine backwards in a .45.

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Old 08-03-2010, 02:04 AM   #10
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Glad you caught it in time.
(There is a saying about how someone "assumes" it make "A$$-u (&) me")

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