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Old 03-28-2012, 01:35 AM   #1
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Default Potentially bad range experience

Friday night club shoot, large open room, lot of firearms out, lot of activity, everybody on alert for actions open, magazines out... Generally only .22 used the entire evening, but occasionally some will use bigger calibers for poker card shoot.

We will occasionally have missteps, usually simple mistakes like not totally clearing a weapon, but there's enough people around that keep a constant vigilant eye.

I'm sitting at the end of one of the tables doing scoring for the event, when one of our younger members (early teen?) is told by his dad to put the firearm down and not touch it and walks away to talk to another member. I'm writing down the scores and I hear a magazine installed and as I'm looking up the slide is released. I yelled out STOP, PUT THAT DOWN... especially since the muzzle was pointed straight at me. Dad definitely took over and was dressing down the kid while he packed everything up and they left.

This was two weeks ago, they didn't show up last week. If they show up this week, I'd like to be able to turn this into a teaching event and discussion, but I also don't want to turn either dad or son off.

Suggestions on how to approach this conversation?

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Old 03-28-2012, 01:54 AM   #2
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Sounds like Dad handled it correctly, did not attempt to blow it off.

If I got a chance I would visit with the young member to let him know you would like for him to continue to come shoot and to learn from the experience. Let him know you are concerned for everyone's safety, but not holding a grudge.

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Old 03-28-2012, 02:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatoragn View Post

If I got a chance I would visit with the young member to let him know you would like for him to continue to come shoot and to learn from the experience. Let him know you are concerned for everyone's safety, but not holding a grudge.
I think that would be a professional/proper way to go about it.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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What's the proceedure for safety instruction at your range for new members? I don't know what your range is like but I don't think it's enough just to have safety rules posted on a sign somewhere. Might be a good idea to suggest to the range operators that each new member especially the kids, get some kind of safety instruction lecture/demonstration so they are clear on the rules when they get to the firing line.

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Old 03-28-2012, 11:59 AM   #5
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What's the proceedure for safety instruction at your range for new members? I don't know what your range is like but I don't think it's enough just to have safety rules posted on a sign somewhere. Might be a good idea to suggest to the range operators that each new member especially the kids, get some kind of safety instruction lecture/demonstration so they are clear on the rules when they get to the firing line.
i agree, in the past years when i did go to a range, the rules were just posted in several places and i guess they assumed everyone read them. maybe their should be a mandatory safety discussion with any new member and a refresher course for everyone at least once a year.

i don't use public or private ranges anymore, as i have a range i built behind the house on my property. the only people that use it are me and my immediate family. we still practice safe range rules even so. i was recently given a membership to a private gun range that is owned by the gun shop i do business with. the only reason i might use it, is it has a 300 yard rifle range. but it's 35 miles from the house.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:08 PM   #6
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If you have a way to contact them start the conversation off with "I noticed you guys were not there last week. Just wanted to let you know your welcome to join us again."
That would go a long way at putting them at ease. Besides, nobody got hurt.... and nobody is perfect. If you are, you'll have 12 guys following you around doing whatever you say and have a major religion named after you.

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Old 03-28-2012, 12:44 PM   #7
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At the club, safety instruction is everybody's responsibility... hell, I did something really stupid one day and one of the longer term members was kind enough to point out my mistake. It's a bit loose, maybe we're lucky that their hasn't been an accident, but this young man did not have any nefarious intent, was actually trying to help dad out putting the firearm back into the case.

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Old 03-28-2012, 01:39 PM   #8
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I would think just bringing it up would be the hardest part. Just use as much tact as possible. They both might still be a little embarrased over the incident, maybe something like "...everybody's done it, I've done it, mistakes happen..." You get the picture...

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Old 03-28-2012, 01:46 PM   #9
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Not to be the jerk in the room but...if it were my range that would likely have been third and final warning. He would have been informed of range etiquette at beginning of range time. He would have been told guns gown on going cold. His father told him to leave it alone. If the kid isn't going to listen then he isn't going to be welcome on my range.

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Old 03-28-2012, 01:48 PM   #10
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a lot of noobs make mistakes, simply because no one has shown them differently, and many of the veteran shooters do it because of complacency. it happens to the safest and best of us. the best way is to handle it with diplomacy and tact. simply explain the error or mistake and why it's dangerous. firearms are only as safe as the person who handles it. knowledge and instruction are key factors in safe firearm handling.

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