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Old 02-19-2014, 08:18 AM   #11
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There are numerous ranges in my area. Two of them are within 3 miles of each other.
One is a club that charges $120 a year for member and spouse.
The other is a "public" range that has a daily charge and no membership.

I can always get a range session at the club with minimum disturbances. The "public" one is crowded and one has to wait to get time on the range.

I would rather spend $120 and get range time (even if once a month), than $120 (once a month X $10) a year and hope I get range time.

And where are the new shooters? On the public range.

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Old 02-19-2014, 10:40 AM   #12
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I fully agree with the idea of helping people out - and I am perfectly willing to do that. I did show the gentleman how to load the mag but, truthfully, I can give him pointers on general handling but I believe the range should be, at least, handling the safety things. The more I think about it the more I realize that he had rented the firearm - he had a tote that apparently only comes with rentals. If the range is willing to rent to a complete novice I would figure that they would be responsible enough to at least walk him through the basics. This is not to excuse myself or others from not helping out but I am far from an expert when it comes to teaching.

It's one thing to have a person sign a form that explains range safety rules, but if that person doesn't understand the first thing about firearms I would think that the range might want to get involved.

I really do like this range/shop and most of the folks there are pretty friendly, though I am not certain as to the depth of knowledge throughout the staff. Maybe I'll chat with management - just as a courtesy - to see how they see things and maybe make a few suggestions.

By the way...this forum is awesome.

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Old 02-19-2014, 11:00 AM   #13
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Helping new guys out? A noble thought, but it pre-supposes any of them are open to your help. What I see a lot of is 3-4 people alternating between the firing line and their smart phone. Sometimes one of them has their girl friend there, trying to show her what's what with his pistol. The other phenomena, at least around here, is in some cases they're speaking a foreign language. If I'm asked, that's different. Otherwise, I'm not elbowing my way in. I'll be back tomorrow.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:27 AM   #14
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I guess I have a slightly different take on this. New people are at the range because they want to learn. That elderly gentleman went completely out of his comfort zone to walk into the range and rent the gun. Like many, he was expecting instruction from the range officer and was ignored. Likely he did this either because it was a lifelong dream, or his neighborhood is degrading into criminal activity and he cannot afford to move on his income. Either way, he will probably never return to the shooting sports. An opportunity for a new shooter to love our sport, join the NRA and vote for political supporters is permanently lost.

I'm not faulting the OP or anyone for their opinion, as safety for our own life should be our paramount concern. But when I first started taking martial arts, and gained my first rank, a yellow belt, my instructor made me start training new students, the white belts. I looked at him incredulously and said, "Train? I'm not an expert!" to which he replied, "you never learn a skill better than when you have to train someone else." Wise words. If you know how to load a weapon, make it safe and safely fire it down range, you know more than that elderly gentleman did, and you both would have been better off for the experience.

The fault here lies mainly with the ranges and their personnel. They should make training available, as these are deadly weapons. If it is too busy to train, make an appointment for the newbie to return, or ask an obviously competent individual to help out, maybe for a free hour on the range for 15-30 minutes of instruction. I have insisted a range compensate me for my time when I help their customers learn a skill and teach safety rules for everyone's obvious benefit. I train, the newbie becomes enthusiastic as well as a recurring customer to the store, everyone is safe - yeah, they owe me! Pointing out that they placed someone on the range that endangered my life and the lives of everyone on the range is good leverage! If they won't compensate you a free range hour, they are not serious about shooting or customer support - go somewhere else.

We go to the range to shoot. It's unfair to be expected to waste our time training yet another newb. But if you take the longer-term view, I think you'll find that you are the better for it.

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Old 02-19-2014, 11:54 AM   #15
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I'd say given you had 5 hours, your best two choices were to either go to another range or take the opportunity to show a new shooter how to safely operate their 9mm. Everybody has to start sometime, I expect the old guy was worried about self defense as a lot of older folks are these days. Basic gun safety is not all that complicated and if anything else tell the guy that the barrel needs to be pointed downrange at ALL times.

I have found that when ranges are busy, as on weekends or evenings, there are usually enough RSO's to keep their eyes on everyone. During the day M-F, they are typically understaffed - which makes for some nice shooting but not so much if you are concerned about unsupervised shooters.

And regardless of what you chose to do, alerting the RSO to the situation would have been a very good idea

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Old 02-19-2014, 11:55 AM   #16
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The #1 thing I like most when I am at the range is introducing someone else to shooting. I can sit back and not fire a shot and get just as much enjoyment helping someone else get hooked.

If the guy is asking for help, jump on it. You've been given a golden opportunity to show someone the right way, increase the gun community, further secure your rights, help them protect themselves, make a new friend, and prevent the proliferation of range yahoos. And it's a lot of fun.

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Old 02-19-2014, 12:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by rn-cindy View Post
Thats why im glad you have to be a member at the indoor /outdoor range i go to. It's only $30 a year to join. But assures that everyone has AT LEAST..been through the 45min range safety class...
I like the way my LGS/RANGE has things set up. They waive the fee for Seniors, and Boy/Girl Scout troops that come in to shoot pellet guns...But everybody on their ranges has had some level of basic instruction. Plus the classes are alot of fun...RG teaches most of them, range safety / first shots / advanced handgun. She is not yet certified to instruct CCW class. But does have her RSO cert, and runs a tight ship....lol
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:47 PM   #18
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My wife read this and made the point that everyone starts with zero firearms knowledge. Many grow up in a family of shooters and learn as soon as their out of diapers, or have friends or neighbors that they ask for their first lessons. However, as urban areas sprawl and more and more people live in major cities, the chance of "knowing someone" who is a competent shooter becomes harder. Also, major cities are breeding grounds for liberal-think, and someone asking around if anyone's into shooting could get them a shocked look and a response of, "Why would you do THAT? Children are dying because of guns!" Nope, definitely not safe to ask around. There is no book or YouTube video that can train you effectively with a firearm. The obvious choice to find an experienced shooter? The range!

If anyone wanted to be proactive on this, get your NRA Instructor certification for pistol and volunteer your services once a month to your local ranges. You'll (as ScottA put it) eliminate the range yahoos and pick up clients.

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Old 02-19-2014, 01:24 PM   #19
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+1 on TekGregs first comment. I don't think any of us on here are experts about everything but we all know more about some things than others. If we share that knowledge then everything works out in the end. There has been a few times people have asked me for help or my opinion on things I knew nothing about or just a little. I never turn down the help but tell the person that I know little about it and let's see if we can learn together. Most of the time we fix the problem and learn more by it.


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Old 02-19-2014, 01:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TekGreg View Post
My wife read this and made the point that everyone starts with zero firearms knowledge. Many grow up in a family of shooters and learn as soon as their out of diapers, or have friends or neighbors that they ask for their first lessons. However, as urban areas sprawl and more and more people live in major cities, the chance of "knowing someone" who is a competent shooter becomes harder. Also, major cities are breeding grounds for liberal-think, and someone asking around if anyone's into shooting could get them a shocked look and a response of, "Why would you do THAT? Children are dying because of guns!" Nope, definitely not safe to ask around. There is no book or YouTube video that can train you effectively with a firearm. The obvious choice to find an experienced shooter? The range!

If anyone wanted to be proactive on this, get your NRA Instructor certification for pistol and volunteer your services once a month to your local ranges. You'll (as ScottA put it) eliminate the range yahoos and pick up clients.
good point. and I believe that as a 'community' it speaks well of us and also protects our interests to make sure there are as many educated firearms owners as possible

suppose no one helps the old guy and he shoots someone accidentally? the media would have a field day with THAT one!
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