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Old 02-20-2014, 03:00 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemc View Post
I may not have been clear enough in the original post but I think some here aren't hearing what I'm saying. I didn't leave the gentleman hanging, as I did show him the loading of the magazine, but I then went to the rangemaster - so that the gentleman could get some help/aid/instruction. I don't pretend to know all that much about firearms myself though I certainly don't have problems showing people what I may know. My point was that if the gentleman was truly a beginner and was using range equipment, it might be a bit presumptuous of me to show him how things should be done.

A little more detail: He did ask for help with the magazine but when I asked him if he had ever handled a firearm before (he said no) he got rather short in his reply and said that "they" (apparently the range personnel) know that already. So I went for the rangemaster. I didn't leave the gentleman hanging.
Mike, let me clarify my response. The RO in your situation was a FAIL. Most ranges only pay lip service to providing training, and that should be illegal. They should be required by law to train if they want to Pursue commerce in the use of deadly weapons. I think you did what almost anyone would have done, and it's not fair to expect other customers to do the work of an employee.

The main thing I keyed on in your post was when you said you were no expert, and simply wanted to make the point that you can create a lifetime shooter with 15-20 minutes of the basics, which we all know. I in no way wanted to paint you as the villain, as you did what you felt you could. To tell the truth, I was impressed that four customers were paying that close of attention to others on the range! Unfortunately, it is a position we all find ourselves in because of sloppy range rules and enforcement and I simply wanted to point out my choice in that situation.

Ideally, we should be able to take 30 seconds and turn it over to the RO. Reality is far different and I'm unsure if the ranges realize what they are doing to negatively affect the future of shooting sports. A place to shoot is helpful; The skill to shoot is necessary. Unfortunately, most ranges don't see it that way, or feel powerless to enforce it.

My apologies to you, Mike, if you thought I was criticizing you. We all wish the elderly gentleman had found help and bemoan the possible permanent loss of a fellow shooter, but you were the only one that did respond. I'm sure his attitude was not exactly friendly in that situation, as I know mine wouldn't have been either.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:32 PM   #32
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I was amazed to learn that some elk hunters, nice fellow one and all, drove 40+ miles to find a range to shoot at and one was force to leave his rifle at his parent's house because where he lived he couldn't posess his elk rifle. Their range time was a precious thing compared to just walking out the back door.
A "range master" is in charge of the range's operation- what flies and what does not. If things are ideal there would be a designated "safety officer" , who's function is to make damn sure the range master doesn't screw up- a second set of eyes. There should be range officers to assist shooters who may be having trouble. If you have new shooters on the line they should be divided into two groups: one shooting and the other working as coaches and then they should switch. It would be nice if we lived in a perfect world!
Spending five summers as a range master, if you concentrate on one shooter you are not insuring the safety of all. Rarely do I take my eyes off the shooters. Within the past month, I received an award for 30 years service for teaching firearms safety(with a range day). This sort of surprises me because last year I took several professionals to task for major safety violations, they were running a training program for instructors.
In spite of bright signs, tape, and a range flag, three times a faint noise or noises alerted me to call a "cease fire" because someone ignored the warnings. Yes, even with a good backstop and a high berm in back of that -you stop. Muzzles, even on long guns, wander.
After running a range, any day you crawl into bed without an "incident" you say, "Thank you, Lord."

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Old 02-26-2014, 09:45 PM   #33
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With 5 free hours to burn up I might have talked to the range master about helping the guy myself. What's a half hour if you can make a safe shooter out of the guy?

This is just my opinion, and if I'm wrong, please let me know the error in my thinking. This guy was a complete novice and wanted to be able to safely operate his firearm. He might have thought that there was no better place to learn than among a bunch of shooters. I know it's not your job, and the responsibility ultimately falls on the range personnel, but if you or any other shooter had spent a reasonable amount of time with him, you might have brought a new member into the shooting fan club. I just hope he didn't leave in disgust.

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Old 02-27-2014, 05:22 PM   #34
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I apologize, if I left you feeling something you did was wrong. In the first paragraph I was trying to say that for some shooters finding a place to shoot and getting there requires time and effort (and although I didn't state it- expense). I fear shooting / hunting is not what it was 30 years ago. With hunting, in most places you aren't realistic to figure you can head to the country and find a place to hunt; with shooting you can't find a gravel pit and assume it will be okay to set up a target and have at it. Too many people everywhere, with 1 million immigrants a year you could dump everyone out of my state and fill it back up in only SIX years. Urban dwellers, recently moved from the city, calling the sheriff it they hear shots fired.
The second paragraph was my attempt to explain a little of what being a "range master" entails. It is a lot more fun with one student than "running a line". (I took a class of one student for firearms safety last summer- the grandson of a friend for over 50 years. My own grandson joined us and it was a blast! I had taught a regular class last spring, with my grandson being a member of it.)
In closing and not attempting to be redundant, form my perspective it was a good thing you chose in giving some of your time. Thank you.

If you lived close by I'd invite you to shoot in my back yard. I've a 40 yard and a 100 yd range.

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Last edited by headhunter; 02-27-2014 at 05:31 PM. Reason: edit:addition to message
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:44 PM   #35
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IMHO, we ALL need to be ambassadors to range shooting.

Qualified instructors are great, but it doesn't take much

to set newbies up better in basics than they were, to start.

I also have to agree that, in the case of the OP's post,

the RSO's duty was to safely guide everyone there through

a safe range experience. So the RSO fell on his a$$, on that

day, somewhat.

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Old 02-27-2014, 10:54 PM   #36
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We get a lot of snowbirds and tourists here and a lot of them have never held a gun. The English tourists are very high on that list. I have stopped several people from firing with a thumb over wrist with a semi auto on the indoor range. I dont like being splashed with blood. I stay away from the club range on open days. Even then I have had people shoot up my targets or mess with their guns while people are down range. I will say something if I see them touch their guns while the range is cold. I am willing to help someone if they are willing to be helped. I have also walked out of the indoor range and told the range person to take care of an issue.

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