Potentially bad range experience

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by partdeux, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

    4,622
    143
    63
    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?
     
  2. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

    3,937
    13
    38
    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.
     

  3. Boyerracing343

    Boyerracing343 New Member Supporter

    1,461
    0
    0
    I think that would be a professional/proper way to go about it.
     
  4. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    2,188
    0
    0
    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.
     
  5. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    7
    2
    0
    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.
     
  6. NC1760

    NC1760 New Member

    1,104
    0
    0
    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  7. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

    4,622
    143
    63
    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.
     
  8. vincent

    vincent New Member

    4,123
    0
    0
    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...:cool:
     
  9. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

    11,488
    0
    0
    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.
     
  10. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    7
    2
    0
    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.
     
  11. NC1760

    NC1760 New Member

    1,104
    0
    0
    Understood, but browbeating and being too harsh can turn someone off to the sport... and that hurts us all in the long run. Again, in this case no one got hurt.
     
  12. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

    11,488
    0
    0
    That's why I said likely. I would have to actually be there to really make final decision.
    As long as the kid learns and doesn't make the mistake again. Then its not a terrible experience.
    The father seems to have handled it. I've had situations where the father refuses to take responsibility and doesn't want to hear it from the range officer. There is no second chance in that situation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  13. NC1760

    NC1760 New Member

    1,104
    0
    0
    As a father of a young shooter I totally understand and I keep telling my son "Making a mistake will happen.... I've made almost every one in the book except one... The same mistake twice."
     
  14. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

    4,622
    143
    63
    Kid is actually an amazing shooter, I'd hate to turn him off. I kind regret not having a conversation at the time, but I was still in shock at seeing the business end potential in cond 1, and i was score keeping the event. Dad took responsibility, which I was happy to see.

    I've made enough of my own mistakes, I'm far from being perfect, and knock on wood, nothing has come from them, and I haven't made the same one twice ;)
     
  15. ZeusEcho

    ZeusEcho Member Lifetime Supporter

    614
    0
    16
    If the father told his son to put the firearm down and "not to touch it" and the kid picked it up anyway, then the kid has no business being on the range. He's not mature enough for this responsibility.

    Sorry to sound harsh about it but the reality is that he could have hurt/killed someone.

    I started taking my son to the range when he was 10 and we spent allot of time at home practicing safe firearm handling before we ever went to the range. He had to recite the 4 rules of gun safety so many times he was practically saying it in his sleep. I don’t know how many times I emphasized the importance of not putting your finger on the trigger unless you are on target and intend to fire the weapon.

    If he had ever touched a firearm without my permission or especially after I specifically asked him not to, there would have been serious consequences.

    In my opinion the parent and the range are being to lax concerning range safety.

    Practice handling more at home first, so safe handling becomes instinctive muscle memory, and keep the “mistakes” at home rather than the range where I may be shooting with my children also.

    I also shoot IPDA and if you so much as sweep the muzzle back into the crowd it’s a permanent “goodbye” from the club.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  16. GatorDude

    GatorDude New Member

    218
    0
    0
    I think the Dad handled the situation correctly and I wouldn't be surprised if the kid isn't gone for a few months. A lot of people just don't know anything about range rules and etiquette. I think visiting a range for the first time is one of the most intimidating experiences for a new gun owner. I put together this article to help folks out who are visiting a range for the first time:

    Range Etiquette 101 - The Basic Rules of Behavior at Your Local Shooting Range
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  17. Vincine

    Vincine New Member

    3,495
    0
    0
    This.

    Perhaps the range could have a 'written test' on what the four rules are before one is even allowed to be there? It would at least ensure they know what they are. Whether they observe it or not is another issue.
     
  18. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    2,188
    0
    0
    Parents generally need to be stricter with their kids about firearm safety from the get-go. Give them the lecture until it comes out their ears and they get a good ***-chewing when they screw up. Then they remember. They screw up a second time the BB gun or 22 or whatever gets confiscated. All this namby-pamby atta boy stuff is okay at little league but it's not worth squat with a hot weapon. My boys knew that if that BB gun came in the house with the safety off or pumped with pressure they were gonna get chewed out and it would be weeks before they ever held that gun again. And, there would be no graduation to firearms until they convinced me they were ready. The result is I've turned out three responsible young men who are expert gun handlers and marksmen. Just sayin.
     
  19. Vincine

    Vincine New Member

    3,495
    0
    0
    Firearms may be the first time a child needs to be made aware of the difference between a 'Pick up your toys and come to dinner' warning, and the seriousness of a firearms safety infraction. They just may not be aware or appreciate the difference unless it has been thoroughly explained that firearms responsibility is a whole different level of seriousness. That's it’s not some relatively casual shut the TV or clean up your room warning.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  20. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    7
    2
    0
    i agree. it is the parents responsibility to teach their children the safe handling of firearms and to stress the why it's important and that there will be severe repercussions if these safety rules are ever broken. they need to understand that firearms are real and if not handled safely and properly, that there is always a chance that they could hurt or kill someone. they need to be made aware that in real life and shooting real firearms, it's not tv or a video game. until they can make the decision to treat firearms with respect and handle them safely, they are not ready for them yet. it all comes down to the parent and how they approach teaching their children about firearms and their safe use and handling. my father started my brother when we were young, my brother was six, and i was seven. my father was always a very serious person, but was way more serious when it came to firearms safety and we both knew there were serious penalties for not following fathers instructions to the letter. so i will say the biggest fault in any instances with a minor failing to observe proper firearms saety lies with the parent or parents.