Originally Posted by YtownGlock
....... It took every bit of me not to flip out on her and her friends for improper firearm and range safety. ....... This was my worst night at the range ever. Anyone else feel the same way?
Yes, I feel exactly the same way about being covered by someone else's muzzle as you do. Most recently a rather pretty girl who was obviously on the firing line for her very first time: fired a shot, hit the target, and with her finger still on the trigger swung around to giggle, 'I hit it!' 'I hit it!' with her muzzle pointing straight at my chest.
I quickly stepped aside, ducked, and loudly yelled at her to point that muzzle back downrange. (Ain't it funny how you almost feel naked when something like this happens!) This young lady was with a large group of older gentlemen - The ones who had given her the gun - and they took exception to my use of profanity as I yelled at her.
OK, I shouldn't have used profanity; but I, also, yelled at them for bringing her to the range, handing her a gun, and not taking 5 minutes to explain range safety. These men had taken the time to give her safety glasses and ear muffs, but no safety lesson.
The upshot is that they remained mad at me; and I remained mad at them. Happily, though, there was no repeat safety violation. The normal rules of social etiquette were violated; but the point was made: The muzzle stays pointed downrange.
Thinking about this event afterwards I began to wonder just how many genuinely dangerous firearm-related accidents might have been averted IF someone had been more quick to forthwith violate the usual social niceties? I don't know; but, bullets travel faster than words; so, as far as I'm concerned, the sooner you speak up, the better!
Another incident for you: A couple of months ago I was all by myself at a public shooting range. Another fellow, a scruffily dressed older man, showed up and walked to the right side of the bench - Exactly where I didn't want him to be!
He's holding a large revolver in his hand and standing about 6 feet away from me. When I looked at him I noticed he had a peculiar sort of look on his face. Maybe he was drunk? Maybe he was angry? I really don't know; but something about him told me to keep an eye on what he was doing.
Good thing I did, too. After fritzing around with his revolver and the targets he, suddenly, turned part way to face me and placed his pistol down onto the bench with its muzzle pointing directly at me! That didn't bother me so much as the fact that his hand remained in close proximity to the pistol and seemed to hover just over the top of it.
Something about this man - or, maybe, his behavior and the odd look on his face - triggered me. I didn't wait. I quickly stepped back from the bench and yelled at him, 'Get that frigg 'in muzzle, the H, off me!' To my surprise he was very slow to react; he just looked at me; then, he looked at his revolver; and, finally, he said, 'Oh, oh!' and took his hand away from the gun. A few moments later he complied and turned the muzzle downrange.
After the, 'pregnant moment' had passed I felt a little strange. When I looked down at myself I was very surprised to see my backup G-19 in my hand! (I still have no conscious recollection of having drawn it.)
A few weeks ago I took the long drive over to our favorite indoor shooting range. It was a Saturday night; and, when we walked in, I immediately noticed the place was mobbed. The range safety officers were running around like one armed paperhangers putting out one, 'brush fire' after another. I looked at my wife; she looked at me, and said, 'Come on; I don't want you going in there.' 'I'll buy you dinner and we can come back another time.' So, that's what we did.
Public shooting ranges seem to have far too many safety violations (and occasionally some really strange dudes) associated with them. Among the various rules I've made for using public firing ranges: I don't go there to make new friends; I prefer to shoot by myself and plan my range trips accordingly; and, especially when I'm on an isolated gameland range, I'm very leery of anyone or anything that seems either peculiar or out-of-place.
Pennsylvania has had a few really bad incidents at public shooting ranges as well as one, fairly recent, murder. A shooter was whacked because he made the mistake of being there, alone, with an expensive and highly desirable gun. (True!)
(Remember the days when we, all, thought that everyone who owned a gun was a brother NRA Member; and we were always glad to see one another? Gone forever, huh!)