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Thread: Range day Holy Crap moment this past Saturday!

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    Range day Holy Crap moment this past Saturday!

    You read that right, I witnessed/was involved in a holy crap moment on the range this past weekend. It wasn't any of my students, but it sure had the potential to impact them. To those of you who are new to firearms: Just because you own a firearm DOES NOT in any way mean that you are suddenly qualified to teach usage of firearms and/or firearms safety. So here's the story....

    Fairly new shooter in a booth next to my students; had his new pistol roughly a week. 40S&W Taurus compact polymer pistol.
    Lady friend with him had ZERO exposure to firearms.
    He decides to put her in the booth and put the 40 in her hands, again she has ZERO exposure to firearms.

    First round is in the ceiling, 2nd round hits the left wall (they're on the far right side of the range), 3rd skips off the floor, 4 and 5 hit paper.
    She gives up and he takes over shooting. He eventually talked her into trying again with the 40 and she takes up the effort.

    Something next to me hits the ground and I think it's his. I turn to pick it up and hand it to him when out of the corner of my eye, I see her with her finger on the trigger, round in the chamber, turn and sweep the muzzle across the couple next to her, then point it directly at his heart. His eyes were as big as coffee cups and I thought he was going to pee down his leg. I start reaching for the gun to push it towards the floor while yelling, "point it down range, turn around, turn around" and she finally does.

    In the classroom I make sure to give my students a little safety brief regarding medical emergencies on the range, including serious injury. I make sure they understand that as a First Aid / CPR / AED instructor I will immediately go into "crash" mode, the range shuts down, and they must do what is asked of them when it's asked. Once the situation is over we will continue. Those that were on the range that night made sure to thank me for catching it before someone could get hurt, so I explained that this is what we mean by unsafe behavior and taking immediate action to correct it. Just keep in mind that by trying to correct an issue such as this you might actually make things worse and cause the person to react by tightening their grip. Sympathetic grip takes over and all of the sudden a discharge could happen. USE CAUTION!

    Please keep your head on a swivel. YOU are the only person that you can control. It's the other people that you cannot control that you must watch and you cannot ignore the warning signs. Things like this transpire in an instant.
    Last edited by REALteach4u; 02-06-2013 at 11:18 AM.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Why wasn't the woman removed from the firing line?

    No range safety officer?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    No doubt, around here at the pay ranges they would have escorted her off. Some would have offered a class in basic safety, others would have just tossed.

    On the MDR ranges the range nazi's would have popped a vein!
    John C. Eastman Associate Dean of Chapman University’s School of Law "the Second Amendment, like its sister amendments, does not confer a right but rather recognizes a natural right inherent in our humanity."

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMTD View Post
    No doubt, around here at the pay ranges they would have escorted her off. Some would have offered a class in basic safety, others would have just tossed.

    On the MDR ranges the range nazi's would have popped a vein!
    That would be better than someone being injured or killed. I can be most outspoken and direct when it comes to safety.

    MDR? Do you mean MDC, Missouri Dept. of Conservation?
    http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/pl...cation-centers
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Horey clap, Batman!

    Very glad to read that nobody got an extra hole put in them.

    That situation is why I advocate for new shooters to start with a) a .22 and b) only one round. Never having fired a handgun before and quite often being apprehensive about what the handgun might do, as well as the movies-induced expectations of massive recoil, new shooters need to gain control of the handgun before they even begin to think about putting bullets on paper. One round at a time, being able to kep hold of and control the movement of the handgun, and realizing that your arm will not get torn off helps them get ready to do the same with the "bigger bullets". One controlled shot downrange prepares them for one shot plus one more available but not shot until told to. Work up to a full cylinder/magazine but only one shot at a time on command. Doubles, triples, and magazine dumps can all come later.

    I am opposed to automatic and immediate expulsion from the range for most violations of [ominous voice with echoes] The Four Rules [/ominous voice with echoes]. I strongly support taking the violator off the firing line, but would prefer to see them given a calm safety instruction (as opposed to waving the arms about and yelling things like "What were you thinking?" and "Do you know someone could have been hurt?") as soon as they are off the line and out of peoples' way.

    Question for the OP and the general readership: Does your range post latitude/longitude coordinates and distance/directions from the closest major intersection? Does it post the coordinates of a preferred landing zone? In case you are wondering - med-evac helicopters do not rely very much on road maps for getting around, and many ranges are quite a bit off the main roads. It's rough giving directions to an ambulance dispatcher when you have either memorized the route or rely on visual clues instead of (nonesistant) street signs.

    Question for the OP: Do you have a "blow-out" kit somewhere close by that is not on your person? Have you told your students how to use it? (Range "assistant" had the blow-out kit strapped to his leg when he got shot - you guessed it, right in the blow-out kit. That instructor now keeps first aid supplies including a blow-out kit, a dedicated cell phone, and laminated sheet of coordinates ruber-banded around a smoke flare all in an ammo box on the table less that 10 feet behind the firing line. Basic instructions take up less than 2 minutes of class time.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member Redbaron007's Avatar
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    I'm curious as to why they weren't both removed from the firing line. At BPS, depending on who is the RM on duty, that would have occurred; I've seen them remove someone for a lot less......now at SOF, not sure what they would do...I like the range....not a real big fan of the atmosphere...more egos than oxygen in the building.
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    Anybody who doesn't teach new charges the four rules of gun safety – at a bare minimum – before giving them a loaded handgun deserves at least some sort of censure.

    My range, I'd kick him out, give her another chance.

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    I would have just left the range .. no harm, no foul

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    Glad nobody was hurt! Definitely would have recommended a range safety course for her, and the guy who gave her the gun.

    Personally, I always teach people the 4 Rules, and if possible I have them dry-fire the gun beforehand as well. This helps them in the same way it helps experienced shooters: grip, trigger feel/pull, sight alignment, steadiness, etc.

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    SOOOOOOOO many new gun owners out there now with NO knowledge/experience with firearms. Accidental shootings are going to skyrocket. It has already started happening at the gunshows.

    I wont go to a organized range anymore, saw too many guns/muzzles waving in all directions last trip maybe a month ago.

    Nat. Forest/BLM is the way to go.


    I'm glad that more people are arming themseles and getting into shooting, but they seriously need to get instruction if they are unfamiliar with firearms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Why wasn't the woman removed from the firing line?

    No range safety officer?

    This RSO was with his class. I'm not allowed to kick people off of an open-to-the-public lane when we use their facility. That's up to the Range Master and he promptly chewed butt. Again, none blamed her, we blamed him for being just that ignorant with someone who had never been exposed to firearms.

    She did eventually recuse herself shortly after the incident. I'm honestly surprised that neither one of them, nor the couple next to them, left puddles of yellow liquid behind on the range.

    I agree skidmark. I prefer to start "unfamiliars" out on a 22 just to get their comfort levels up. Once they settle in a bit, I offer up a chance to shoot one of my 9mm Glocks or the Ruger LCR, but only so long as they're comfortable doing so and under my direct supervision. Fortunately he took one of our flyers with him and I sincerely hope that they will both seek out training. At least for now, I'm pretty sure she won't be trusting him to teach her any longer.

    @davidmcbeth, leaving wasn't an option. I was with my CCW class.


    One rule we follow is that gross safety violations, such as sweeping the muzzle upon others while on the firing line, will result in prompt removal from the range and a remedial safety course. That's why I try to stay just 3 lanes wide with my class. It helps me keep the safety violations in the minor category as well as being able to stop them in-progress before they develop into something worse. Sadly, I can tell which students are "range talkers" and that often scares the crap out of me. The "range talker" will have a jam or a slide lock situation and they'll start to turn the muzzle to get your attention or they'll start to talk to someone and begin to turn with a loaded pistol in their hands. I've even had them step backwards then begin to turn. Clearly the experienced ones that do this have picked up such bad habits with others they shoot with socially that have failed to correct it.
    Last edited by REALteach4u; 02-12-2013 at 12:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by REALteach4u View Post

    @davidmcbeth, leaving wasn't an option. I was with my CCW class.


    .
    That sucks ... ...

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    Regular Member PFC HALE's Avatar
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    Range day Holy Crap moment this past Saturday!

    ive told idiots doing what the OP posted to leave and make it loud enough that everyone at the range knows they are unsafe, most of the time the range goes cold until they leave as they are a danger and all eyes are on the idiots.

    i dont put up with stupidity.
    HOPE FOR THE BEST, EXPECT THE WORST, PREPARE FOR WAR

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    Quote Originally Posted by PFC HALE View Post
    ive told idiots doing what the OP posted to leave and make it loud enough that everyone at the range knows they are unsafe, most of the time the range goes cold until they leave as they are a danger and all eyes are on the idiots.

    i dont put up with stupidity.

    You're free to act as you see fit, of course, however I would caution against this sort of thing. Calling out the person who screwed up in front of everyone, without knowing anything about the person, is a great way to take a potential ally and turn them into an anti. Just because they made a mistake doesn't mean they are stupid. Remember, there is a difference between ignorant and stupid. You can fix ignorant. You can't fix stupid.

    I will always try to educate someone before dismissing them out of hand. That said, if they do, in fact, prove to be stupid rather than ignorant, then they just need to leave.
    "Somebody ever tries to kill you, you try and kill em right back!" - Captain Malcolm Reynolds

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    Quote Originally Posted by REALteach4u View Post
    This RSO was with his class. I'm not allowed to kick people off of an open-to-the-public lane when we use their facility. That's up to the Range Master and he promptly chewed butt.
    You might not be able to kick them off the range, but anyone can call a cease fire at any time they see an unsafe act, on any range, any where.

    I think the right time for that was her first shot into the ceiling. Definitely by the second shot into the wall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oramac View Post
    Calling out the person who screwed up in front of everyone, without knowing anything about the person, is a great way to take a potential ally and turn them into an anti. Just because they made a mistake doesn't mean they are stupid. Remember, there is a difference between ignorant and stupid. You can fix ignorant.
    A lot to be agreed with here. If you think about the stupidity you see on tv with simple safety stuff like racking a slide it is a lot easier to understand why someone would point the gun sideways while doing it. I would have to estimate that over 60% of time that is exactly how hollywierd shows it being done, sideways. Guns stuffed in the belt etc.

    Forget the danger, if I dropped one of my guns on the concrete because it was stuffed in my belt I would likely begin bawling lol what a stupid way to scratch, mar the crown etc of an expensive firearm!!

    Professional exposure to firearms is far more rare than it used to be with the gun grabbers making everyone believe they are evil forces. When folks have resolved themselves and opt for ownership, they see sticker shock, a fairly simple mechanical device and just think it is easy so they skip training etc. If it had been their father threatening to smack them in the head for doing anything stupid while showing them things smart such actions would be far more rare.

    One of the most famous you tube videos is the cop who is the only one professional enough to handle the unloaded glock who then proceeds to shoot himself in the leg with it. When you have such stupidity in firearms education, there is not a lot for folks to depend upon since it is not handed down like it once was at all.

    No such thing as an unloaded gun,
    Booger hook off bang switch,
    never point at anything not to be destroyed,
    Be sure you know your backstop...

    Hmmm all four broken in 3 mins time not to mention it appears as he took the weapon from pointing up, he swept some of the students on the way down while fingering the trigger, it is somewhat amazing it was his leg instead of a kid.


    I ain't knocking training at all, I am saying the handed town training within ones family is much less and too many professions are THOUGHT to be firearms professionals when in reality they employ very poor practices.

    That was kind of the point I was trying to make, at a couple of the ranges in the metro area the range master would have pulled them to the side and asked them to meet in the classroom for a basic safety course. In contrast, the range masters at the DNR ranges would have just taken the opportunity to totally go off on someone like they often do for things like not switching the card from orange to green etc.

    Scarier yet, as someone mentioned, the increase in popularity, well lets just hope the same percentage increase is reflected in basic pistol safety or CCW classes.
    John C. Eastman Associate Dean of Chapman University’s School of Law "the Second Amendment, like its sister amendments, does not confer a right but rather recognizes a natural right inherent in our humanity."

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    Quote Originally Posted by PFC HALE View Post
    ive told idiots doing what the OP posted to leave and make it loud enough that everyone at the range knows they are unsafe, most of the time the range goes cold until they leave as they are a danger and all eyes are on the idiots.

    i dont put up with stupidity.
    Good way to get the muzzle shoved where the sun don't shine when on a public unmanned range.

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    Range day Holy Crap moment this past Saturday!

    Quote Originally Posted by 9026543 View Post
    Good way to get the muzzle shoved where the sun don't shine when on a public unmanned range.
    please do explain?

    if im reading this right, if i saw you doing something stupid and endangering the lives of anyone at a public range and i happen to call ceasefire and point out your unsafe acts you would put a muzzle up my butt?

    did i get that right?
    Last edited by PFC HALE; 02-13-2013 at 12:47 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PFC HALE View Post
    please do explain?

    if im reading this right, if i saw you doing something stupid and endangering the lives of anyone at a public range and i happen to call ceasefire and point out your unsafe acts you would put a muzzle up my butt?

    did i get that right?
    Please see post #15. There are effective and ineffective ways to accomplish the same goal. One has the potential to create an ally who is more knowledgeable, the other has the potential to create an even more ignorant anti.

    We need more allies.
    "Somebody ever tries to kill you, you try and kill em right back!" - Captain Malcolm Reynolds

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    Regular Member PFC HALE's Avatar
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    Range day Holy Crap moment this past Saturday!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oramac View Post
    Please see post #15. There are effective and ineffective ways to accomplish the same goal. One has the potential to create an ally who is more knowledgeable, the other has the potential to create an even more ignorant anti.

    We need more allies.
    this doesnt explain a muzzle up my butt...?

    still waiting on that answer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oramac View Post
    You're free to act as you see fit, of course, however I would caution against this sort of thing. Calling out the person who screwed up in front of everyone, without knowing anything about the person, is a great way to take a potential ally and turn them into an anti. Just because they made a mistake doesn't mean they are stupid. Remember, there is a difference between ignorant and stupid. You can fix ignorant. You can't fix stupid.

    I will always try to educate someone before dismissing them out of hand. That said, if they do, in fact, prove to be stupid rather than ignorant, then they just need to leave.

    I do agree. She was shaken enough as it was and I didn't want her confidence destroyed any farther. Hopefully they'll both seek out some quality training and perhaps she'll be wise enough to not let him teach her things that he's new at when it puts life potentially at risk. To give an example: I wouldn't want him teaching her to skydive if he'd just learned how to pack his first parachute hours before.

    I think it was handled properly on my part as a guest on someone else's range. It reinforces why I am a firm believer in staying thin on how many lanes I use so I'm not spread so I can act quickly. It also reiterates why I stress getting First Aid training as well as some sort of training or understanding on bullet trauma. Lord knows that a bullet trauma isn't basic First Aid and it's not suggested that you go beyond the basics, but knowing how to identify it, what you might be looking at, shapnel, etc. on a bullet trauma can actually help paramedics gain valuable time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by REALteach4u View Post
    I think it was handled properly on my part as a guest on someone else's range.
    Let me just re-emphasize that it doesn't matter if you're a guest or the owner, a complete novice or a world champion, anyone can call a CEASE FIRE at any time on any range, and should do so whenever they see an unsafe act.

    Shooting the ceiling, the wall, and the floor with the first three shots certainly counts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Let me just re-emphasize that it doesn't matter if you're a guest or the owner, a complete novice or a world champion, anyone can call a CEASE FIRE at any time on any range, and should do so whenever they see an unsafe act. --snip--
    Those are holy words - engraved in stone.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9026543 View Post
    Good way to get the muzzle shoved where the sun don't shine when on a public unmanned range.
    Manned range or unmanned range, it wouldn't matter. Swift sensible action is called for when the split-second scenario occurs. By the way, thanks for giving me the mental picture of someone doing just what you illustrated at Busiek State Park's range. I really didn't need that with some of the experiences I've had out there with REALLY unsafe people and poachers. Spot on by the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by PFC HALE View Post
    please do explain?

    if im reading this right, if i saw you doing something stupid and endangering the lives of anyone at a public range and i happen to call ceasefire and point out your unsafe acts you would put a muzzle up my butt?

    did i get that right?
    I think that was a play on words rather than an intent to commit. However, I'm not putting anything past anyone when it comes to reacting to the split-second situation....especially if the firearm winds up pointed at THEM.

    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    Let me just re-emphasize that it doesn't matter if you're a guest or the owner, a complete novice or a world champion, anyone can call a CEASE FIRE at any time on any range, and should do so whenever they see an unsafe act.

    Shooting the ceiling, the wall, and the floor with the first three shots certainly counts.

    Sadly, I've had odd results using CEASE FIRE! I've transitioned to STOP SHOOTING. When people are sharing the range with us and I say CEASE FIRE, it seems I always have someone shooting when I say "cease", so all they hear is "fire". I transitioned to "stop shooting" because it's not what people would normally expect and it gets them to actually stop quite consistently. "GUNS DOWN" also works well as a failsafe.

    Any way you cut that, it needs to be understood that ANYONE can call that cease fire when they see unsafe behavior or some sort of emergency has just occurred. I prefer that none chastize folks who overuse it because it may discourage use when it's truly needed. Simple corrections are all that's needed.
    Last edited by REALteach4u; 02-22-2013 at 01:12 PM.

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