I always say something and I would have done the same thing you did on that first time.
This is a discussion on Best Approach for Those You're Around at the Range Acting Unsafely? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I haven't run into this often but once a guy with a jam in 30.06 rifle was trying to fix it with the gun pointed ...
I haven't run into this often but once a guy with a jam in 30.06 rifle was trying to fix it with the gun pointed up and at an angle instead of downrange as SOP - me two booths away with an empty one between us. As I steadied my own handgun shot - BOOM! - and suddenly my visual field was filled with tiny bits of material coming down. I freaked, thought it was in my eyes or brain and I had been hit. Recovering my senses I looked and the guy had an ND right through the false-ceiling above us and up to reinforced inner roof with the round ricocheting almost directly back down and hitting range floor and then God knows where. Shaken I couldn't shoot anymore, my evening was wrecked - didn't seem safe for me to shoot due to nerves. My hands were shaking. On the way out I told those in charge of the range. Slightly different angle and some bad bullet-proof glass or slight angle different on ricochet: my head would have been blown apart by a hit with a 30.06 round.
Afterwards I blamed myself for not saying something when the guy first put the gun straight up and began to screw with it. That was my LIFE he was screwing with ! - altho I'm sure a nice kid (he was young). But why didn't his Dad or someone teach him properly? - who knows, maybe they did.......
Since then, I say something, loud and fast, or for less urgent warning I motion and mouth "point it down-range" - something like that. Like I said, thankfully this isn't often.
( I go to a great range that allows public but also has members with special rates and privileges. Usually a lot of off-duty LEOs shoot there, and Homeland Security leases part of it for training on the 25 yd range - (the other's a 50 yd, computerized targets etc. So, usually there are very professional shooters there).
What would you have done in my first case or what do you do when around unsafe behavior at the range or anyplace shooting?
I always say something and I would have done the same thing you did on that first time.
I'm nice first. "Hey Bro/Ma'am, make sure you keep that muzzle downrange, you understand why?" If they seem confused, then I usually get a little stronger, "Please make sure you don't point that thing at me because I get real pissed off when people do that." Then I'm usually nice enough to explain the rules and the reasons. Then when I'm done shooting, I go the RO (if he exists), or the mgr/owner and let them know I'll never set foot in their door again if they can't monitor their range or their nubes.
You'll never find me at a public indoor range on a Saturday. Two people at every stall. Novices everywhere. Muzzles sweeping. No good. I do always enjoy helping nubes when it's not busy and I always talk to people at the range, if possible. Most rookies are open to assistance if you don't come off like a blow hard, and most accomplished shooters will share weapons and knowledge with you if you're not a blow hard. Anytime someone asks or expresses an interest in your weapon, I offer them the chance to use it. Good juju all around, and I've had the opportunity to shoot nearly everything I saw that piqued my interest.
Last edited by Yankeejib; December 10th, 2011 at 10:45 PM.
It is worth it to me to belong to a private range that is video monitored and closly supervised by NRA Certified Range Safety Officers.
I have seen really dangerous acts on law enforcement ranges over the years and the bottom line is my safety is ultimately resting on my shoulders.
If I see the unsafe act first I am going to call the individual committing the act on it.
"Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".
"A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".
Accidents happen everywhere thru momentary lapses in judgement. It is best to step back from the firing line and speak out immediately. Be polite, but don't be afraid to yell "Cease Fire" if witness a several safety hazard, such as an AD into the ceiling.
I speak up. I'm polite but serious about it. No smiles, no little chuckles. As the OP said, this is a life and death situation and the first screw up may be a fatal one. If they still continue to act in an unsafe manner after one polite but serious verbal interchange, I exit the range and speak to the RO or manager. I have yet to have to take it to that level but if I ever do, then that will be the last time I shoot there and I will let them know that and why.
For many years I belonged to a private club. The only problem was they didn't have RSOs on duty all the time. Too many people doing too many unsafe things. I got tired of "discussing" these issues with the other shooters. I got to the point of shooting at odd times to avoid other people.
Then I moved to FL. I now go to a range where there is a RSO on duty at all times, monitoring cameras on every lane. Anything that is iffy and he comes in and straightens out the situation. Makes for a much safer day!
I would say something and explain he's doing something that is unsafe. However, that said, my home range is public and they let me do things like draw from a holster (on/off hand), and shoot from cover at a human silhouette target...things "NRA-trained RSOs" would probably blush over, since it's not a straight, isosceles stance shooting at a bullseye...
So there is dangerous.....and there is practicing defensive shooting techniques, to the bullseye shooter could be seen as dangerous. In the OP's case, it was something obviously hazardous by someone untrained on how to clear a jam.
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Say something politely but firmly the first time. If it continues, mention it to an RSO or manager. If they don't ask him to leave or at least try to work with him on safety, leave and do not return.
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth.--Steve McQueen
As the others have said, speak up. Politely inform the person what they are doing is unsafe. If they cop an attitude or continue their unsafe practices immediately inform the RSO or management.
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NRA Life Member
^^^^WHAT Archer said^^^^^^^^^^
Thankfully Me and my bunch have the ability to shoot at home on our own range.
Nothing fancy, but theres room for a couple rifle shooters, and maybe three pistol shooters.
I would rather die with good men than hide with cowards
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Don't ever think that the reason I'm peaceful is because I don't know how to be violent
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Boy, could I and probably many others tell some stories. Anyway, I also will be very polite, and point out the unsafe action. I have never had anyone badly react to my humble correction. It doesn't hurt when I first tell them I am an NRA instructor and also an RSO. That being said, I have been at ranges where the level of unsafe gun handling was so severe, and done by so many, that I have simply decided to leave. The worst case was years ago where a clearly novice shooter who was obviously English language challenged, had a stoppage and turned to me, muzzle directly pointed at my chest, pulling the trigger repeatedly and saying, "gun don't shoot. Can you show me?" I swept the muzzle out of the line of fire, had some rather harsh words, packed up, left the firing line, and told the management of the situation. Never went back to that range.
Best way to win a gun fight? "That's easy, don't show up."
"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything."
I'm the OP and posted a story of unsafe activity but had forgotten THIS ONE - not at a range and MUCH WORSE:
Back in the early '70s my cousin was a city police officer - uniformed. Great guy but then a wild one.
Coming back home from a long drive from school I was attending, I stopped for a beer at a local bar frequented by many I knew. My cousin was sitting at the bar, civies, back to me. I walked up close behind, he saw me and I said "HEY FRED !!!".
In one swift motion he pulled his service revolver out, put it right up to my face and pulled the trigger several times - then roared with laughter: the gun was empty. I almost fainted.
Last edited by walleye; December 11th, 2011 at 06:24 PM.