I was at my range the other week finishing up when a clearly inexperienced shooter stepped into the lane next to me. She had a rented gun and was struggling a little to load the magazine and had forgotten to turn her firearm down range (slide was still locked open but… safety always). As I was leaving I briefly stopped to have her point the gun down range and showed her how to use the maglula loaders we have on each lane. Walking out to my car I wondered though if I had missed an opportunity to be a better ambassador for the gun community and could have offered some sort of additional help/advice/welcome. Additional context I’m a 33 yr old white man with no particular qualifications to teach others anything, just my own limited experience and she was 40 -50 yr old African American woman.
You did well and you will probably never know what impact those few minutes would have on her.
Your range has lulas for each guest? Must be some kind of fancy place
I got introduced to loaders like that. There was a kind person in the next lane, who noticed I was struggling with a mag spring. Much appreciated to this day.
Good job! I see this a lot at the range I go to. Nothing cooler than hearing someone next to you ask you, How are you doing? I was trying different guns out just because I could and I had the 9-1-1 and after trying to shoot it my girlfriend asked me what I was shooting? I replied 9-1-1 and the couple next to us asked if we needed help. I had to explain it was the gun I am using. It was nice to have anyone pay attention and be concerned. Why would someone name a gun 9-1-1?
A poor attempt at a pun for a small-sized 1911… need to ask Springfield that question…
I’ve use the same outdoor range for around 10 years & see many of the same shooters when I go. We’ve become “range buddys” & swap pistols training tips etc… It is not uncommon when a new shooter is clearly had little or no training, that one of us will tactfully offer assistance and explain why their actions are unsafe then demonstrate proper gun safety for the situation. If they are receptive, I will spend some time with them & recommend some classes & videos. If they are insulted, I simply let the range master aware of the issue & he/she takes care of the problem
That was awesome advice. It won’t be forgotten the next time she is on the range. It was a perfect teaching moment, not time for a lecture. You will probably meet again. That next time possibly a conversation may start and another two cents on how to be safe with a handgun.
There will be plenty more opportunities, if you’ve spent as much time on the range as I have, you’ll find opportunities daily. There are a lot of new gun owners out there, some of whom trained on XBOX and PlayStation and worse, Hollywood! I’ve worked and unofficially ran my local range for more than 15 years, if I knew how to use my phone/camera as well a my sidearm, I would be a YouTube sensation!
A word of advice, don’t be to surprised when someone catches an attitude, because they feel they are smarter than you. I’ve watched people injure themselves after making them aware of their grip, you just gotta love a good slide bite. In addition, try telling a young woman accompanied by her boyfriend ( with a loaded gun in his hand ) next to you that she’s not dressed appropriately for the range, step back and watch as the hot BRASS lands exactly where it’s supposed to land, right down the open blouse, then watch as she frantically tries to remove said brass while waving a loaded gun! Happens ALL the time!
When you see something wrong on a live firing range don’t ever be shy about calling a cease fire or giving advice on how to handle a deadly weapon!
Recognizing that there’s a safety problem IS ambassadorship! Saying something is leadership. You can quote me on that!