Any gun guru worth his or her salt will tell you to avoid stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things. As someone who’s been to more gun ranges than the average bear arms guy, I reckon we should modify that adage to account for the risks involved when shooting guns next to complete strangers. Avoid stupid armed people in stupid places doing stupid things. Oh and don’t be that guy! But if you are, here are the three surefire ways to really piss off other people at a gun range . . .
1. Muzzle someone
The Four Rules of Gun Safety direct us to “keep all guns pointed in the safest possible direction.” Pointing a gun at someone — whether loaded or not — violates this rule. And, thus, social etiquette. Why wouldn’t it? Most shooters like to shoot without worrying about being shot. Muzzling someone at a gun range isn’t the best way to win friends and influence people, but it is a terrific way to become a pistol persona non grata.
2. Offer Unsolicited Advice
Speaking of influencing people, don’t do it! I’ve made the mistake of stepping into a nearby lane, tapping a shooter on the shoulder and warning them that their support-hand-over-strong-hand grip was about to result in a bloody slide bite. What thanks did I receive? Death stares. The same thing happened — and then some — when I made the mistake of correcting a young lady’s reared-back stance.
After complaints to management, I learned that it’s best to leave well enough alone. What’s a suitable definition of “well enough” ? See point 1. It’s a low bar to be sure, but not one where you’re likely to be bounced.
3. Commit suicide
Suicide is a waste of human life that takes a terrible toll on survivors. If you’re feeling suicidal, please get help! But if you’re really determined to commit suicide, don’t shoot yourself at a gun range.
I know it sounds callous to say that committing suicide at a gun range makes people angry — inconveniencing shooters and costing the range time and money. So consider this: anyone who’s witnessed the immediate, traumatic aftermath of a firearms-related suicide (as I have) goes through the DABDA grieving process. Anger comes right after denial. And it ain’t pretty.
You meet the nicest people at gun ranges. Except when you don’t. If so, remember that you always have the option to leave. Or, if you’re angering other customers, not to go in the first place.