RF’s recent visit to a snow-covered RI range got me thinking about safety. We like to believe we’re safe at the firing range. But that is not always the case. In June 2004, a group of five people murdered twenty-five year old Nadir Husman at a gun range in South Carolina and his stole his nine millimeter Beretta pistol. In July of this year, a murderer shot Pennsylvania firearms enthusiast Todd Getgen and stole his rifle. Criminals know that gun ranges are where the guns are. All too often we help them by letting our guard down. There are several important steps that gun enthusiasts can take to reduce their risk and help ensure their safety. My first suggestion . . .

1.  Shoot in groups. The more people at the range, they less likely you’ll be chosen as victims. Even shooting with a single buddy is safer than being alone. A sole person on an otherwise abandoned range is the easiest target.

2. Don’t be unarmed. When your firearms runs empty, load up immediately–even if it is just practice ammo. FMJ is better than an unloaded gun. Better yet, keep a second defense pistol loaded with defensive ammo on you at all times.

3. Maintain awareness. The number one priority of survival is awareness; standard hearing protection deprives us of one of our most important senses. Give serious consideration to buying amplified hearing protection. It restores our ability to hear our surroundings; when vehicles drive in and when people approach.

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4 Responses to Danger on the Range

  1. Rabbi: I agree with your recommendations, though I’d move #3 up to #1. SA is key in any potential danger situation. I would add “trust your instincts.” If you are up shooting at your favorite shootin’ hole and a bunch of folks come up there and start giving you a hinky feeling, it’s time to pack up and go home. I think the greatest danger would come from carelessness rather than malice, but a bullet fired by stupidity is just as deadly as one fired in anger. As the saying goes, I’m not worried about the “bullet with my name on it.” I’m worried about the millions of other ones out there that are addressed “To whom it may concern.”

  2. #2 was one of the first lessons I learned about gun safety. My friend from Miami said that whenever they went shooting in the Everglades you have to be armed at all times.

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