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Earlier today, I took an Alabama-based columnist named Josh Moon to task for suggesting that the state should force aspiring gun owners to take a week’s gun safety/education class before purchasing a firearm. I stand by that denunciation. Despite this video, which clearly shows the subterranean level of education many new shooters receive on the friends and family plan. In fact, videos like this demonstrate firearms’ inherent safety. Most people are smart enough to figure out that as long as you keep the barrel pointed away from people, nothing that bad’s gonna happen. Lousy stance, improper grip, zero trigger discipline—a good time was had by all. Of course, something bad could have happened. Oh wait. It did . . .

No ear protection. Fail. As Brad has warned on several occasions, firearms and hearing loss go together like a college education and a liberal outlook. Ensuring that the connection isn’t made requires active precautions. And there’s no such thing as too vigilant. “Ears on?” accompanied by a quick visual check should precede any and all ballistic events.

Whenever I go to an outdoor range, someone forgets to put their ears on. Yes, but—it’s the gun owner’s responsibility to ensure that everyone within earshot isn’t shot and doesn’t walk away with less hearing than that with which they arrived. Remembering that a single gunshot can cause permanent hearing loss.

I’ll say this though: guns should be quieter. I find it amazing that there are laws against silencing guns. In this litigious society of ours, I would have expected laws mandating silencers. One reason I’m thinking about moving to Arizona. But no reason for anyone to ignore the obvious physical dangers that guns pose to those who should know better, but don’t.

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  1. Did anybody else notice the thumb of the non-firing hand wrapped above the thumb of the firing hand? That’s a recipe for a nasty (and painful!) case of “slide bite.” It’s also one of the reasons I favor a weaver-style stance where the non-firing hand “cups” the front of the firing hand – all the digits of the non-firing hand stay out of the way of recoiling slides.

    The thumb-on-top-of-firing-hand stance was taught back in the olden days of DA revolvers (and works fine when that’s what you’re shooting) but should never be used with a semi auto by anyone who doesn’t enjoy having parts of their skin removed without the benefit of anesthetic.

  2. I like loud guns, they will scare the hell out of the badguys. My S&W’s 500’s are all extra loud and they even scare me(not really)but they really do scare anyone near me. The day I met Bob F. at AFS was not an accident. The guy’s wife near my lane was so afraid he asked to be moved, so the AFS guys thought it would be cool to place Bob in that lane cuz they knew he would get a kick out of the 500 snubbie(which he did).


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