More people need training

Discussion in 'Training' started by GAfirearmsReference, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. GAfirearmsReference

    GAfirearmsReference Weapons Law Booklet

    1,056
    32
    48
    The other day I took some inexperienced shooters to a public range (private business; a gun shop and indoor shooting range). The goal was to be safe, and have fun. This wasn't serious training, and my guests didn't want that.

    What surprised me was that the range was FULL of people shooting the same way my newbie friends were shooting. Placing their full sized silhouette targets at 5 or 7 yards-- never any farther for any open-sighted handgun. Some folks were even shooting their combat shotguns and AR-15 type carbines from 5 and 7 yards, too.

    While my guests were busy loading magazines and hanging new targets, I walked up and down the firing line a couple of times to see what other guns were being used, and how the other shooters at the range that day were doing. Most people were shooting as fast as the range rules for the place allowed, and getting 24" groups. Some shots missed the target completely at 5 and 7 yards.

    The shooters who slowed down and fired one shot every couple seconds generally kept all their hits in the torso area of the humanoid target, with "groups" the size of a pizza. Again, this is from 5 or 7 yards.

    They were not all newbies with cheap entry-level pistols either. There were people shooting what looked like high-end 1911's with a lot of custom features, clean-cut guys that looked like they might be law enforcement or professional security officers, etc. Some folks had a lot of expensive gear, quality holsters, compact and full-sized guns from quality manufacturers, and they carried their gear in real range bags made for serious shooters, not old gym bags or school backpacks or Wal-Mart plastic bags! In other words, the firing line didn't look like it was full of newbies or the very poor-- people who could barely afford a low-end firearm like a High Point, Kel-Tec, or Rossi.

    The ceiling of the range was riddled with bullet holes, and the walls were covered with scrapes and smears of lead from hundreds of bullets hitting the walls. The shooting tables or shelves (whatever they're called) in each firing line had been shot, some numerous times. I don't know if this particular range had holes in the walls separating one lane from the next, but I'd assume some did. The one lane we used didn't; it was fine. The floor was all nicked up and smeared with metal fragments from many bullet impacts, starting right in front of the firing line.

    Finally, most of the people there (including my guests, despite numerous reminders about muzzle control and what is a "safe direction" to point the gun when handling it) swept the firing line, although usually that was done from within the shooting booth and at the firing line (meaning there was at least a partition between the gun's muzzle and the other shooters). One lady who was shooting with a guy down to my left swept everybody to her right with her pistol after she had stepped back from the firing line, and we could all look right down her muzzle. (Fortunately, the gun was empty and slide locked back at that moment).

    My take-away from this public range experience is that more Georgians desperately need to sign-up for some firearms training, both as to gun safety and handgun marksmanship.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
    driverman_1, zetor and HCountyGuy like this.
  2. HCountyGuy

    HCountyGuy Well-Known Member

    1,359
    49
    48
    Your assessment needn’t be limited solely to the residents of this state. There are horrid shooters all over the country.

    Your observations of “groupings” (and I use that term loosely) and bullet-riddled ceilings or other parts of the range also extends across the nation.

    The simple fact of the matter is this:

    While we have a significant amount of gun owners, a ridiculously small percent are what I would consider proficient. This whole concept was discussed in another thread here not too long ago when it was asked what some folks thought proved a person to be of basic competence regarding performance with a handgun.

    Overall most gun owners only own/carry a gun as a “magic talisman” with the naive hope or belief that simply having one makes them safer or prepared. They consider getting all hits on the generous sized target at 5 yards to be “good enough” and leave it at that.

    Even those who spend absurd amounts on quality firearms and gear often don’t similarly invest in training to help them actually shoot better or think smarter in relation to the utilization of their firearms.

    But there’s also the enthusiasts who don’t care and just have firearms as a passive hobby to go blow off steam or something similar. Nothing wrong with that, but we’d all rather they be safe about it.

    Often times that same group overlaps with the tactical fantasy-camp crowd who goes and takes a carbine/rifle course from folks like James Yeager or Instructor Zero, just so they can dress up and run around with a rifle and make believe they’re SOF.

    Overall I agree with your sentiment that more people should invest in training to become more competent and safe with their firearms. What really chaps my ass is the folks who rant about firearms safety and then go on to demonstrate they need to take their own advice (not saying that’s you, just some folks I’ve come across).
     

  3. UtiPossidetis

    UtiPossidetis American

    3,175
    244
    63
    I guess I go to a better class of range or am just lucky that I go at magic times when competent shooters are practicing. Yes, I see people like you describe. However, I see them as far less than 50% of the shooters that I observe at my public, gun store, range. Frankly, one of the more egregious examples I routinely see at my range is a "trainer".

    As for 5-7 yards - that's the standard defense range that we've all been hammered with by all the "experts" that is the most common self-defense range.
     
  4. DonT

    DonT Deplorable bitter clinger.

    5,634
    246
    63
    The safety aspect is probably the biggest concern at the range where I instruct, just like at most ranges. I have noticed that most casual shooters do not usually have any kind of practice plan, nor do they usually have a standard or test or shooting drill, that will hold them accountable for their shooting. As stated, it's mostly blowing holes in silhouettes at 5 or 7 or 10 yards, with holes covering the target and no real grouping usually. Now, it's fine on occasion to just go have fun and safely just launch lead and lots of it. The casual shooter just doesn't know what he or she doesn't know, and it's a shame. But hey, at least they ARE at the range and shooting. That's something, I guess.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  5. moe mensale

    moe mensale Well-Known Member

    12,631
    1,712
    113
    Many years ago I used to shoot at a semi-private range out in the Everglades in Broward County called Pop's (a story in itself). It was a 100 yard range with a small 10 yard pistol range off to the side at a 45* angle. One day 4 or 5 of us were using the main range. A "family" showed up and set up on the little range. Appeared to be all newbies trying out their new toys.

    At some point we called a cold range to go check & fix the targets. The "family" acknowledged the call and off we went. About 30 yards downrange the sound of gunfire erupted behind us. Handguns were drawn & pointed in unison with lots of screaming, yelling & cursing. :panic::panic: Apparently the "family" didn't fully understand the meaning of "cold range." A quick lesson in range courtesy ensued. I don't recall them ever coming back again.
     
  6. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

    3,231
    847
    113
    Realizing that calling for Mandated Firearms training on this forum would be akin to wearing a MAGA cap to a City Hall Council meeting in San Francisco I put the idea on the table anyway. No I don't have a clue how one would mandate training for something that is a Constitutional right to participate in to begin with. There are to many conditions on the right to bear arms as it is.Excluding current and former military ,police ,others that carry weapons as a part of their jobs and those of us here what percentage of gun owners really ever have any real training? Try to get over the word Mandated for a moment and think about real training as a requirement to utilize something in public that can be extremely dangerous in untrained hands. I have neither went over to the dark side nor have I been possessed by gunsmoker.
     
    MRD likes this.
  7. HCountyGuy

    HCountyGuy Well-Known Member

    1,359
    49
    48
    The unfortunate truth is that not all who participate in training absorb and retain the lessons. In locales that mandate training some participants take the required course just to check the box. They do well enough to meet the horribly low standards and then continue to act stupid with their firearms.
     
    zetor likes this.
  8. zetor

    zetor Gaston beat up John

    2,767
    168
    63
    I expect to not be swept with a firearm and have no patience for someone being a danger to me. I know most people will never get too deep with shooting and if they want to blast away at 5 yards, that's fine. I know they will never know what it's like to have a headache from looking at the little point on a beam scale for hours, or shoot 5 slowly at 50 yards and walk down to measure and write it down, or not have any finger prints from spending hours filing on a front strap.
    I understand that a year from now, it will probably be dirt bikes or guitars and most won't get too deep there either, but unsafe gun handling shouldn't be as common as it is.
     
  9. Craftsman

    Craftsman Well-Known Member

    2,973
    242
    63
    I am totally in favor of mandatory training. Every high school in the country should provide basic pistol and rifle training and you have to demonstrate proficiency OR obtain a disability waiver to graduate.
     
    MRD and Smilodon like this.
  10. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    1,003
    84
    48
    I'm someone that still shoots at 7 yards and gets drinking cup-sized groups. But I can state with 100% certainty that the muzzle of my loaded firearm has never swept anyone in any direction on the range. While it's unloaded in the case, that's a different story, but there's not much we can do about that. As someone a long time ago in another topic pointed out, it is impossible to keep even a loaded, holstered firearm from being pointed at anyone ever. Just bending over in the grocery store with any kind of belt holster has the near-certainty of "sweeping" dozens of people.

    Regardless, I'd like to spend time on the range, but cost is a limiting factor. Even just going once a month and spending $40 is pushing things for me right now. I practiced enough to be confident in my ability to stop a threat on my life. I shouldn't need to get penny-sized groupings at 50 yards to do that.
     
  11. zetor

    zetor Gaston beat up John

    2,767
    168
    63
    Sweeping means gun in hand Clark. Do you really think I believe guns go off on their own? Those holes in the ceiling, benches, and the floor described by the OP didn't come from a holstered or cased gun.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  12. Barry l.

    Barry l. New Member

    21
    1
    3
    The county county Sheriff where I live offers a free firearms class for residents several times a year. I attended one as an observer and was impressed. Most of the class was safety and when to use a firearm. I would be nice if the counties were mandated to hold such courses to make training free and available to those that want it.
     
  13. DonT

    DonT Deplorable bitter clinger.

    5,634
    246
    63
    Cobb County also offers a free two hour class on firearms safety and securing guns, and an overview of the laws, what to do in an active killer situation. They offer it at least 4 times a year.

    But you will only get a fraction of gun owners to a class, even a free one. Too bad.
     
  14. moe mensale

    moe mensale Well-Known Member

    12,631
    1,712
    113
    I don't know if it's still offered but some of us may remember "driver training" in high school. It certainly didn't turn us into a "Dale Earnhardt Jr" but it got us started. I'd posit that 99.999% of us never took it beyond that as far as additional training. We learned on the job, as it were. Mistakes were made, accidents happened, stuff got broken, people got hurt, people got killed.

    That "right of movement" comes with penalties if and when you screw up. Some more severe than others. The same as screwing up were firearms are involved.
     
  15. DonT

    DonT Deplorable bitter clinger.

    5,634
    246
    63
    Sorry, I can't support mandated, state controlled firearms training. It ends up being crappy check the block training anyway, creates a state controlled chokepoint for licenses, and increases the cost of having a firearm, to the point that lower income folks can't or won't get a license.

    If we want to mandate a few training items in high school, how about we start with these?

    1. Civics, American history, and the Constitution

    2. Finance 101 (how to manage money, understand loans, etc.)
     
    Mike J and MRD like this.
  16. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    27,542
    687
    113
    If firearms training were mandatory in high school, before the age at which these children would have any Second Amendment right to firearms anyway, then how could that training being infringement ?

    If everybody had to take the training, we wouldn't have to worry about the government making lists of people who own guns or are interested in guns.

    And since this mandatory training would be done in high school, it would not be any barrier towards exercising gun rights when those children turn 18 or 21 and go out to buy and possess and carry their own firearms. You could even have it so that the people do not need to save and carry around a "card" that proves they passed the gun safety course. The government could simply assume that everybody below a certain age has had it and passed it. ( unless the kid in question was an early high school dropout, or was arrested and put into a youth detention center and educated at a special type of alternative school where weapons training was not in the curriculum ).
     
    MRD likes this.
  17. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    27,542
    687
    113
    but if we are going to mandate driving safety, and firearm safety, I think we would have to (or want to) mandate some other things too:

    --power tool, chainsaw, and shop equipment safety.

    -- Lawnmower and tractor safety.

    -- Fire safety/ fire prevention.


    --First aid and CPR safety.

    -- water safety (require everybody to be able to swim, and float or tread water for 10 minutes).

    by making the school safety initiatives applicable to several different kinds of dangers, and not just focusing on guns, I think we would be more likely to get it passed.
    It wouldn't be seen as bowing to special interests or the gun lobby.
     
    DonT and MRD like this.
  18. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

    3,231
    847
    113
    It would seem that the ultimate solution would be to Mandate Common Sense.
     
    MRD likes this.
  19. MaricopaKid

    MaricopaKid Member

    913
    6
    18
    How did I suddenly become a member of the DNC Make-a-Wish forum?
     
  20. Wegahe

    Wegahe NRA Instructor

    3,265
    527
    113
    Anyone on the range at any time have the right to report unsafe shooters or activities to the RSO. Complaining about unsafe shooters on this forum and venting about how training is needed does nothing to curb the unsafe situation. Most ranges have an RSO on duty and most are certified instructors as well. It only takes a few minutes to teach range safety to new or less experienced shooters. The people working the range want it to be safe not only for the people using it but for themselves as well. I don't mind taking time out to go out on the range and correcting unsafe conditions. It's very rare that someone will step up and report someone for not following the rules. Step up and help make the range safer. Report unsafe shooter actions.
     
    shellig, MRD and DonT like this.